At a time when television and movies are full of police stories, a father and son have come forward to present a personal, real-life look at the lives of police officers. Far more than any Cops episode can do in thirty minutes, Jim and Jay Padar’s new book On Being a Cop takes us into the heart of a family of cops, showcasing not only the work these brave men (and women) do daily on the streets of Chicago, but also the relationships police officers have with their families and co-workers.
We expect action, drama, grisly murders, and high-speed chases from a cop book, but we may not expect the stories of officers struggling with their personal lives, the hardships that work brings to their families, interrupted Christmases, and missed birthdays. parties, the need not to think about their own children while investigating a child murder, or what it’s like to lose a fellow officer in the line of duty or commit suicide. Walking a fine line between the sensational and the sentimental, Being a Cop offers a balanced look at all aspects of the career and life of a police officer.
Author Jim Padar had a long career as a police officer beginning in the 1960s. He writes about incidents such as the riots in Chicago following the assassination of Martin Luther King, as well as numerous homicide investigations in which he was involved, and his relationships. with your partners and co-workers. His son Jay shares her own stories of funny and dangerous incidents, including emails to family and friends and his responses. In fact, the book began as a series of emails exchanged between father and son in which they began to tell their stories of working on the streets of Chicago, and over time those stories were compiled into this book.
A wide range of stories fills this book, from a shooting on a commuter train to bodies found in barrels at a restaurant, and from rescuing people and parakeets from burning buildings to investigations ranging from Chicago to New York to Puerto Rico. . In fact, there is so much variety between these stories that the interest and pace never falters. As Jay writes at the beginning of his story, “7 am?”: “Senators, naked gays, schizophrenic bums and a Polish sausage. How do you tie it all together in one short story? It’s easy…for a cop.” And with the exception of a couple of longer two-part stories, most of the stories are short and can be read individually and in any order.
It’s hard for me to decide if I have a favorite story in this book. It could be the story of Uncle Rocco, a petty criminal who happens to be related to the authors, or it could be the story of how Jim found his second wife with a little help from Jay, when he was only four years old. . . I loved police humor, banter between officers to keep the stress and horror of their jobs at bay, and I loved when I was so caught up in the story that I had to keep reading to see how an investigation would turn out and who would be revealed as the killer. true criminal. But perhaps more than anything, I loved it when a member of the public would take the time to tell an officer to be careful or just say, “Thank you.”
While there is a lot of sadness about the tragedies these men have witnessed, there is also a lot of humor, and a big part of their hearts and souls is revealed as they talk about their feelings for their families, their fellow officers, and why. they continue to do work for which they often receive little thanks or appreciation. On Being a Cop makes you realize that cops are human beings; that they have chosen a dangerous but rewarding job, and that they deserve respect, understanding and, above all, admiration for the work they do every day.