THE POLICE-DAMNED IF THEY DO, DAMNED IF THEY DON'T by Herbert T. Klein

THE POLICE-DAMNED IF THEY DO, DAMNED IF THEY DON'T

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Step up to the friendly city policeman and dollars to donnybrooks, he will, if asked, provide evidence of an intimate acquaintance with the content of the major melancholies presented in this hearty-to-angry polemic. In chapters introduced by bristling comments on offensive directives and laws, Lieutenant Klein of the New York City Police (now retired) supports his case, drawing on, mainly, his own extensive experience. ""Stop and Frisk"" laws; wire-tapping; efficacy of evidence; the ""arresting officer"" proviso, etc. all come under scrutiny. ""Skillful interrogation"" is necessary; in fact any tool which will aid the police is admissible (with a brief ""Bill of Rights"" nod). The good lieutenant takes a traditional hard-boiled line toward ghettos (hard work, boot-strap living is the answer) and juvenile delinquency (a bash with a nightstick does no harm). In a sentimental passage, he yearns for green fields and a loving father for the slum kids, but provides no real solution. Although sure to be quoted chapter and verse by those for whom ""Crime in the Streets"" is a euphemism for variants of angry backlash, this baldly enraged broadside should be read with an unprejudiced eye, for between the worry lines can be found the dilemma of men who are neither the saints nor sinners partisans and detractors would have them be. An authentic outburst: too bad that Klein's (often justified no doubt) ""collars"" reveal some red in the neck.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1968
Publisher: Crown