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Police Craft: What Cops Know About Crime, Community and Violence

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A veteran police officer gives his thoughtful, balanced views on police shootings, racial profiling, community relations, and every other aspect of policing―and he’ll change what you think about the police. From the author of the acclaimed 400 Things Cops Know, Police Craft is a thought-provoking and revelatory examination of policing in America, as seen by a working polic A veteran police officer gives his thoughtful, balanced views on police shootings, racial profiling, community relations, and every other aspect of policing―and he’ll change what you think about the police. From the author of the acclaimed 400 Things Cops Know, Police Craft is a thought-provoking and revelatory examination of policing in America, as seen by a working police officer. Adam Plantinga, a 17-year veteran sergeant with the San Francisco Police Department, gives an inside view of the police officer’s job, from handling evidence and conducting interrogations to coping with danger, violence, and death. Not hesitating to confront controversial issues, Plantinga presents the police officer’s views on police shootings, racial profiling, and relationships between police and the community―and offers reasoned proposals on what the police and the public can do better.


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A veteran police officer gives his thoughtful, balanced views on police shootings, racial profiling, community relations, and every other aspect of policing―and he’ll change what you think about the police. From the author of the acclaimed 400 Things Cops Know, Police Craft is a thought-provoking and revelatory examination of policing in America, as seen by a working polic A veteran police officer gives his thoughtful, balanced views on police shootings, racial profiling, community relations, and every other aspect of policing―and he’ll change what you think about the police. From the author of the acclaimed 400 Things Cops Know, Police Craft is a thought-provoking and revelatory examination of policing in America, as seen by a working police officer. Adam Plantinga, a 17-year veteran sergeant with the San Francisco Police Department, gives an inside view of the police officer’s job, from handling evidence and conducting interrogations to coping with danger, violence, and death. Not hesitating to confront controversial issues, Plantinga presents the police officer’s views on police shootings, racial profiling, and relationships between police and the community―and offers reasoned proposals on what the police and the public can do better.

30 review for Police Craft: What Cops Know About Crime, Community and Violence

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    South Bend, Indiana, home of presidential candidate Mayor Pete, has had a fatal police shooting of a man who allegedly threatened him with a knife. Sadly, the officer did not turn on his body camera. This incident has disrupted racial relations in South Bend and has had national repercussions as a part of the political campaign. Adam Plantinga's book is really worth reading in this context. He is fair but certainly defends his fellow officers--not all, but many. It took me a long time to read thi South Bend, Indiana, home of presidential candidate Mayor Pete, has had a fatal police shooting of a man who allegedly threatened him with a knife. Sadly, the officer did not turn on his body camera. This incident has disrupted racial relations in South Bend and has had national repercussions as a part of the political campaign. Adam Plantinga's book is really worth reading in this context. He is fair but certainly defends his fellow officers--not all, but many. It took me a long time to read this book. One chapter at a time is disturbing enough to read. In fact, I left the chapter on Predators to read later--and then still left it mostly unread. The chapter on Interrogations was disturbing to me. One of my GED students was tricked into a confession of rape and murder, spent 17 years in prison in Chicago and was later cleared by DNA evidence. I can't see lies of any sort to provoke confessions. That said, I am not a policeman and found Officer Plantinga's perspective really worth reading.

  2. 4 out of 5

    akhivae

    I've recently become interested in understanding poverty in North America (Canada/USA) and as part of that I'm looking to read books that are written by people with 'on the ground experience' and those from with diverse backgrounds (not just journalists and academics). Going in my opinion of the police My fear going into this was this would be an overtly political police apologetic, so I'm happy to confirm it is not. He's quite upfront about police shortcomings from serious issues like racism and I've recently become interested in understanding poverty in North America (Canada/USA) and as part of that I'm looking to read books that are written by people with 'on the ground experience' and those from with diverse backgrounds (not just journalists and academics). Going in my opinion of the police My fear going into this was this would be an overtly political police apologetic, so I'm happy to confirm it is not. He's quite upfront about police shortcomings from serious issues like racism and police brutality to more minor ones like police stealing stuff from other police. In fact the author expresses a dislike of how politicized policing has become. Elements of the left have become hostile to the very existence of the police while elements of right now view even the most good faith critiques of police practices or incidents as a call for anarchy. Plantinga is also upfront at recognizing the issues facing policing regarding racism, including a recent 2017 incident in his on San Francisco police department where anti-Black messages and jokes were exchanged by officers. Plantinga's book offers an expansive view of policing as a career that helps provide context in an era where the focus is often on specific incidents and ideological stances are baked into the discussion. Though he discusses everything from the police academy to work-life balance to race relations I was most interested in his observations on the policing in low-income urban neighborhoods. It is here the he explains the harsh and unfortunate reality of just how pervasive crime, drugs, poverty, unemployment etc. are in these neighborhoods. In many cases even good policing is futile because every killed put away is replaced by a new one. He is theoretically in favor of socio-economic interventions but cynical about most existing ones because they don't exist. He is in favour of community outreach but also admits in reality it can be almost impossible in neighborhoods where people hold support rallies for child-rapists because they killed police officers in a shoot out. The officer himself once moved into a low-income neighborhood in a desire to live where he worked but found the area so chaotic that he left in less than a year. Some of this is discussed in more detail in a book by an African-American academic called 'Code of the Street'. In it the author discusses the culture of the worst inner cities and the reality that led to it. Another book I connect this with is 'The WEIRDest People in the World' by an evolutionary biologist who explains that the human mind is designed to be modulated by culture. So the psychology of a Papuan tribesman and an American college student can be vastly different for totally non-genetic reasons. This has implications because many fields like psychology, economics, development studies are based on the idea that everyone thinks like a middle class educated Western male which is simply untrue. How does this relate to the ghetto? Well consider that children who grow up in impoverished situations develop a more impulsive psychology that continues even if the impoverishment ends. Or that men in honor based cultures show a stronger hormonal response to insults then men who don't. Okay now I'm rambling.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Evan

    As a lefty brown person, most of the time I come upon cop related reading, it's news that warns me to avoid and distrust the police. They kill us for no reason and get off scot free! This book was a great peek at the other side, into the every day lives of the police. Plantinga lays out his tale in a fun and informative style that really made me appreciate the difficulty and danger and responsibility of cop life, while also giving me some good chuckles and inspiring me to be a better person to t As a lefty brown person, most of the time I come upon cop related reading, it's news that warns me to avoid and distrust the police. They kill us for no reason and get off scot free! This book was a great peek at the other side, into the every day lives of the police. Plantinga lays out his tale in a fun and informative style that really made me appreciate the difficulty and danger and responsibility of cop life, while also giving me some good chuckles and inspiring me to be a better person to those around me. I have a great newfound appreciation for the police, and SFPD specifically, for all they do out here in the hood to make life safer for us all. You go, bro.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Vinnie Hansen

    I seldom keep books anymore, but as a crime writer, I'm putting Police Craft on my bookshelf beside Plantinga's first book, 400 Things Cops Know. Both are invaluable reference books. But they are also eminently readable. When I bought Police Craft, I didn't have a chance to start it for two weeks because my husband, who read the first book, snaked it away from me. For two weeks, I listened to him read aloud passages and murmur, "This guy can really write." So obviously, people who don't write cr I seldom keep books anymore, but as a crime writer, I'm putting Police Craft on my bookshelf beside Plantinga's first book, 400 Things Cops Know. Both are invaluable reference books. But they are also eminently readable. When I bought Police Craft, I didn't have a chance to start it for two weeks because my husband, who read the first book, snaked it away from me. For two weeks, I listened to him read aloud passages and murmur, "This guy can really write." So obviously, people who don't write crime fiction can enjoy the book as well.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Karen Wenzel

    I loved this book. It’s a great reminder of all the services that our police perform on a daily basis. As the wife of a retired police chief, I can say without question that the author’s accounts and attitudes are spot on. This should be a must read for any city council member considering the insane idea to defund the police.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Charlie

    Loved the book! Really interesting and intricate view into a world most people don’t see. The writing was excellent, entertaining and it was a breezy read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Vince Cooper

    Before anyone goes off to demand police be defunded; please read this book. I’m not saying it will change your mind, but at least you’ll be more informed.

  8. 4 out of 5

    jennet wheatstonelllsl

  9. 5 out of 5

    P N

  10. 4 out of 5

    Andy

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lars

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alec Peche

  13. 4 out of 5

    Donna Anema

  14. 5 out of 5

    Olof

  15. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

  16. 4 out of 5

    David Anderson

  17. 4 out of 5

    Heather

  18. 4 out of 5

    Keith

  19. 5 out of 5

    Adam

  20. 4 out of 5

    James Hammond

  21. 5 out of 5

    Zachary P.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Josh Kim

  23. 5 out of 5

    Brice

  24. 4 out of 5

    Melinda

  25. 4 out of 5

    Danny

  26. 4 out of 5

    Greg

  27. 5 out of 5

    Julia

  28. 4 out of 5

    LEASA BENNETT

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dan

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mickey

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