Friday, June 12, 2015

Insights about policing from my novel A Sense of Duty

Here are some more insights about police work in the form of excerpts from my 2006 novel, "A Sense of Duty." . 

Bestselling author, W.E.B. Griffin, said this about the novel, " ...a compelling saga of how tough choices affect the lives of the good and the bad and those around them---a fascinating glimpse inside the closed world of law enforcement." 

Now I realize this is self-serving. But my reason for sharing these scenes is to attempt to counter the misinformation about policing that pervades the public discourse. Each of these three excerpts addresses a contemporary controversy. I trust you will find them enlightening:

1-This first talks about what the media and critics fail to realize regarding police - in this scene the novel's protagonist, Phila. police officer Mike Carr, is talking to his friend Tom (emphasis added):

" Tom, listen. Nobody calls the police when things are going fine, " explained Carr. "The only time the cops are called is when there is a problem. Police officers make judgments in a fraction of a second.-a judgment that will have serious consequences. A judgment that will be criticized by people who have the luxury of deliberation." 
2- This next one concerns public perceptions of police. They usually fall into two categories as illustrated here. Carr is talking with a colleague, a veteran police officer (emphasis added): 

"Don' t laugh. The public doesn't understand what goes on. The public either thinks you're a hero or a bum. They put you on a pedestal or they put you in the toilet. There's no happy medium. And your friends and family look at you the same way. " 

3-This last excerpt addresses the idea that shooting to wound rather than to kill is a choice in a deadly force circumstance (again emphasis added).

"Carr unsnapped his holster and took out his revolver. The pistol-range instructor's words echoed in his memory: if you have to shoot, shoot for the torso and empty your revolver."
"The advice makes sense. The belief that one can easily shoot a gun from a person's hand is a myth. The Lone Ranger Syndrome, Carr called it.  "
It is my fervent desire that by sharing these excerpts - and perhaps more in the future- you will be more empathetic to policing. The current reportage and punditry about law enforcement - much of which is driven by ideology rather than informed thought - is deplorable. The sciolism is rampant.

I welcome your comments. 


Michael P. Tremoglie


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