Book: The Job: True Tales from the Life of a New York City Cop
Author: Steve Osborne
1. What made me want to read this book?
Earlier this year I attended a Police Community Academy at UC Davis during which I learned about what police do in my community, important laws to abide by, and some procedures police operate by. This was an eye-opening experience to me and since attending the community academy, I have wanted to learn more about policing in the United States. My curiosity drew me to books authored by police officers. After all, what better way to gain a better understanding of the officers’ daily lives and challenges and to gain a better appreciation of the world around me?
2. Which passages were the most interesting, disturbing, humorous, or sad?
My favorite passage was on page 14, where Osborne stated that “At any one time there are ten times more drug dealers out on the street than there are cops.” This surprised me because I had never really thought about how many drug dealers were walking around. I had especially never thought about whether or not they outnumbered police officers in my area. This one line taught me to think about things that I had never been concerned about before.
3. What has this book taught me? Has it broadened my perspective on the world or some part of my life?
This book gave me incredible insights into the daily life of a police officer. I felt like I was transported to the scene of the crime, I felt the fear and excitement of gunfire, the frustration of facing an angry mob, and the pain and sadness of telling a parent that a loved one died. Reading this book taught me that police officers are human; they have feelings, emotions, hopes and dreams, just as I do. Osborne has definitely broadened my perspective on what it is like to be a police officer.
4. Has this book changed my opinion about anything or anyone?
The social tension surrounding the topic of policing in the U.S. has divided people into opposing opinions that are either for or against police. Before I read this book, my opinion of police lay somewhere in the middle – somewhere between a sense of hatred and distrust of the police and empathy for and admiration of the brave officers that roam the streets and face the fears that many run away from. After reading this book, my view of the police has shifted more toward admiration and empathy for officers. I still feel that problems exist, but I now have a better understanding of the difficulties that come with policing.
5. What is the writing style like? Engaging, boring, easy to understand?
Osborne writes in a style that is easy-to-read, simple and direct. He doesn’t beat around the bush; rather he says what happened, where, what he did about it and why. I could hear his New York accent as I read, and by the end of the book I felt like we were friends.
The next book I will be reading is Thank You For Your Service by David Finkel.
Feel free to join me in reading and discussing each book!
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