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by Peter Moskos

April 20, 2008

Hate mail (2.1)

Here's another. Once again, I can't take criticism too seriously from people who haven't read my book. I haven't yet heard anything bad from anybody who has actually read my book. But I'm sure that will come, too. In the meantime:
While I have not read your book, and don't intend to I have a question for you. How do you become such an expert on Police work and functions. Keeping in mind that you had to work one full year on each shift in your vast 3 year tenure. You only had one years experience on 4X12 shift where most of the action occurs. Day shift is boring and 12X8 shift is usually quiet after 3 AM.
You sure crammed alot in that one year of 4X12 combat.
I spent 25 yrs plus on the BCPD and keep company with police who have experiences in the 30-35 year range, some of them command staff.
They as well as I, do not "consider" ourselves experts, just experienced.
Good luck with the "book" rookie. Keep telling those war stories, someone might buy that bull.
[*** *******] Sgt (ret) BCPD

My reply:
Sgt. [*******],

Why so bitter? Because I only worked 20 months? Or because I wrote a book? I make no apologies for either.

A lot of your questions are answered in the book (I worked midnights, by the way). You really shouldn't be so critical of somebody for writing something you haven't read. It's not a long book.

I never called myself an expert. I don't consider myself an expert in the sense that I know more than anybody else who's worn the uniform. Given my 20-and-out (months, that is), I know less than any retired Baltimore City police officer. I have less experience that 80% of active police officers. I just call 'em like I see 'em.

People are and should be interested in policing. If more experienced police officers could and would write books about the job, there wouldn't be a need for my book. Why don't you write a book? Maybe then police officers would be treated with more respect. What are your ideas about how to improve policing? Now that you're retired, what have you done to make policing better? I've spent the past 7 years writing and working toward this book. I hope my book will improve the working conditions for all police officers, but especially police in the Eastern District.

If you want to judge me, first read my book. Or talk to somebody who has. Or at least talk to somebody who worked with me. They're not hard to track down. Get Cop in the Hood from the library to save that gigantic $1.50 royalty from paying off my meager advance.

Professor Peter Moskos
Dept. of Law and Police Science
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
899 10th Ave, Room 422
New York, NY 10019

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