Paul Bacon's Bad Cop: New York's Least Likely Police Officer Tells All is a good book. It's a quick read and a nice look inside the NYPD.
My problem is that the hits a little too close to home. Bacon is a self-professed liberal who only stayed in the police department a few years. Errrrr... Sounds like me. But I quit because I wanted something better. Bacon quit because he couldn't hack it. Bacon was, as he readily admits, a bad police officer. And by the end of the book, I was convinced.
That doesn't sound like me. At least I hope not. Even worse, Bacon seems to blame his lack of policing ability on being a (gasp!) Liberal. I couldn't disagree more. I'm generally of the belief that a lot of people could make good police officers. Paul Bacon does not help me make this case.
Bacon's problems didn't come from his political beliefs, it is the fact that deep down he's a slacker. A beach bum. His general mellowness and belief that everybody can just get along if just left alone is not liberal. It's lazy. It turns out Bacon is a good at hanging out on the beach and being a dive-instructor. Perhaps it is those very qualities that made him a bad cop.
All that said, I really liked the book. It's a great read, if a bit "lite" (but a hell of lot deeper than most other lite cop reads). Bacon (and yeah, he already knows that's a funny name for a cop) has a wonderful perspective on the daily life of police officers and some of the absurdities of policing in the NYPD. Plus it's only $10 on Amazon. How can you go wrong?