- Paperback: 260 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; Original edition (March 31, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 159691159X
- ISBN-13: 978-1596911598
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 25 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,687,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Bad Cop: New York's Least Likely Police Officer Tells All Paperback – March 17, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
For almost four years after the 2001 World Trade Center tragedy, freelance writer Bacon chronicles his quest in this humorous book to do his best as a New York City cop, yet the arduous task of law enforcement was much more than he imagined. Self-described as a hip, overeducated liberal, the author had worked at home for five years for an online company before joining the NYPD force, but the collective experience of the police academy and being a Harlem beat cop eventually wears him down emotionally. Everything gnaws at his resolve, including the grueling cycle of drug collars, the rousting of crooks and a crush on a disinterested Latina police officer. When Bacon later unravels during a security detail in a manic Jerry Lewis–style comic scene, he writes: I was no good as a bad cop and not bad enough to be a good cop. I'm lucky I made it out alive. Bacon, now a scuba instructor on Maui, provides readers with a madcap yarn of handcuffs, broken hearts and the thin blue line. (Apr.)
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This memoir by a man who should never have strapped on a police holster has a wonderful narrative arc, spanning Bacon’s pre-NYPD series of menial jobs, a police career that lasted from 2001 to the 2004 Republican National Convention and that left him confused and exhausted, and a neat resolution as a life-saving scuba instructor in Maui. The events of September 11 (Bacon witnessed the collapse of the South Tower) propelled him from a desk job to policing in the worst part of Harlem. Feelings of civic pride and duty led Bacon to the streets, but what resulted was a series of humiliations and misadventures that he renders in excruciatingly comic detail. Part of the comedy and truth of this memoir is the way it counters expectations: the hero never does catch on with or win over either cops or perps, or he never becomes good at his job. A vivid and insightful saga of the wrong man in the wrong job at the wrong time. --Connie Fletcher
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This book is a cautionary tale, albiet an enjoying and often howlingly funny one. It's not a slam on the NYPD nor about a crooked cop on the take. Paul Bacon wasn't a "bad cop", he did have some arrests that did take some criminals and drugs off the streets and he did recieve some awards.... it's just the fact that his nature and his job clashed many times and he eventually got burned out after 3 years on the job. He got in way over his head. Even so, it's a funny and enjoyable take on one person's career choice.
I normally read books on police officers, particulary NYPD officers as I'm taking the first steps to becoming one of New York's finest. I've read James Wagner's excellent but brutal portrail of life in the dangerous 9th precinct in the East Village circa the '70s. Also I'm currently reading the excellent Bravehearts, this book about officers that are the polar opposite of Paul Bacon.... the people who I hope to follow in their shoes eventually. I read 'Bad Cop' so I could see "The Job" from a differing viewpoint, one that wasn't entirelly positive, but again wasn't a slam from a bitter ex-employee. The author wasn't meant to be a police officer and he lets you know it. Even so, while I enjoyed this book and even if you have no interest in becoming an officer of the law, it's still a good read. If you're like me and do want to become a cop, then you really should read this book, becoming a police officer, especially for the NYPD is not a decesion you make on a lark, it takes dedication and sacrifice to do it.... so definately pick this one up to make sure this is what you want!