Bad Cop: New Yorks Least Likely Police Officer Tells All

Bad Cop: New Yorks Least Likely Police Officer Tells All

by Paul Bacon
     
 

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In 2001, Paul Bacon was a typical young guy in New York: overeducated, liberal, hip, a little aimless. But when 9/11 came, he was galvanized into action. Feeling that he had to do something to help his fellow man, he raced to Ground Zero, where he stood around for several days before finally realizing that he had no skills that were of any use in a crisis. So he

Overview

In 2001, Paul Bacon was a typical young guy in New York: overeducated, liberal, hip, a little aimless. But when 9/11 came, he was galvanized into action. Feeling that he had to do something to help his fellow man, he raced to Ground Zero, where he stood around for several days before finally realizing that he had no skills that were of any use in a crisis. So he applied to the fire department-and was summarily rejected; he was too old, they said, and he couldnt do any pull-ups. So he decided to take what was available to him: He joined the NYPD.


Bad Cop is Bacons hilarious and thoughtful memoir of his three years among New Yorks Finest. Beginning with his tenure in the police academy (where hes mostly interested in pursuing the lovely cadet Clarabel - until he finds a surprising new love in the form of his service .357), it follows him through a reluctant apprenticeship and out onto the streets, where the sensitive former graphic designer is transformed into a rough-and-tumble Harlem beat cop. Brimming with great set pieces and amazing characters, this is both a love letter and a send-up of the squad that keeps New York safe - sometimes.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

For almost four years after the 2001 World Trade Center tragedy, freelance writer Bacon chronicles his quest in this humorous book to do his best as a New York City cop, yet the arduous task of law enforcement was much more than he imagined. Self-described as "a hip, overeducated liberal," the author had worked at home for five years for an online company before joining the NYPD force, but the collective experience of the police academy and being a Harlem beat cop eventually wears him down emotionally. Everything gnaws at his resolve, including the grueling cycle of drug collars, the rousting of crooks and a crush on a disinterested Latina police officer. When Bacon later unravels during a security detail in a manic Jerry Lewis-style comic scene, he writes: "I was no good as a bad cop and not bad enough to be a good cop. I'm lucky I made it out alive." Bacon, now a scuba instructor on Maui, provides readers with a madcap yarn of handcuffs, broken hearts and the thin blue line. (Apr.)

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Kirkus Reviews
Ever wonder what would happen if George Costanza joined the NYPD?Wonder no more. Freelance journalist Bacon, one of the millions of New Yorkers shaken to the core by the attacks of 9/11, decided to join the police force. He wanted to do his part to help both the city and society as a whole-despite the fact that he smoked weed, hated guns and had zero background in law enforcement. Off he went to the police academy, where he was tormented, teased and molded into some semblance of a police officer. Then Bacon took to the streets, where he and his partner dealt with bumbling criminals and cranky coworkers, all while gathering enough material to write a book. His debut is an episodic outing, a risky choice given that the nonlinear approach has doomed many a memoir, especially from first-time authors. But Bacon proves especially adept at set pieces, moving from scene to scene with such energy, confidence and good humor that the lack of a strong narrative arc never becomes a problem. Getting pepper-sprayed by his partner, conducting his first full-body search and his encounter with a child who insists that Bacon is Cap'n Crunch are among the notably funny sketches, and virtually every paragraph contains a joke or humorous observation-some gentle, some self-deprecating, some macabre, many profane. Readable, original and memorable.
New York Post
Paul Bacon joined the New York City Police Department after 9/ll because he wanted to help people. But as he discovers, the NYPD is no place for dreamers. Although a washout as a police officer, he sure can write. His memoir Bad Cop is a gambol through the innards of what many refer to as The Greatest Police Department in the World. In grotesque and hilarious detail, he depicts the gritty, frightening and thankless world of a New York City police officer.
New York Observer
Anyone who has ever considered becoming a New York City police officer would be well served by Paul Bacon's Bad Cop... Mr. Bacon's title is not to convey that he was a bad cop à la Harvey Keitel in "Bad Lieutenant," but rather to make it clear from the get-go that he was just kind of a crappy policeman. Of course, Mr. Bacon wasn't really all that terrible—his sympathy toward the minor offenders of Harlem, where he patrolled, is actually quite endearing—but he did make some pretty hilarious mistakes during his three-year tour.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781608191956
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
07/01/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
343,172
File size:
809 KB

Meet the Author

Paul Bacon is a writer and cartoonist whose work has appeared in Cosmopolitan, The Dictionary of American History (Scribner), Inside.com, McSweeneys, Mother Jones, Salon, San Francisco Examiner, and Wired. He has appeared on This American Life and on The Moth Mainstage. He lives in Hawaii, where he works as a scuba diving and CPR instructor (when hes not writing).
Paul Bacon is a writer and cartoonist whose work has appeared in Cosmopolitan, The Dictionary of American History (Scribner), Inside.com, McSweeneys, Mother Jones, Salon, San Francisco Examiner, and Wired. He has appeared on This American Life and on The Moth Mainstage. He lives in Hawaii, where he works as a scuba diving and CPR instructor (when hes not writing).

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