A perceptive work provides practical and timely suggestions for improving communication after critical incidents such as...


Blue News

A police officer–turned-attorney examines the relationship between law enforcement and the media.

An officer-involved shooting almost guarantees a law enforcement agency will face intense media scrutiny, with today’s 24-hour news cycle only serving to inflame the often fractious relationship between the police and journalists. In this environment, as recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, illustrate, a police department that fails to deal effectively with the media after a shooting may end up with a public relations disaster. “The City of Ferguson Police Department was unprepared for the local, national, and international media attention,” writes LoRusso (When Cops Kill, 2012, etc.). “This was the beginning of a seemingly endless and perfect storm.” In his book, he offers a primer on how law enforcement officials can save themselves from a similar fate, arguing that mutual understanding must replace mutual distrust. “Conflicts between law enforcement and journalists often stem from a lack of understanding,” he observes. “My hope is to broaden the knowledge of both and thereby improve their relationships.” The author has something of a unique perspective, having served as a police officer in Georgia before becoming an attorney. In his practice, he has represented officers accused of misconduct related to shootings. “Although some agencies nail it and get it right every time, most are caught like a deer in the headlights when a critical incident puts them into the spotlight,” he writes. LoRusso’s prescriptions, expressed in clear, lucid prose, are pragmatic and sensible. Among other things, law enforcement agencies need to be proactive—“you cannot allow your agency’s response, or lack thereof, to become the news story”—and never miss an opportunity to educate the public about the work they do and the challenges they face. “Most journalists have no idea why a law enforcement officer would exchange their softball cap or campaign hat for a Kevlar helmet. Show them,” recommends LoRusso, who is also an enthusiastic advocate of police departments having a strong social media presence. The book may have somewhat limited appeal outside the law enforcement and media universes. But with attacks on police officers increasing sharply this year, the author provides a valuable contribution to fostering positive relationships with the media and the public after confrontations.

A perceptive work provides practical and timely suggestions for improving communication after critical incidents such as officer-involved shootings.

Pub Date: Dec. 13, 2016


Page Count: 289

Publisher: BookLogix

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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