A brisk survey of police training, the nature of municipal (not state or federal) police work, and the often rocky relationship between police and the public. Using information from both printed sources and their own interviews, the authors explore the changing role of our local police; the reasons why these workers are so often seen as brutish or ineffective; the constraints placed upon police by the Constitution and by various legal decisions, and recent efforts to narrow the ""chasm"" of hostility that separates police and civilians. Dolan and Scariano make a special effort to be fair and to examine issues from every point of view. The increasing number of women and minorities entering law enforcement is noted--a pair of photos contrasting a class of trainees in 1969 and another in 1987 is particularly telling--as is the heavy prejudice against them, both in the departments and in the community at large. An important book for readers thinking of law enforcement as a career, best read with Friedman's Police! A Precinct at Work, which is more specific about police officers' duties.