How does it feel to be in a high-speed car chase? What is it like to shoot someone? What do cops really think about the citizens they serve? Nearly everyone has wondered what it's like to be a police officer, but no civilian really understands what happens on the job.
400 Things Cops Know shows police work on the inside, from the viewpoint of the regular cop on the beat - a profession that can range from rewarding to bizarre to terrifying, all within the course of an eight-hour shift. Written by veteran police sergeant Adam Plantinga, 400 Things Cops Know brings the listener into life the way cops experience it - a life of danger, frustration, occasional triumph, and plenty of grindingly hard routine work. In a laconic, no-nonsense, dryly humorous style, Plantinga tells what he's learned from 13 years as a patrolman, from the everyday to the exotic - how to know at a glance when a suspect is carrying a weapon or is going to attack, how to kick a door down, how to drive in a car chase without recklessly endangering the public, why you should always carry cigarettes, even if you don't smoke (offering a smoke is the best way to lure a suicide to safety), and what to do if you find a severed limb (don't put it on ice - you need to keep it dry.)
400 Things Cops Know deglamorizes police work, showing the gritty, stressful, sometimes disgusting reality of life on patrol, from the possibility of infection - criminals don't always practice good hygiene - to the physical, psychological, and emotional toll of police work. Plantinga shows what cops experience of death, the legal system, violence, prostitution, drug use, the social causes and consequences of crime, alcoholism, and more. Sometimes heartbreaking and often hilarious, 400 Things Cops Know is an eye-opening revelation of what life on the beat is really all about.
©2014 Adam Plantinga (P)2015 Audible Studios
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"Well Done. Misinformation present but minimal."
Sgt. Platinga put together a very refreshing, entertaining, "mostly accurate", accessible reality check for citizens. This isn't a book on how to beat the police. Sgt. Platinga does a great job of mixing in just the right amount of "misinformation" to protect a few necessary secrets and a few tricks of the trade. I will only give up one sample; Police cars are far from "mere Detroit steel with transmissions that fall out". Disclaimer: the quality, maintenance and dependability will depend on what ghetto you work in. However, even in the ghetto you're getting "hand me down" no smog, "enhanced" pieces of junk, which beat the local junk. *** It's a Great listen, listen to it a few times, you'll come away with a much better understanding of your local LEO and the nonsense they deal with, delivered in a very straightforward approach with a perfect dash of humor. It's not an easy job (I have it on good authority). Well done Adam!
It made me smile. : )
Bad Cop, No Doughnut!
"Between Good and Evil is Where I Walk"
I am one of those people that spend my Saturday mornings in my old blue bathrobe and a pair of scuffed slippers, cup of coffee in my hand, catching up on my important reading. No, not 'The New York Times' and 'The Harvard Business Review' - I listen to those during the week on Audible on my long commute. I mean 'The Onion' and 'Duffel Blog'; and, of course and almost obsessively, the lists of Cracked dot com. I blame Audible for the latter - I'd never heard of Cracked dot com until "You Might Be a Zombie and Other Bad News" (2014).
Adam Plantinga's "400 Things Cops Know: Street Smart Lessons from a Veteran Patrolman" (2014) fits right into my weekend reading. It's part sociology; part practical advice; and part philosophy, woven together with humor and pathos. Chapters include, "19 Things Cops Know About Working with the Public," with helpful advice for a cop not to yell back at the public because that means the public owns the cop. "17 Things Cops Know About Juveniles," is funny and sad, like Plantinga's observation that some parents seem to want medals for not giving their children up for adoption. Plantinga's seen tattooed 5th graders and armed grade schoolers. He describes frisking an eight year old burglary suspect as "frisking a frog." He muses on whether or not kids can form criminal intent, and whether arresting them is the right thing - and admits he doesn't know the answer. He hopes someone does.
Plantinga's dry wit and unperturbable style reminds me of Pulitzer Prize winner Edna Buchanan's nonfiction book "The Corpse Had a Familiar Face: Covering Miami, America's Hottest Beat" (1987). Plantinga and Buchanan love law enforcement with a refreshing lack of true cynicism. I reread Buchanan's book so many times the paperback cover came off in my hands. I'm glad my electronic copy of "400 Things Cops Know" won't wear out - well, because I've already listened to some parts again. If I actually write a book someday and if there's a cop in it, I want her to be believable. Writers like Joseph Wambaugh ("The Onion Field" (1973), etc.) and Lee Child ("Killing Floor" (1997), the Jack Reacher series) swear by the book.
This Audible Studios edition wasn't so great. Mark Boyett is a good performer, but this needed a proofreader, or, more aptly, a proof listen. There were places where text was repeated, and a few times the wrong word was read - like the word "deaf" for "dead." That's an editor issue, though, not a writer or performer problem.
The title of the review is a quote from the book - and Plantinga is quoting a partner.
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"Thank you, Adam Plantinga!"
My dad volunteered with the police for around 20 years and did what he could to help the officers and detectives. A lot of this info is practical, some amusing but all of it is offered as a way to help those that the LEOs serve.
The good LEOs are there to protect, defend and comfort because that's who they are. Sometimes people see a uniform and it somehow removes the humanity and individuality of the wearer and makes them a blank canvas for the viewer's ideology. People need to see that human beings wash and put on that uniform so that they can take on more responsibility for the care of their designated areas. There are people who use the uniform for their own gains, but there are always people seeking positions of responsibility in order to gain power over people. We just have to remember that the uniform has power and commands respect because so many who have worn it before (and now) deserve it.
The narrator missed a couple of words but effectively conveyed the tone and intent of the text. Someone should have caught the errors. They weren't subtle: preSENT arms and conducive not conductive.
This was worth buying outright. It has a lot of valuable insights.
One quick tip I learned from a friend: Vicks Vaporub under the nose helps with strong odors.
"A combination of interesting, funny, and tragic"
Speaking as a civilian, I found the bite-sized snippets of information to be thoroughly entertaining. The author caused a range of responses alternating between laughter and forlorn and thoughtful silence and everything in between at different points in his writings. Great for a road trip ;-)
"Educational and Entertaining"
I work in the medical field, many years in ERs, doing ride alongs with cops and perimedic, working in jail and prison. What the author writes about rings true....way too true. There's a lot of "necessary" cussing, in case you are very sensitive to that. The book is well written and perfectly performed, educational in its content, and even entertaining. I highly recommend it.
"Enlightening and entertaining"
99% of this book is interesting and entertaining. The only exceptions to this are the gritty and seamy examples of the dark side of life that cops are constantly exposed to. When not discussing the despairing side of life, the author shares many enlightening insights and made me laugh often. Having never been a policeman, I especially enjoyed how cops protect themselves by "reading" situations and people.
Excellent narration. The only obvious mistake I noticed was his pronunciation of "Present Arms" during a funeral. It shouldn't be pronounced like a "Christmas Present", but rather the first syllable is stressed, as when you are "Presented" an award.
"Narrator should have been a cop"
All very true
The Choir Boys
Narrator should have been a cop. Cops talk in a monotone serious voice, even when telling a funny story. This comes from talking on the radio and the way they talk to each other. This narrators voice was like that of a citizen, lilting with lots of inflections...didn't sound like a cop. The book would have been better if the narrator sounded real. Comment from a 32 year retired 911 dispatcher.
"100% accurate and true!"
This is a true and accurate book about police work. It's funny!
The truthful accounts of what it's like to be a Police Officer.
He told it like it is. He told it the way it is written by the street Officer. He didn't appear to get in the way of the story.
No, It was over a week or so.
This author deserves recognition for a story well written. In a time when Law Enforcement seems to be publicized only for it's perceived wrong doings. This book brings forth the true heroics of everyday patrol officers in this country. You wonder how anyone person could do this job without ever making a mistake or getting emotional.
"Fascinating and Engaging"
I'm listening to it the second time, back to back. It is so interesting and absorbing! A really fascinating book!
It's a unique book. I don't know another one like it.
Mark Boyett reads the material intelligently. Well done!
There were several sections that fascinated me—especially those on shootings, chases, domestic disputes and drug busts.
I've already recommended this to several people. If you like to listen to police procedure novels, try this out. I feel sure you would love it!
Written by a career law enforcement officer, it would seem, primarily for new rookies, this book will give civilians a short glimpse into what it's like to be a street cop. I highly recommend it.
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