blog book review : “400 things cops know” by adam plantinger

In his new book, ” 400 Things Cops Know, Street Smart Lessons from a Veteran Patrolman”,Quill Driver Books, Copyright 2014, San Francisco Police Sergeant Adam Plantinger gives us the inside story on what experienced cops know to do while patrolling the mean streets of America’s cities. Plantinger writes with humor, compassion, and most of all experience about subjects which the rest of us only think we know because of TV shows or cable news shows. For example, cops do NOT say ‘drop your weapon’ to armed suspects, as is common practice on TV. As Plantinger explains in his chapter, What Cops know about Shots Fired, ” this guy has a gun, he’s ten feet away and you’ve got no cover, shoot him. If you feel so strongly about saying ‘drop the gun’ say it to the guy after you’ve fired”

A self-described “preacher’s kid” ( listen to my interview on the Radio show “Justice for All”) Plantinger obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and after college took a job as a cop to gain material for a potential writing career. But he grew to love the job, and after 14 years on the job in Milwaukee and in San Francisco,this book is his first effort. I hope for some great fiction from this talented writer!

As a college boy among experienced older cops, Plantinger admits having to prove he could hang with his fellow cops, and this book explains in detail the necessity of cops being fearless and ready to fight if required to do so.”It’s ok to be scared” says Plantinger, “but it is not okay to look scared” And cops are “champion gripers… it’s always something. Your coffee is too hot, you’re subpoenaed to court on your day off, they forgot to put mushrooms on your steak burger…only  worry about a cop when he stops complaining”.

Anyone reading this book will laugh out loud, and come away with a renewed respect for the job that is done every day by our men in blue. Every assignment has potential danger, and these men and women have families to come home to just like the rest of us. Police make mistakes. Sometimes it costs their lives too. In the wake of the national attention over police killings, this book is a welcome positive note. The good things cops do and know is not always reported. Plaintinger has done a service letting us know what they know.