Cop in the Hood: My Year Policing Baltimore's Eastern District
When Harvard-trained sociologist Peter Moskos left the classroom to become a cop in Baltimore's Eastern District, he was thrust deep into police culture and the ways of the street--the nerve-rattling patrols, the thriving drug corners, and a world of poverty and violence that outsiders never see. In Cop in the Hood, Moskos reveals the truths he learned on the midnight shift.
Through Moskos's eyes, we see police academy graduates unprepared for the realities of the street, success measured by number of arrests, and the ultimate failure of the war on drugs. In addition to telling an explosive insider's story of what it is really like to be a police officer, he makes a passionate argument for drug legalization as the only realistic way to end drug violence--and let cops once again protect and serve. In a new afterword, Moskos describes the many benefits of foot patrol--or, as he calls it, "policing green."
way of dealing with this liquor problem, and that is by absolute prohibition, the Divine way of dealing with moral evils. —Prohibitionist Rev. J.A.B. Wilson, 18955 The desire to protect those perceived as unable or unwilling to resist temptation spans an oddly disjointed segment of the American political spectrum. Social “progressives” use science and logic to impose their beliefs. Elected New York City Council members voted to ban public smoking, hydrogenated fats, aluminum baseball bats,
Legalization would reduce the number of people we need to imprison. The third goal, related to the second, is simply financial. While prohibition prevents us from knowing the size of the illegal drug market, one government study estimates a retail market of sixty-six billion dollars.7 We could save additional billions simply by not funding the drug war: twenty billion at the federal level and more at the state and local levels.8 At a cost of $22,000 per prisoner per year, drug offenders—and this
Maanen’s (1972) Questionnaire B; questions on general police issues came from a survey I previously administered to Dutch police in 1998. At t = 2 and t = 3, a supplement on racial attitudes was added to the survey. While the first two stages of the questionnaire occurred in the closed environment of the police academy, the final stage (t = 3) necessitated tracking down individual subjects at their respective work districts. While many subjects expressed a strong aversion to completing
there were 60,000 “unique individuals” (Greg Warren, director of substance-abuse treatment services for the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, quoted in Ron Cassie’s March 22, 2006, Baltimore City Paper, “High and Inside”). If the city ratio held true for the Eastern District, it would mean that 30 percent of residents get arrested each year. Almost certainly, given the large number of arrests for minor charges in the Eastern District, the percentage of individuals
Michigan Law Review 101, 3 (December). Gurr, Ted R. 1989. “On the History of Violent Crime in Europe and America.” In Violence in America: The History of Crime, edited by Ted R. Gurr, 1–17. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications. Harcourt, Bernard E. 2001. The Illusion of Order: The False Promise of Broken Windows Policing. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. . 2007. Against Prediction: Profiling, Policing, and Punishing in an Actuarial Age. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.