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Book Review: 'NYPD: A City and Its Police'

Posted on

NYPD: A City and Its Police

Current Status:
In Season
James Lardner, Thomas Reppetto
Henry Holt and Company
History, Nonfiction

We gave it a B-

James Lardner and Thomas Reppetto’s history of the oft-fictionalized New York Police Department, NYPD: A City and Its Police, is loaded with interesting facts — the force began in the early 19th century with citizens on watch duty; beat cops in 1850s Manhattan might encounter a runaway steer on Broadway or people drowning in sewage — but it skimps on the individuals who made the NYPD what it is today. Covering so much so fast, the authors introduce characters like Sam Battle, the first black NYPD cop; Kitty Barry, the female narcotics investigator; and Johnny ”the Boff” Broderick, the cop whose rough-tough style was immortalized by Edward G. Robinson in the 1936 film Bullets or Ballots. But NYPD never does justice to their exploits. B-