NYC’s “Least Likely” Cop Tells Inside Tales


Paul Bacon, who describes himself as a progressive from Colorado who had protested against police, served for 35 months as a New York City police officer between 2002 and 20o5 and wrote a book about it, says the New York Times. “Bad Cop: New York’s Least Likely Police Officer Tells All,” sometimes casts a critical eye on his former colleagues and their practices. His duality gives him depth, he told the Times. “Somebody who's been on both sides of the fence, I think, that's the person you want to listen to,” said Bacon, 40, who has traded his gun belt for a surfboard, his New York City apartment for a Hawaii home.

Ticket writing is a kind of “subplot that pushes the story along,” he said. He refers to a police captain (whom he calls a composite character) who made it clear he wanted officers to issue more summonses for things like traffic violations and quality-of-life offenses. “So I'll just let you know that the crime that was happening on your tour has been shifting to the midnight tour, and anyone that doesn't want to shift with it better bring up their numbers,” he says. Writing about the controversial police practice of stopping people on the street to question and sometimes frisk them, and about the pressure on officers to “bring in a slew” of paperwork each night to prove that they were actually stopping people, he says, “The standard of proof required for this kind of stop was reasonable suspicion, a very low bar floating somewhere between probable cause and 'he just looked like a perp' – and tending toward the latter.”

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