Luckily the author(a civilian writer) was appointed Deputy Commissioner to be a spokesman for Patrik Murphy and the Department during one of it's most turbulent periods - the early 70's. So he had an insider's access to events such as the Knapp commission, Foster and Laurie's assassination, the Joe Columbo killing, the Pierre hotel robbery, the Harlem Mosque murder and the battles with the BLA. Each of these is of course covered in it's own hard to find book, but Target Blue is a well written overview that shows how each effected the other and offers a glimpse of the politics involved. Ideally, you should read this along with Albert Seedmans "Chief" to get a rounder view of events. The Author went on to write "Prince of the City"
If you ever desired to learn about what goes on behind the doors of One Police Plaza in New York, this is the book for you. Author Robert Daley was appointed as a three star Deputy Police Commissioner by Commissioner Patrick V. Murphy in 1968 and from day one it was a ride equal to any roller coaster in any amusement park world wide. Learn first hand about the Knapp Commission corruption scandals of the the 1970's where NYPD police officers made so much illegal money they never had to cash their paychecks! Learn about how the NYPD actually feared and dealt with the Black Liberation Army and how the NYPD finally won this bloody war. Others have tried to chronicle the private world of the upper echelon at One Police Plaza, but so far no one has been able to do it as well as Robert Daley. READ TARGET BLUE for yourself.
What an emotionally charged account of the men in blue and all they stand for. Never should politics override the valour and tenacity of our police officers. Robert Daley is one of the proud representatives of "the forces" and he shows his support throughout this book.
This book is an Indictment of the corruption in the highest levels of the Police Department. It covers so many of the darkest events in NYPD history and continually shows how upper management completely disregarded the concerns for the safety and well being of Police Officers and their families. In fact one of the last events covered in the book explains how the author's complete disdain for the decisions made by his fellow Deputy Commissioners led to his resignation. This specific event truly shows how career minded brass were totally willing to just ignore truth and justice, in the name of what was slowly becoming the PC decisions that were to be the true measure of future P.D. leaders. In fact at least two of the complete sell out Deputy Commissioners in this specific event went on to become NYPD Police Commisioners, leading to the lowest morale levels this Dept. had ever seen.
Had I ever been involved in the training of Police Officers, or ever had a Union position in the PBA I would make this book, and "Signal Zero" by George Kirkham mandatory reading for understanding the political and physical survival of future Police Officers. This book is a heart breaking, frustrating read for true Street Cops, and I can only assume that the truth cuts into the souls of the many great supervisors who had to work every day with these back stabbing leaders. Aside from the author's resignation, two of our greatest high ranking bosses left the job.
I had always believed, despite the blown out of proportion reports of the Knapp Commission (I admit absolute change was needed) that the truth was always that the most corrupt part of the NYPD was the Administration. To me this belief is completely vindicated in this book.
I first read this book in 1973. The NYC of those days was a dangerous place (as so many films such as Death Wish, Serpico, The Warrriors, Dog Day Afternoon, Midnight Cowboy, etc. shows us). Robert Daley's take on those days (he was Deputy Police Commissioner) is spot on and brings back a ton of memories. Patrick Murphy, who was NYC police commissioner under Mayor John Lindsay does not come across well in the book - more like a bloodless technocrat who really was not interested in police work.
I read this book while stationed in Germany 72-73. It was a thorough and well presented description of the effects of the Knapp commission as well as an introduction about more well known stories such as Serpico. I have referenced this book many times these last 40+ years and have not forgotten the opening quote - they were not killed because they were white or black but because they were blue. It is so unfortunate that it is so relevant to today's events.
NYC when corruption and violence was part of the landscape. Cops are victimized, bullying, heroic... To be a cop in NY during that time must have been amazing, good or bad. This book lays all of it out....
I read this many years ago, and just located a copy from Amazon, in digital format. It's amazing that the events captured by the author 30+ years ago are so similar to many of the events and issued that are occurring today.
I first read this book back in the '70's and found it to be excellent. The down to earth real-life experiences that are described in this book are almost a mirror to what we as a society are living with right now. I highly recommend this book along with the book "Chief" by Al Seedman and the book "Commissioner" by Patrick Murphy.