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Uniform Decisions: My Life in the LAPD and the North Hollywood Shootout Paperback – December 27, 2011

4.9 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Caprarelli was born in Los Angeles, California in 1957. Retired from the Los Angeles Police Department after working a cross section of assignments, his involvement in the infamous North Hollywood Bank of America robbery and shootout was the pinnacle of a 27 year police career. Between hobbies, he continues to speak at various venues regarding his career, the 1997 shootout and life lessons learned.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 210 pages
  • Publisher: End of Watch (December 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984916709
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984916702
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #903,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jennie Vasquez on January 10, 2013
Format: Paperback
I asked for and received this book for Christmas. I heard about it from interviews about the anniversary of the shooting during the year and was interested. What the book isn't is an in depth analysis of the North Hollywood shooting. If you want something like that, visit the LAPD Historical Society in Highland Park. You will learn all you will ever want to know and see actual artifacts. Really go visit, the place is awesome.

This instead is a great book about one officer's career highlights and his personal experience during the shootout. I was expecting most of the book to be about the shootout. I was pleasantly surprised as it including the officer's entire career. Compare it to when you run into a retired cop and they start telling stories. The book reads like that and it is fun to read. Very enjoyable as I like personal stories and everyone has a life full of stories to tell. One of my favorite things about the book is that cops often have trouble with relationships. Not this guy. He made every effort to give credit to his wife for always being there for him and for being very supportive. I thought it portrayed an interesting and loving picture of the teamwork needed for a couple to survive when one spouse has a very stressful job. The part of the book that does cover the shootout was interesting especially if you watched and remember the events of that day. As I was reading it, I would visualize what I saw on tv that day and was able to develop a vivid mental picture of what was being described.

I would recommend this book to anyone from people who like police stories to people wanting to become officers. It's not a technical book about police work, it's very easy to read, and entertaining.
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Format: Paperback
This is a great book! Being read from a police officers perspective you really get many more details. Filled with action, family and specific scenarios, I definitely recommend this book to my friends and family.
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Format: Paperback
John Caprarelli has many life experiences to share about growing up in the San Fernando Valley, a suburb of Los Angeles. His book "Uniform Decisions" is not only about the famous botched bank robbery of February, 1997, where two armed assailants were killed and over eleven hundred rounds of ammunition were spent, but it is about his personal life of how to accept and adapt as a husband, father and police officer. The blend of these three aspects can be hard and complicated.

In this one hundred and eighty-seven page biographical story, John takes the reader from his childhood days in private school and marrying his high school sweetheart through the nuances and drills of the police academy and into the every day life of one who "serves and protects." With twenty-seven years in the LAPD, he covers both the banal and fascinating stories while in different law enforcement venues, from the beat on the streets, filling out endless paperwork to dealing with the first dead body or going undercover and snagging a drug dealer. However, the focal point of the book is the robbery itself and its toll on the officers involved. The book not only includes photographs of the famous shoot-out but also of his parents, wife and children.

Towards the end of the book, John blends how he personally dealt with the aftermath of the shooting and health-related issues that altered his lifestyle which led to his retirement. In addition to taking a look at himself and changing areas of his life, he deals with his core beliefs and Christian values from his upbringing. He explains how the LAPD used to handle (or lack thereof) post traumatic stress syndrome.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a great account of an officers worst nightmare. Those of us who sit behind desks or talk on phones at work have no idea the bravery, commitment and dedication that are daily requirements for those who work in law enforcement. The term "Do the right thing" for them means the possibility of losing their lives, and John Caprarelli did the right thing over and over that day. It made my hands sweat and my heart beat faster just reading about the insanity and horror that played out over the long hours of Feb. 28, 1997. It is also a great reminder that police officers are regular people with families and friends, hopes and dreams, and fear - just like the rest of us. They put their fear aside and protect us from psychotics like Phillips and Matasareanu and they deserve our thanks and respect. If you like reading novels by Wambaugh, Patterson and Sandford, do yourself a favor and read the non-fiction version!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Uniform Decisions is a glimpse into the mind, experience and heart of a police officer. Against the backdrop of Hollywood's hyped-up rogue mega-man, it's refreshing to read an honest account of real uniformed life on the streets nearby. Caprarelli is both protector and husband. He's both responder and father. Additionally, his personal account of the North Hollywood bank robbery was appropriately dramatic, portraying a mix of confusion in the chaos, trained response, adrenaline, and then the physical and emotional responses that followed. It was educational, entertaining and endearing. Well done!
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