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Baltimore Police Bookshelf

Books Written by Our Police About Police Work

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Suicide by Cop--Inducing Officers to Shoot:
Practical Direction for Recognition, Resolution and Recovery
Sonny Delmar Dickson

Prepare to face one of law enforcement's worst scenarios an armed subject who wants to be killed. Get a collection of in-depth analyses of real-world tactics that have successfully resolved suicide-by-cop (SbC) situations from leading experts on the subject. Also learn how to avoid the psychological devastation many cops suffer after SbC confrontations and train yourself to recognize early subject behavior that can flag suicidal potential. Plus you'll get essential guidelines for building effective legal defenses after SbC encounters.

 

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A Blue & White Life: Real Life Stories
Policing Baltimore in the '70s and '80s

November 29, 2014

This book is a compilation which describes in great detail some true stories the author and his fellow contributors experienced during their time first as rookies and then as veteran Baltimore Police officers as they advanced through their careers in the Southeast section of Baltimore in the 1970's & 1980's. These are true stories told by the officers who lived them. Some are humorous, some are sad, some are surprising, but all are stark and real. It contains several stories from other Baltimore Police Officer contributors, in addition to the forty-five stories lived through and told by the Author, a thirty-six year veteran of the department who retired as a Major in 2006, after 18 years in the ghettos of Baltimore's Southeastern District. These stories come primarily from the Author's time as a street officer and Sergeant from 1970 until 1989. They've seen it, they've lived it, and now they've told it. These stories are told in gritty detail with a good dose of dry humor and thought-provoking insight into big city policing during a particularly troubled time in our history. Full of harsh realities and aberrant adventures of a group of veteran street officers - you couldn't make this stuff up if you tried.

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Life in Black and White 

Life In Black & White is a collection of humorous incidents encountered over the author's 30 year career in Law Enforcement. This book stands out from the typical "cop" book in that it describes the lighter side of dealing with difficult situations. If you are searching for a book that will make you smile, or even say to yourself, "No, he didn't do that" this is the book for you.

 

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George Parsons Jr
Passing the Baton
 

Passing the Baton tells stories of the author’s experiences with the Baltimore Police Department, beginning with the tradition of passing the nightstick, or baton. Starting with his life as a small boy, and on through high school and a stint in the Navy, George Parsons chronicles what led him to his career with the Police Department. The stories follow his exploits in the many different divisions in which he worked, including patrol districts, K-9, the Marine Unit, the Emergency Vehicle Unit and the Arson Unit. Some of the stories are serious, some are humorous, but all show what it is really like working the streets of a big city. Can be found on Amazon

 

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Still Seeking Justice
Joel Gordon

The real life story of former Baltimore City and Crofton, Maryland Police Officer and Kingwood, West Virginia Chief of Police Joel E. Gordon... From his childhood prayers to his teenage observations of police operations, through an entire law enforcement career filled with both triumphs and injustices... Still Seeking Justice is a riveting first hand account of police experiences and affirmative action mandates. Author Joel E. Gordon - Still Seeking Justice is Joel's big debut as a writer. What began as an idea dating back into the 1980's has blossomed into an entire chronicle of a career in law enforcement. Joel is soon to be working on a new work entitled BYPASS about his experiences as a heart patient. Also in the works, a novel, 3 Girl's and a Mirror.
 

Cop in the Hood
Cop in the Hood
My Year Policing Baltimore's Eastern District

When Harvard-trained sociologist Peter Moskos left the classroom to become a cop in Baltimore's Eastern District, he was thrust deep into police culture and the ways of the street--the nerve-rattling patrols, the thriving drug corners, and a world of poverty and violence that outsiders never see. In Cop in the Hood, Moskos reveals the truths he learned on the midnight shift.

Through Moskos's eyes, we see police academy graduates unprepared for the realities of the street, success measured by number of arrests, and the ultimate failure of the war on drugs. In addition to telling an explosive insider's story of what it is really like to be a police officer, he makes a passionate argument for drug legalization as the only realistic way to end drug violence--and let cops once again protect and serve. In a new afterword, Moskos describes the many benefits of foot patrol--or, as he calls it, "policing green."

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Some Gave All
A History of Baltimore Police Officers Killed in the Line of Duty
1808-2007

Robert Brown

From Baltimore's earliest days as mobtown to current drug and gang violence, this memorial volume, written by two veteran officers presents brief biographies of the 124 men and women of the Baltimore Police Department who lost their lives serving their city, with emphasis on the circumstances surrounding the death of each.

 

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You Can't Stop Murder
Stephen Tabeling

A murderous vigilante group named Black October guns down drug dealers - and a prominent politician. A psychopath stalks the corridors of city hall en route to a near deadly rendezvous with the mayor. A crazed sniper picks off half a dozen city police officers from the third window of an east Baltimore row home. Violent crimes in one of the country's most violent cities, and at the center of it all a single cop: former Baltimore city homicide Lieutenant Stephen Tabeling. What he learned policing during the chaotic decades of 1960s and 70s are truisms about human nature, our propensity for violence, and what we can and cannot do to stop it. Wisdom he is now sharing as a literary epitaph to over six decades in law enforcement by recounting chilling tales of real cases that rocked the city of Baltimore to its core, and changed one man's life forever. Tabeling is joined by award-winning investigative reporter Stephen Janis who has covered crime and corruption in Baltimore city for both print and television. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed book Why Do We Kill?: The Pathology of Murder In Baltimore

 

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Why Do WE KILL
The Pathology of Murder in Baltimore
Detective Kelvin Sewell

Former Baltimore City homicide Detective Kelvin Sewell has seen it all. Gang members burned alive; a baby unceremoniously stuffed into the ground by its own mother; a sex offender who killed a child in a delusional jealous rage. The constant grind of bearing witness to violent death has given Sewell an unprecedented perspective into the minds of killers. He sat in the Baltimore Police Department’s interview room with 14-year-old Devon Richardson as the teen tried to explain why he shot a woman he didn’t know in the back of the head. He watched the father of 17-year-old Nicole Edmonds cry over the corpse of his dead daughter, murdered for a cellphone. But now for the first time Sewell has decided to share the insights and the pain, the dehumanizing effects of crime and waves of psychic despair and social dysfunction in his groundbreaking book, Why Do We Kill?  “I think people deserve to know the truth,” said Sewell, a 20-year veteran of Baltimore City’s police department. “They need to get a sense of why people kill in Baltimore. “I want people to see what we see as detectives,” he explained. “I think there are misconceptions about crime in Baltimore, and I hope this book will clear them up.”  The book recounts some of the most notorious homicide cases in Baltimore in the past decade, all told from the perspective of the cop who worked them. Joining forces with Sewell is award-winning investigative reporter Stephen Janis, who covered City Hall for the now-defunct Baltimore Examiner and is founder of the award-winning news website Investigative Voice.  “What makes this book different is the collaborative voice,” said Janis. “Kelvin would discuss his thoughts on the cases and I then tried to tell the story by adding the context that comes naturally with being a reporter.” Janis’s colleague at Investigative Voice, reporter and political scientist Alan Z. Forman, served as editor for the project. Janis is no stranger to the Baltimore crime scene, winning a string of prestigious awards for his crime reporting, including two consecutive Maryland-Delaware-DC Press Association awards in Category A for his series on the murders of sex workers and his investigation into the high number of unsolved killings in Baltimore.

 

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Homicide
A Year in the Killing Streets
David Simon
(not police but
riad with Police for a year to write this book)

From the creator of HBO's The Wire, the classic book about homicide investigation that became the basis for the hit television show
The scene is Baltimore. Twice every three days another citizen is shot, stabbed, or bludgeoned to death. At the center of this hurricane of crime is the city's homicide unit, a small brotherhood of hard men who fight for whatever justice is possible in a deadly world.
David Simon was the first reporter ever to gain unlimited access to a homicide unit, and this electrifying book tells the true story of a year on the violent streets of an American city. The narrative follows Donald Worden, a veteran investigator; Harry Edgerton, a black detective in a mostly white unit; and Tom Pellegrini, an earnest rookie who takes on the year's most difficult case, the brutal rape and murder of an eleven-year-old girl. Originally published fifteen years ago, Homicide became the basis for the acclaimed television show of the same name. This new edition--which includes a new introduction, an afterword, and photographs--revives this classic, riveting tale about the men who work on the dark side of the American experience.

 

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Justice My Ass
Fred Kelly Grant 

Justice My Ass! is a collection of trial experiences that provide insight into the criminal justice process. The stars on the "good side" are police officers, lawyers, and judges of varying degrees of ability and ethics; on the "dark side" are the evil and merely unfortunate offenders they pursue. Then, there are the colorful characters in between. The "good side" players struggle to do what is just, but often end up simply doing their jobs the best they can. Under severe stress, they find comic relief even in the worst possible situations. The criminal justice system in America is dysfunctional.  That became crystal clear during the chaos of the Baltimore riots that followed the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  On April 4, 1968, Dr. King was shot down as he stood on the balcony outside his room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. Although not a how-to manual, Justice My Ass! provides proven trial techniques that will help lawyers, young and old, improve their courtroom presence and avoid the dangers of over-zealous tactics.

 

cop stories
Cop Stories
The Few, The Proud, The Ugly
Dick Ellwood

Television dramas, reality shows, and police procedural mystery novels may try to replicate the truth of a cop's life, but sometimes the real story is stranger and more entertaining. In more than thirty engaging anecdotes, Cop Stories gives a no-holds-barred inside look at the experiences of Dick Ellwood, police officer for the Baltimore Police Department from 1965 through his retirement in 1990. He vividly depicts the teeming street life of one of the most dangerous cities in the nation. From walking a beat in his boyhood neighborhood and his adrenaline-fueled work in vice to his ascent to detective and eventually supervisor in the homicide unit, Ellwood doesn't miss a chance to get down and dirty with the gritty details you won't find on primetime TV. In addition to investigating murders, arresting prostitutes, and fighting corruption, Ellwood had his lighter moments. He arrested his childhood hero, Mickey Mantle, for public drunkenness, and was propositioned in a gay night club. He also participated in history by working the race riots of 1968 and learned more than he wanted to know about arson. Spanning the turbulent times of the sixties through the decadence of the eighties, Cop Stories reveals what it truly means to protect, serve, and live the life of a tough, dedicated cop.

 

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Black October

and
The Murder of State
  Delegate Turk Scott  

In 1973, the movie, “Magnum Force,” came out. It was a huge hit with the public. It featured Clint Eastwood as the iconic San Francisco cop, “Dirty Harry.” The flick’s theme dealt with “vigilante justice.” It involved a group of renegade traffic police who had decided on their own, using extra legal methods, to take out society’s bad guys. This included, of course–drug kingpins. To say the least, even the indomitable “Dirty Harry,” had his hands full trying to bring a secret “death squad” of cops to justice. Closer to home, on July 13, 1973, James “Turk” Scott, an African-American, was shot to death inside a garage used by residents of his hi-rise apartment, k/a “Sutton Place.” It’s located in the swanky Bolton Hill area of the Baltimore City.

 

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Please contact Det. Ret. Kenny Driscoll if you have any pictures of you or your family members and wish them remembered here on this tribute site to Honor the fine men and women who have served with Honor and Distinction at the Baltimore Police Department.

Anyone with information, photographs, memorabilia, or other "Baltimore City Police" items can contact Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist, like us on Facebook or mail pics to us at 8138 Dundalk Ave. Baltimore Md. 21222 

Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History - Ret Det Kenny Driscoll

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#1 patty 2015-05-16 05:29
If you have pictures, Comments, Suggestions etc. please send them to me at the email address above, as you can see Ken and I have put much of our time and money into this project, so we don't mind errors pointed out to us, just as Ken's partner used to say, "Keep it Friendly!" send Ken or me and email.. thanks - Patty
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