An insider takes us behind the blue wall of America's biggest, baddest police force
Founded in 1845, the NYPD is the biggest municipal police force in the world, the oldest in the land, and the model on which the others-for better or worse-have patterned themselves. The authors-two seasoned experts of police operations-unearth the hidden truths behind the headline-making stories and explain how cops privately interpret incidents such as the shooting of Amadou Diallo and the Louima torture case. Episodes long forgotten-the campaign against German saboteurs in WWI, or the career of Joe Petrosino, the first Italian American in the ranks, who was gunned down in the streets of Palermo, Sicily-reveal an organization constantly fraught with turmoil, where an outward display of law and order belies the inner conflicts between politicos, bureaucrats, and the men and women on the beat.
Beyond the inner life of a remarkable institution are the characters and stories, including baffling mysteries, horrific crimes, inspiring heroics, and dreadful scandals. NYPD illuminates the old maxim of the vet to the rookie on his first night on patrol: "Forget everything you learned in the academy, kid."Timely and sure to be controversial, NYPD will be essential reading for anyone interested in law enforcement in America.
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Thomas Reppetto is a former Chicago Commander of Detectives and has been the President of New York City's Citizens Crime Commission for twenty years. James Lardner, a writer for The New Yorker and The Atlantic Monthly, has written cover pieces for The New York Times Magazine (including one on the NYPD). He is the author of Fast Forward: Hollywood, the Japanese and the VCR Wars and Crusader: The Hell-Raising Police Career of Detective David Durk.
A comprehensive and elegant history of the New York Police Department, this book, written by a journalist (Lardner) and a former cop (Reppetto), charts the department's development, from its origins as a collection of unorganized watchmen in the 1820s to its recent past. In crisp, anecdote-rich prose, Lardner (a New Yorker contributor) and Reppetto (now president of New York's Citizens Crime Commission) take readers on a chronological tourDthrough the years when the department reluctantly adopted firearms and uniforms and when police applicants depended on patronage, through wave after wave of anti-corruption ferment, and through years of controversy. Drawing on sources ranging from the memoir of George Washington Walling, a 19th-century officer who saw action during most of the era's flashpoints (including the 1849 Opera House Riot and the 1863 Draft Riots), to newspaper accounts and legislative committee reports, Lardner and Reppetto assess the potential for good and bad in the city and on its police force. Along the way, they recount colorful stories about early gangs like the Dead Rabbits and Five Pointers; they examine the conflict between the Metropolitan Police and the Municipals, an early rogue offshoot; and they address the department's pendulum-like swings between corruption and reform (which, they note, gets activated every 20 years by a major scandal). They also depict the Giuliani administration's 1990s' "Rediscovery of Crime" and recent controversies like the deaths of Amadou Diallo and Patrick Dorismond, both unarmed black men gunned to death by police officers. Arguing that the cop's lot has barely changed since the 1800s, the two authors assessDin a fair-minded wayDthe enduring relationship between a police force and their city. Their account is at once entertaining, historical and engaged with hard questions about the nature and politics of police workDa true accomplishment. 30 b&w illus. Author tour. (Aug.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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