I have just had the pleasure of reading Brave Hearts, a book by Cynthia Brown, that stalwart and perennial friend of the nation s law enforcement officers. Brave Hearts is about some of the people whose lives and causes she has been depicting and defending for many years in her monthly publication, American Police Beat. Although this book is about New York City police officers, they represent the values and commitment of law enforcement officers everywhere. Cynthia is certainly well equipped to write about the service police perform every day. From experiences early in her career in a Boston police station to her ongoing work as publisher of American Police Beat, she knows firsthand the triumphs and tragedies of our profession not just here in New York City but across the country as well. In the pages of Brave Hearts, which is a sort of Profiles in Courage set in the police precincts of New York, the author tells the stories of fifteen officers of various ranks and specialties who repeatedly risk their lives, and in some cases their physical and mental health, to serve and protect the citizens of this city, often doing so, in that time-worn and time-honored phrase, above and beyond the call of duty. These officers are all members of a larger team who work together to save lives, drive down crime, and strengthen our communities. Prior to becoming Police Commissioner, I had the privilege of serving alongside the men and women of the NYPD for almost thirty years in many different commands. Over the course of my career, I continually witnessed the quiet professionalism, compassion, and heroism practiced day in and day out by our law enforcement officers. That commitment, courage, and self-sacrifice have been superbly captured in the profiles of the extraordinary people you are about to meet in the pages of Brave Hearts.
- Raymond W. Kelly Commissioner, New York City Police Dept. --Brave Hearts Foreword
With Brave Hearts, Cynthia Brown, who I have known and worked with for four decades, has written a seminal work about the complexities of law enforcement work. As the reader gets to know the fifteen officers profiled in this book, they are sure to be inspired by their remarkable acts of courage and come away with a better understanding of the complicated challenges inherent in enforcing the law and protecting people from harm. William J. Bratton, former Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department and former Police Commissioner in New York City and Boston --American Police Beat Magazine
It's rare to find a book that changes the way you go about your everyday life, but Brave Hearts is one such book. Ever since Cynthia Brown first walked into our office and started talking about the men and women of the NYPD she wanted to profile, our thinking about police officers has changed. The officers who bear their souls in Brave Hearts are ordinary people, no different than you or me, unless it s time to risk their life to save a stranger or get a criminal off the street. They are the ones who run toward the screams when everyone else is running in the opposite direction. Why? Who are these people, really, and what motivates them to take the risks they do? Cynthia s unique access and the interviews that result really get to the heart of the matter and provide insight into the subculture of law enforcement, a generally closed-off and very private group of professionals. Reading Brave Hearts has enlightened the way we think about cops, and about human nature in general.
- Larry Kirshbaum and Lisa Leshne LJK Literary Management
With Brave Hearts, Cynthia Brown has written one of the most sympathetic portrayals of law enforcement I have encountered. The commitment of the people profiled in the book coupled with the enormous risks they take to protect and serve is the --Craig --Craig Floyd
From the Back Cover
-- Joseph Wambaugh
From the pages of Brave Hearts . . .
"I think people would be surprised how many cops worry about the people we have to arrest. When I see someone go off to jail for killing someone, I think, there go the lives of two human beings, the person who died and the person who committed the crime.
The years I worked undercover, there were times I had to be in the suspect's home. If they had little kids, I would look at them and realize that in a couple of weeks, a month, or maybe a year, these children won't have a daddy because I am going to arrest him. You think about your own family, you look at your kids, and you feel their love for you. Then you realize that the little boy whose father you are about to send to jail loves his dad the same way your kids love you. You ask yourself, who is really being hurt? Sometimes you can't avoid the answer. It's the kids who suffer. A lot of people don't dig that deep when they think about police work. If they did, I think they would understand and appreciate us more than they do."
Read Brave Hearts from beginning to end.
You will never look at police officers the same way again.