THE TARNISHED BADGE by Ralph Lee Smith

THE TARNISHED BADGE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Ralph Lee Smith, whose previous alarums and excursions have taken him into the territory of health and consumption ills (The Health Hucksters, 1960; The Bargain Hucksters, 1963) now brings word of malfeasance on the force, or police corruption across the country. The area of concern, while technically applicable to all, may be of somewhat less immediacy to the average citizen whose indifference is indeed at the heart of the matter to begin with. Ill-paid and unsung, policemen are often accessible to graft (the estimate here is that 15% are uncorruptible, 15% corrupt, 70% willing to go along with the game). Examples here include police burglary in Denver, a see-nothing, know-nothing attitude toward vice in Buffalo, advancement by association with gambling interests in Syracuse, collusion in Westchester County. The shinier side of the badge shows administrative reforms in Chicago and educative upswing elsewhere. Alert, alerting.

Publisher: Crowell