One Cop's Story of Patrolling America's Most Dangerous City
John R. Baker & Stephen J. Rivele
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9 square miles. 10,000 criminals. 130 cops. A riveting memoir by Baker, California's most-decorated police officer
Compton: the most violent and crime-ridden city in America. What had been a semi-rural suburb of Los Angeles in the 1950s became a battleground for the Black Panthers and Malcolm X Foundation, the home of the Crips and Bloods and the first Hispanic gangs, and the cradle of gangster rap. At the center of it, trying to maintain order was the Compton Police Department, never more than 130-strong, and facing an army of criminals that numbered over 10,000. At any given time, fully one-tenth of Compton's population was in prison, yet this tidal wave of crime was held back by the thinnest line of the law--the Compton Police.
John R. Baker was raised in Compton, eventually becoming the city's most decorated officer involved in some of its most notorious, horrifying and scandalous criminal cases. Baker's account of Compton from 1950 to 2001 is one of the most powerful and compelling cop memoirs ever written--an intensely human account of sacrifice and public service, and the price the men and women of the Compton Police Department paid to preserve their city.
Publishers Weekly Review
© Publishers Weekly
This is a good read in that it offers detailed history about the city of Compton as well as some insight of what is was like for a cop during the 60s 70s and 80s in the doomed city that is Compton. Some of the stories are quite graphic and well described, while the dialogue between characters is somewhat plain and cliche. I did feel an understanding for the main character but not a real connection. It would have been nice if there were a few photographs of officer Baker and some of the locations in the city that were fixtures in the book. Overall I'm happy with making the purchase and feel like I learned something.
Outstanding Book !! Those who know the City of Compton can truly relate , it's a special city full of heartbreak & hope . Mr Baker has a lifetime of memories & accomplishments as I endure my time in this Grand city & embark making my own memories ... Reading this book makes me more humble & eager to continue what was already done setting the bar extremely high .