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by Peter Moskos

March 5, 2008

An "adrenaline-accelerating night ride"!

Another good review. From Publishers Weekly, a trade magazine:

Cop in the Hood: My Year Policing Baltimore's Eastern District
Peter Moskos. Princeton Univ., $24.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-691-12655-5

A Harvard-trained sociologist, Moskos set out to do a one-year study of police behavior. Challenged by Baltimore's acting police commissioner “to become a cop for real,” he accepted. During his six months in the police academy and 14 months on the street, he “happily worked midnights, generally the least desirable shift” in one of the city's least desirable precincts: the Eastern District (where HBO's The Wire is filmed). Moskos frankly records his experiences with poverty, violence, drugs and despair in the gritty ghetto. During “field training,” he first encountered “drug dealers, families broken apart, urban blight, rats, and trash-filled alleys. Inside homes, things are often worse.” Moskos's overview of policing problems covers everything from arrest quotas, corrupt cops and excess paperwork to the reliance on patrolling in cars, responding to a barrage of 911 calls, rather than patrolling on foot to prevent crimes. Moskos blends narrative and analysis, adding an authoritative tone to this adrenaline-accelerating night ride that reveals the stark realities of law enforcement while illuminating little-known aspects of police procedures.

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