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The Crime Fighter: How You Can Make Your Community Crime Free
by Jack Maple
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0767905547, Paperback)Jack Maple was a former NYPD transit cop who found himself appointed deputy commissioner in 1993. Upon assuming his new office, the erstwhile Don Quixote of urban crime led a charge to reform the way cops go about their everyday business--namely, busting the bad guys. Amazingly, Maple succeeded, and New York's crime rate--previously spiraling out of control--took a 39 percent tumble within two years of his ascension to policymaker, with murders alone falling an astounding 50 percent.
The Crime Fighter is the story of a regular beat cop with big ideas, and Maple's fast-paced, two-fisted tone helps punctuate an often madcap assortment of recollections. Maple's an unusual character to say the least, a somewhat rotund dandy who sports a bow tie and derby in public and nurtures a reputation as a gourmand. He takes the lion's share of credit for NYC's reduction in crime, but almost in an offhand, good-sportish way, rather than incessantly beating his own drum. He'd rather tell tales about the time he chewed out the chief ("I'll be damned if I'm going to start looking over my shoulder because of a guy down here wearing Ricky Nelson suits") or the time he played up his hemorrhoid problems to goad a prisoner into making a confession. Once he gets past his active days on the beat, Maple settles down into a steady rhythm, systematically laying out the obstacles he faced in trying to get his department to fight crime in an orderly, sensible manner, and then explaining the process whereby he went right ahead and did it. (The COMSTAT system he devised for storing and tracking crime information is now standard operating procedure in many police departments across the country.) The Crime Fighter never gets bogged down in its own grandeur--on the contrary, parts of Maple's look back read like good Elmore Leonard-type crime fiction, and several passages are so beautifully absurd that it takes a supreme effort of will to remember that, yes, a cop really wrote that. --Tjames Madison
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:37 -0400)
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