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Bad Cop: New York's Least Likely Police Officer Tells All
     

Bad Cop: New York's Least Likely Police Officer Tells All

by Paul Bacon
 

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A funny and revealing memoir of one man's journey into and out of the New York City police department.

In 2001, Paul Bacon was a typical young New Y orker: hip, liberal, overeducated, a little aimless. But then 9/11 happened. Hearing a call to duty—and lacking any better employment options—he joined the NYPD, with the

Overview

A funny and revealing memoir of one man's journey into and out of the New York City police department.

In 2001, Paul Bacon was a typical young New Y orker: hip, liberal, overeducated, a little aimless. But then 9/11 happened. Hearing a call to duty—and lacking any better employment options—he joined the NYPD, with the earnest hope of making his hometown a safer place. Silly him.

In Bad Cop, Paul recounts his ill-conceived experiment in public service, focusing on his own professional handicaps: his glass jaw, his overly trusting nature, and his fear of confrontation. The book begins with his police academy training, when he falls in love with the beautiful cadet Clarabel (and develops an unhealthy attraction to his sidearm). T he story follows him through an awkward apprenticeship and out onto the streets, where the touchy-feely Paul is transformed into the rough-and-tumble Officer Bacon. Through amazing accounts of his escapades on the Harlem beat, his memoir emerges as both a celebration and a send-up of the legendary force that protects New Y ork—most of the time.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“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 Post

“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.” —New York Observer

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.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781596911598
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
03/31/2009
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
8.26(w) x 5.46(h) x 0.73(d)

Meet the Author

Paul Bacon is a writer and cartoonist whose work has appeared in Cosmopolitan, The Dictionary of American History (Scribner), I nside .com, McSweeney's, 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— when he's not writing—he works as a scuba diving and CPR instructor.

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