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Books About New City's Police Department

New York police officer Edward Conlon, remembers his patrol as a series of "long lulls and sudden convulsions." Some days, he was called on his radio to assist a "woman in a room cornered by a large rodent" or a "one-year-old baby with its head split open." But most of the time, he merely "walked around and listened to his radio" in New York's housing projects, where life "can be just like it is in suburbia."

His book is one of the several new additions to the lengthy list of books about the New York Police Department - an institution that has long been a favorite subject of movies, television shows, and books - that aims to go beyond the heat of pursuit and investigate the lulls as well.

"The police work of action, or confrontation and force, the roundhouse punches and high-speed chases, is what makes both the movies and the news," writes Conlon. "But what you say and how you say it comes into play far more often than anything you do with your stick or gun."

Conlon's approach has earned him much attention. The New York Times writes that "never has a cop explained like this - and a working cop, at that ... Blue Blood, in terms of its ambition, its authenticity, and the power of its writing, is in a class by itself."

A selection of Conlon's larger memoir comprises also one of the twelve pieces in NYPD: Stories of Survival From the World's Toughest Beat. This book, a series of accounts written by police officers and the journalists who cover them, focuses more on the extraordinary than the mundane. It includes everything from an account of one cop who hung precariously from the top of the Twin Towers, 110 stories above the pavement, while attempting to rescue a suicide jumper from the Twin Towers, to a vivid and gruesome retelling of the Abner Louima case by a journalist who would eventually win a Pulitzer Prize for his investigation, to profiles of legendary detectives.

Robert Leuci has already been the subject of a book and a movie, probably because his story follows the irresistible plot line of an officer's descent into corruption.

Robert Daley's book Prince of the City, and Sidney Lumet's film by the same name tell the "broad aspects of his story," writes Publishers Weekly. But in Leuci's soon-to-be-published All the Centurians: A New York City Cop Remembers his Years on the Street 1961 - 198, the review continues, he "traces in detail the incremental steps that turned him from a naive and idealistic beat cop into an arrogant dirty one."

It is Leuci's elaboration of these "incremental steps" that gives his readers a glimpse into the life of a cop. It is not a life in which every minute is a sensational adventure, but a fascinating and, most importantly, authentic, account nonetheless.

Cop Memoirs

Jimmy the Wags: Street Stories of a Private Eye (William Morrow & Company; May 1999) by James Wagner and Patrick Picciarelli

My Father's Gun: One Family, Three Badges, One Hundred Years in the NYPD (Plume; May 2000) by Brian McDonald

Rookie Cop: Deep Undercover in the Jewish Defense League (Leapfrog Press; August 2000) by Richard Rosenthal

Profiles of Cops

Black Cop: The Real Deal the True Story of New York City's Most Decorated Cop (Treasure House; November 1996) by Richard Lewis

Cop Talk: True Detection Stories from the NYPD (Pocket Books, July 1995) by E.W. Count

Good Cop Bad Cop: Detective Joe Trimboli's Heroic Pursuit of NYPD Officer Michael Dowd (Pocket Books, 1994) by Mike McAlary

(The) Lost Son: A Life in Pursuit of Justice (Regan Books, November 2001) by Bernard B. Kerik

Lost Wings: The True Story of a Disgraced NYPD Cop (Vantage Press, March 2003) by Robbin Christopher Ramos

Prince of the City: The True Story of a Cop Who Knew Too Much (Houghton Mifflin Company; December 1978) by Robert Daley

Serpico (HarperTorch, June 1997) by Peter Maas

NYPD and Cop Histories and Analysis

Anytime Anywhere: On Patrol With the NYPD's Emergency Services Unit (Pocket Books, December 1997) by Samuel M. Katz

Commissioner Roosevelt: The Story of Theodore Roosevelt and the New York City Police, 1895-1897 (John Wiley & Sons; March 1996) by H. Paul Jeffers

Managing Police Operations: Implementing the NYPD Crime Control Model using COMPSTAT (Wadsworth Publishing Company, August 2001) by Phyllis Parshall McDonld, Sheldon Greenberg, Williams J. Bratton

NYPD (American Icon Close-Up Guides) (Odyssey Publications, Ltd., December 2000) by Andrew Cocker

NYPD Battles Crime: Innovative Strategies in Policing (Northeastern University Press, June 1999) by Eli B. Silverman

NYPD: A City and Its Police (Owl Books; August 2001) by Thomas Repetto and James Lardner


Cop Tales 2000 (Thirty Eight Special Prr, January 2000) by Ed Dee

Justice: A Novel of the NYPD (St. Martin's Press, August 2003) by Dan Mahoney

NYPD Blue: Blue Beginning (Signet Books, September 1995) by Max Allen Collins

NYPD Blue: Part II (NYPD Blues) (Signet Books, September 1997) by Max Allen Collins

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