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Breaking Rank: A Top Cop's Expose of the Dark Side of American Policing Hardcover – April 29, 2005
Life Stories to Inform & Inspire
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Top Customer Reviews
Like Norm (I can't imagine anybody calling him anything else) I retired after three decades of professional policing. I began in 1970.
The three decades from 1970 to 2000 were tumultuously (yes, tumultuously) productive in the genuine professionalization of American policing. The profession is still blue collar shift work in many ways in most places, according to my own reading and experience, but it shouldn't be and seems to be heading in the right direction in many places. Myself, I am a proponent of the problem oriented approach. There are other approaches, and that is what makes for genuine professionalization -- vigorous (and tumultuous sometimes) effort.
Norm's personality is on display in his book, as well as his expertise. This is a warm book with plenty of humor, as well as a serious book with the kind of advocacy backed up by research and experience that we need from those of us who are serious about the improvement of American policing.
One big negative but constructive criticism: no index.
One lesser criticism: the chapter on "Undercover." Norm tells a compelling and true story in that chapter, however, having some experience in "UC" work myself, I would have written from the point of view of management analysis of cost-benefit. Most undercover work is very expensive and produces not very much genuine product. I distinguish here between process and product. UC might produce lots of arrests, but it seldom solves any problems. Process vs. permanent results.Read more ›
Most of my experiences with cops so far have been positive, but not all. I have friends and family who work in law enforcement and I've heard some pretty unbelievable stories from behind the "thin blue line." Breaking Rank validates those stories (and more) and gives the reader an appreciation for all aspects of law enforcement: the nobility of police work, the dangerous work that cops do every day to keep our streets safe, and the problems inherent in every profession-and the big, big difference when problems occur in a profession where the employees have guns and badges and can choose to use them as deadly force against any person. I can't imagine life in these United States without constitutional restrictions on that choice especially now with even more power for local law enforcement granted under the Patriot Act.
In Breaking Rank, Stamper blows the smoke out of our eyes so we can see both the humanity and humanness behind the mystique of a respected and reviled profession. I found myself pensive and then concerned over issues that once seemed far removed from my corner of the world-violence in the home, capital punishment, the war on drugs to name a few. And, rather than getting one narrow opinion on these issues, I appreciated the research that was cited to back up Stamper's thinking.
What this former chief can expect is a steady stream of vitriol aimed his way as a result of authoring this book, although it sounds like he's no stranger to it.Read more ›
Breaking Rank is a must read for all police and public administration courses that tackle the subject of crime prevention.
As a native San Diegan, I'm proud of Stamper's accomplishments and his contribution to police reform.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good Book. Some of his idea's I don't agree with but all in all a good book.Published 3 days ago by Hasan M. Mcwhorter
Excellent book. Mr Stamper writes clearly and honestly and provides insight into the history culture of professional policing. A great and enlightening read.Published 1 month ago by Gerald Davis
My husband loved this book. It is well written and quite thoughtful.Published 1 month ago by Patricia Sullivan
the abuse of power within the ranks have always been a major problem throughout the years! not to mentioned many are trained to do so even before being accepted to the academy. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Sherlock Holmes
Stamper sugar coated far too much regarding racist cops. All he did was scrape the surface . I should have not spent the money on this fake book.Published 5 months ago by Daniel Lamons
This was the same ghoul who arrested hundreds and gassed thousands just to protect Paul Schell's pet WTO meeting in 1999 (which cost the people of Seattle over nine million... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Zachary Steward