Monday, May 2, 2011

Book #11: On The Job: Behind the Stars of the Chicago Police Department by Daniel P. Smith

Daniel P. Smith is a journalist who comes from a family of cops. He understands the mentality of a cop and has done an enormous amount of research, part of which comes simply from being around cops his entire life. I attended a training session Mr. Smith gave regarding the perceptions police have of the public and vice versa. It was a valuable training session and I was engaged throughout the entire session. It was during this training that I received a copy of "On the Job" and was lucky enough to have it personally autographed by Mr. Smith.

Unfortunately, I didn't find the book nearly as engaging as the training session. I wish more of Mr. Smith's personality would have come through in his writing, but it did not.

The book focuses on individuals in the Chicago Police Department and how the job influenced their lives. There are some fascinating stories about officers in different divisions and in different stages of their careers; from the street cop to the former Deputy Superintendent; and from the rookie to the retired cop. I'm sure this would have been much more interesting if I was from the Chicago area. Since I am not, I had trouble really getting into the book. It was also very dry reading, without much to draw me in. Not to mention, there were some glaring editorial mistakes that distracted me.

If you are from the Chicago area or have a personal tie to the Chicago Police Department, this might be a good book to read. For me, it was just okay. I feel that I got a brief overview of how the CPD works, but it wasn't much more for me than that.

On a positive note: if you ever get the chance to see Daniel P. Smith give a presentation in person, by all means, attend!

I received a copy of this book at no charge from the author. This in no way influenced my review of the book.

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