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Cop Culture: Why Good Cops Go Bad Paperback – February 7, 2014


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Cop Culture: Why Good Cops Go Bad + A Darker Shade of Blue: From Public Servant to Professional Deviant; Policing's Special Operations Culture (Bright Blue Line; Culture of Policing) (Volume 1)
Price for both: $53.85

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 293 pages
  • Publisher: CRC Press (February 7, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1482221047
  • ISBN-13: 978-1482221046
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #889,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Chief of Police Scott Silverii, Ph.D., has spent over two decades in policing—16 years in special operations groups (SOG) conducting undercover narcotics and SWAT missions. He attended the University of Southern Mississippi and then completed his bachelor’s degree from Nicholls State University. He earned a Master of Public Administration and a Ph.D. in Urban Studies (Anthropology) from the University of New Orleans, Louisiana. Research for his doctoral dissertation, "A Darker Shade of Blue: From Public Servant to Professional Deviant," forms the core for this book, and is supplemented by the thousands of miles traveled across country for interviews, observations, and fellowship. He combines these experiences with academic research to bring the most honest, accurate, and compelling details of what life is like behind the thin blue line.

Customer Reviews

There is too much information in some areas and too little in others.
javajunki
If you're interested in the psychology of closed groups, or police specifically, I recommend this book.
Nancy Famolari
I consider this book to be an invaluable addition to my library of criminal justice-themed books.
Sam I Am

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JMM TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 26, 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I think we can all agree that there are good cops and bad cops. But they are all people - and this book does a good job of diverting the good/bad absolutes, instead opting to paint a clear picture of how a generally good person can make bad decisions.

One thing to discuss is right there in the title: "cop culture". Given the hazards of the job, it is not uncommon for police to bond with each other and think of themselves as a tightly-knit unit. One problem that happens here as far as I can see is that after a certain amount of time of the job, some cops begin to see anyone they come across as a potential criminal or "threat". This is not rational at all, but it certainly makes sense once a police officer has been exposed to one or more stressful/traumatic situations.

This happens the other way too. If you are a citizen who does not know an officer, then the police are kind of a mystery to you. People have a bad experience with one police officer, and then make the mistake of thinking that all cops are bad. So one bad cop (or even one bad moment/choice with a normally good cop) can cause people to have a negative reaction to the police force in general. This is not a rational way of thinking on our part, but it permeates our culture nonetheless.

The book also goes through the history of law enforcement. It seems the biggest change in LE in recent years was the effects of 9/11 and the subsequent counterterrorism efforts, which includes an increase in SWAT forces and the increase of military-grade weapons in local police forces. While much of the public did not take kindly to their local police force resembling a military operation, this was probably also very stressful for the police themselves.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Connie G Scammell TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 20, 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a great book for those studying criminal justice, forensics or even law, and wanting a good synopsis of how good people go bad. Scott Silverii explains in detailed but not overly scholarly words what makes a good cop go bad. Think of watching the first season of "Breaking Bad," Being a cop is much like being a new drug dealer. Making that first unethical or illegal act is the hardest, but after that, it becomes easier. You enter that new zone of transition and are forever in that group of cops who have killed in the line of duty. This book is a sociological study of the emotional and ethical side of being a law-enforcement officer, or LEO, a genre of literature that is sadly lacking in today's field. This book is many things, and one thing this also is, is a history of policing and the culture it attracts and creates.

Other professions like sport coaches, priests, prostitutes and the military (according to Silverii) experience the same enculturation as LEOs. All these profession endure the same liminality (degree to how long one transitions from good to bad), occupational socialization and institutionalized specialization. These definitions come up all throughout the book, and many examples are provided. The author uses many other scholarly words to define a condition or a scenario, but this book is easy to read.

But Silverii covers more than just killing bad guys that changes a cop, or "enculturation" as he says. There are Special Operation Groups, or SOGs, which are secret societies or "subcultural fraternities," where violence is the norm. This is where Silverii worked for over 20 years, so he understands how SOGs operate. He uses SOGs as examples all throught this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nancy Famolari TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 30, 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Good cops do go bad. The question is why do young men and women who start with high ideals of community service succumb to temptation and turn into bad cops. The author, Soctt Silverii, spent most of his career in SWAT Teams, special operations groups or SOGs. Other special operations group involve undercover work for drug trafficking and other high risk areas. Silverii brings an insiders knowledge to the study of why good cops go bad.

Silverii's thesis is that the idealistic young cop is assigned to a SOG often because he or she is such a good cop. Then through a series of transitions the cop transfers his allegiance from the general police force to the SOG. Because of the nature of work in the SOG the cop is exposed to temptations and often encouraged to participate in activities he or she knows is wrong, but helps to bond with his group. The group effectively becomes the standard.

Silverii bases his analysis on interviews with cops from across the country. It's fascinating to read what they think about being in a SOG means and how it changes you. He believes that they talked to him, rather than other investigators, because of his background in the SOG.

He also give an extensive overview of police history in the United State. I found it fascinating, and it helped to explain how the police have evolved over time.

If you're interested in the psychology of closed groups, or police specifically, I recommend this book. The writing is scholarly. I believe it is based on his doctoral dissertation, and it reads that way. However, anyone familiar with social science research will not find that a problem.
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More About the Author

Chief of Police Scott Silverii, PhD is passionate about positive change. Over 24 years in policing gives Scott the experience and vision to believe there is always a better way.

His passion flourished while growing up with a close-knit community in south Louisiana's heart of Cajun Country. Scott's life is seasoned by the Mardi Gras, hurricanes, humidity, and crawfish boils. This gumbo of experience serves up a unique perspective in his writing.

But don't let the smile fool you. Chief Silverii spent 16 years working in policing's special operations groups (SOG) with years of undercover narcotics and SWAT missions. He has bought dope, banged down doors and busted bad guys. He combines his experiences with academic research designed to bring you the best and most compelling details of what life is like on the other side of the "thin blue line."

Share his vision at http://scottsilverii.com



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Cop Culture: Why Good Cops Go Bad
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