COP TALK: True Detective Stories from the NYPD by E.W. Count

COP TALK: True Detective Stories from the NYPD

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Uncensored oral accounts of detectives from the various units and precincts of the New York City Police Department that reveal the wide range of personalities who serve ""the world's most diversified menu of victims."" Journalist/novelist Count's (The Hundred Percent Squad, 1990) collection of NYPD ""war stories"" are bracketed by her often banal and intermittently helpful commentary. When introducing detectives Bob Snyder and Ann Martucciello, she notes that they're ""both on the chunky side"" and that ""they look comfortable together, like Mom 'n' Pop detectives."" Juxtaposed to that is the officers' description of horrendous acts of child abuse and incest, in particular the well-known 1989 ""House of Horrors"" case of a Bronx man who tortured and had sex with several of his nine children. An account of the detective bureau's one-man Criminal Assessment and Profiling Unit (Det. 2nd Grade Raymond Pierce) opens tritely: ""Suppose you catch a violent crime and you've got no witnesses, no notion at all whodunit."" Yet the account is an interesting look at the FBI-trained Pierce, who alone serves the entire city in creating psychological profiles of criminals based on nothing other than the nature of the crimes committed. Count allows the police officers to speak freely, if occasionally inarticulately, and she sometimes fails to make clear the context of a case, i.e., the who, where, and when of it all. There is plenty here, though, about cops' daily reality: Count interviews them on working undercover, tailing mobsters, locking up John Gotti, preparing and taking a case to trial, and she gets some insightful commentary from members of the NYPD intelligence unit, the Terrorist Task Force, and the Special Operations Division. Too much unnecessary rambling from Count and some of her interviewees. Still, might please hard-core cop buffs.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1994
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Pocket