10 Best Books For Cops Update 05/2022

I’m a big fan of reading. The short mental break these books give me is why I love a good spy novel or some action-adventure pulp fiction so much!

I also love reading non-fiction books about law enforcement, and I think it’s important to do so in order to be more successful at my job, which is why I read them. I’ve been a civilian in the law enforcement world for more than a decade now, and I’ve learned that, in addition to talking to cops, going on ridealongs, and going to police training, there is a lot of value in reading a wide range of law enforcement books and training materials. Those are some of my favorite things. In most cases, I’ve read these books many times and use many of them as desk references when I write about the police, prepare to interview officers, or do other job-related things. You might think about your own favorite books, manuals, and other things after looking at this list. It doesn’t even come close to covering everything I own, but it might make you want to revisit one or more of them. We’re going to the library.

“Blood Lessons” by Chuck Remsberg

Take the advice of a good friend before you start your new job as a police writer: Do this for a few months. He said, “Read everything you can find written by Chuck Remsberg.” Like you, Chuck wasn’t a cop, but like you, he knows police work just like the most experienced officer.

Starting with Remsberg’s Street Survival, The Tactical Edge and Tactics for Criminal Patrol was a no-brainer for me, so I did that first. Then, I read “Blood Lessons,” which is written by Remsberg and tells the stories of police officers who have been in dangerous situations. It had a huge impact on me when Chuck told me about these stories. I started out as a police story chronicler when I read them. It’s a great book, and Chuck Remsberg is a great author. I agree with my friend: He has written a lot, but you should read everything he’s ever written.

“Use of Force Investigations” by Kevin Davis

This is one of the books I should buy a second copy of. I’ve opened it so many times that the binding is breaking. It’s not a legal guide, because Davis is not a lawyer. But it gives good advice on how to teach use of force so that officers make the right decisions on the street, how policy can be made so that officers can do their jobs safely and with a clear understanding of what is and isn’t permissible use of force, and how UOF investigations can be done fairly for everyone.

Davis has some good ideas that should be thought about by any police officer, internal affairs investigator, police leader, or elected official.

“Building a Better Gunfighter” by Dick Fairburn

This book has some great ideas for how to stay alive in a gunfight. Fairburn talks first about how important it is to improve an officer’s marksmanship, mechanics, and mindset in order to win an armed fight.

Before looking at individual and team tactics, Fairburn talks about the aftermath of a shooting and how to deal with it. He also talks about the physical, mental, and legal things that might happen after a shooting. In the years since I read this book, I’ve used Fairburn’s ideas in my own self-defense training, and it has made me more prepared for an event that, thanks to God, hasn’t happened yet. That’s not the point. I know I’m ready.

“In Context” by Nick Selby, Ben Singleton, and Ed Flosi

Following the shooting of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014, the subject of police shooting “unarmed” people became news every night. However, “unarmed” doesn’t mean “not dangerous,” and a grand jury found that Officer Wilson did not break the law when he shot and killed the man.

In this book, three people look at more than 150 cases in which police officers shot someone who was “unarmed.” An honest and objective look at events based on mostly public information. The authors found that in some cases, the officers who pulled the trigger were right, and in others, they were not. Authors said that in other cases, they didn’t know enough about the subject to make an opinion.

“The War on Cops” by Heather Mac Donald

Heather Mac Donald looked at raw crime data in the United States after the uproar over the officer-involved shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson. She looked at the rise in violent crimes in certain places and compared that data to the rise in anti-police sentiment (and the resultant fall in proactive policing by officers in those locations).

Mac Donald’s book is full of research that is based on facts. Based on the facts, she thinks that when the police are under attack in a way that is verbal, political, and physical, the citizens pay the price in higher crime rates.

“Anatomy of Interrogation Themes” by Lou Senese

How to get a suspect to admit to committing a crime is an art form that has been perfected over time by a lot of great cops. One of the most popular ways to interview or interrogate people is the Reid Technique, which has been used for more than 50 years.

Lou Senese, a Reid Technique expert, has written a book about how law enforcement can use “themes” in interviews and interrogations to get people to confess to crimes like arson, domestic violence, identity theft, kidnapping, rape, robbery, stalking, terrorism, and more. Some of the techniques in these pages have helped me understand what happens when I’m not there with my son. (#forthewin)

“Law Dogs: Great Cops in American History” by Dan Marcou

This book came about by accident when Marcou and I worked together on a project a few years ago when I worked for a different law enforcement magazine. Dan came up with the idea of writing about police heroes from American history on a few occasions. To be honest, I knew that he was the best person for the job. He would do the research to make sure the stories of cops like Bass Reeves, Doc Holliday, Frank Serpico, and others were true.

This book is a lot of fun to read and a lot of fun to learn about some of the real legends of law enforcement. It’s great that Dan Marcou is good at writing and that he does a lot for the people who worked in this field before you.

“If I Knew Then”—a compilation of essays edited by Brian Willis

Some of the best and brightest people in law enforcement have written about their experiences. This book is called an anthology. People like Jeff Chudwin and Ron Borsch are well-known police writers. They wrote about their experiences. Brian Willis, who works as a Deputy Executive Director for an organization called the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), collected their work.

The topics are as different as the people who write them. They talk about how to find a mentor and how to be a mentor. There are “lessons learned” from seemingly ordinary events in life, as well as thoughts on how to deal with very stressful events in your mind. It’s possible to flip this book open to any page at random, spend ten minutes reading, and come away with something that will be very useful.

“Left of Bang” by Patrick Van Horne and Jason A. Riley

Probably more than half a dozen times, I’ve bought this book. I keep giving it away and needing to buy a new one for my bookshelf. When I talk about personal safety with anyone who comes over to my house for dinner, I always talk about the principles in this book. I then grab my copy of the book and give it to the person. Van Horne and Riley look at how Marines learn how to spot trouble before it happens at the Combat Hunter Course. This is an important skill that can help people avoid bad things from happening.

Imagine a timeline of events in which “bang” is a major event. Before the event, things happen to the left and right of the bang. Staying “left of the bang” means that you are always making sure that bad things don’t happen. To be safe, this book talks a lot about what to look for, such as baselines and anomalies, atmospherics, kinesics, geography, icons, and so on. It’s a very in-depth look at how to keep people and groups safe, for both police and people who live there.

“The Gift of Fear” by Gavin De Becker

In many ways, “Left of Bang” is a precursor to this book. It also teaches readers how to avoid dangerous situations. He tells people to listen for that “little voice” inside them that tells them that something bad is going to happen.

He talks about how people can get better at spotting signs of an impending attack in order to avoid them. In this book, De Becker talks about real-life things. Some of them turned out very bad for the person who was the victim, but there were also some where the person who was going to be the victim “listened to their gut instinct” and was able to survive the event. Each case study has a suspenseful ending that makes the chapters read like a book. De Becker then gives lessons that can be learned in every situation.

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