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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mentality of Undercover Police, 27 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Crossing the Line: Losing Your Mind as an Undercover Cop (Paperback)
The book does very well in highlighting the mentality of police/security forces; every event is significant, you are always morally superior, every hunch is accurate, and you are always in mortal danger. I once knew someone who had joined the police cadets - his views and demeanor used to keep us entertained for hours as teenagers - thoroughly hilarious - but it does have a serious dimension, when you consider that the very same mentality and tactics are used against peaceful protesters.

An ability to imagine the worst in every situation is a peculiar trait, because the worst never actually happened to this officer and it was never very likely to happen, because even though the undercover officer was living out his Hollywood fantasies chasing crack whores round Soho, the reality was that most people, even junkies, are very aware of the consequences of assaults on law enforcement.

The mythology of the undercover operative, of his importance and the romanticism associated with the role is given as a primary motivation for this career path. The cultivation of a perspective of the target as the enemy is at the heart of the state's organs of violence. No matter what outward civility law enforcement may portray, if you are a target or even a suspect, you are an enemy.

The book ends with the author feeling very sorry for himself for not having received the emotional support he needed. Feeling sorry for oneself seems to be another consistent theme in former undercover officers. I'll be delivering a box of "Snatch" DVD's to Scotland Yard soon, if the film scares them, perhaps they could all go have a breakdown, start crying and feeling sorry for each other.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 4 Dec 2013 16:49:06 GMT
CPlowman says:
As the author, i found this to be one of my favourite reviews. Excellent observations about the psyche, not only of an undercover cop, but cops in 'specialist' and glamorous roles in gereral.
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