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Paul Clinton

Paul Clinton

As the POLICE Web editor, Paul Clinton contributes posts about patrol cars, motorcycles, and other police vehicles. He previously wrote about automotive electronics as managing editor of Mobile Electronics. Prior to that, he was an award-winning newspaper reporter.



William Harvey

William Harvey

William "Bill" Harvey is currently serving as chief of police in south central Pennsylvania. He retired from the Savannah (Ga.) Police Department where he worked assignments in training, patrol, and CID. Harvey has more than 25 years of experience working with recruits, rookies, and FTOs.
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BOOK REVIEW, If I Knew Then: Life Lessons From Cops on the Street

Learn life lessons from cops who spent their careers on the street.

June 24, 2010  |  by William Harvey - Also by this author

With "If I Knew Then: Life Lessons From Cops on the Street," Brian Willis has assembled a collection of 37 essays from 30 of the top law enforcement writers.

However, this book differs from similar collective works in the sheer passion of the writers. For once, they are allowed to write from their inner warrior's soul. Several times, you will sense certain energy from the contributors that you do not normally sense in this genre of writing. Truthfully, this is some of their finest work; they are not bound by the usual topic matter but what means most to them in their life's journey as a warrior.

Because I am fortunate to know most of the writers personally, I hear their voices in the passages, they are giving their very souls to you, and they are passing on their knowledge.

The questions they are answering are: if you could tell a life lesson to one person, what would it be? Or what would you like to have known that you have learned through the years of street experience? For a novice cop, these are the golden nuggets of police wisdom from the real masters. It is a must read for recruits, no question—buy it, read it and apply. Matter of fact, if you know a young man or woman in the military awaiting deployment, this book is great gift to give them a perspective from other warriors.

This work is a must for every trainer and field training officer; it will shore up your beliefs and strengthen your presentations. Most trainers and FTOs have these insights, but now you have validation for your insights. This is your one book for the year that you must add to your library and incorporate into your work. Chiefs and sheriffs, give this to your command staff, because it will remind them of the importance of the young officer on the street who is doing the real work.

There are two essays that I found striking and these two are worth the price of the book. Dan Marcou's "Staying Positive is a Discipline" attacks one of the biggest maladies of law enforcement—cynicism. All of us in this vocation know how easy it is become jaded, cynical or just plain angry with the world. This can have an adverse effect on a career and a life. The author here gave insights about finding his warrior's path and staying positive.

The second notable one is "Things I Wish I'd Known" by Rocky Warren. These two should be required on the academy reading list. Rocky brings the insights of a U.S. Army Military Policeman and decorated civilian cop to this piece. The essay covers several points but the building of a reputation is great advice to a rookie or FTO. This essay should be a mandatory read for all academy students; it offers perspective about being a peace warrior.

All are brilliantly penned works within the covers. This is a book where writers such as Kevin Davis, Jeff Chudwin, Ron Borsch, Tim Dees and George Demetriou pour out their insights for you. Find one that strikes you or the training needs of the day.

Willis edits and publishes the collection, drawing on 25 years of experience in law enforcement as a member of the Calgary Police Service.

A portion of the proceeds from every website sale of Warrior Spirit Books is donated to the training foundation of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA).

Tags: Books for Cops, ILEETA, Leadership, Officer Psychology


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