I am a big fan of police officers and 400 Things Cops Know only made my admiration for them grow. Written by police officer Adam Plantinga, it’s like a little advice book for those who are new to law enforcement. Divided into chapters like “12 things Cops Know About Domestic Violence” or “16 things Cops Know About Hookers and Johns,” the book is by turns funny and also very sad. Some of Plantinga’s advice can apply to anyone who works with the public (“if the public screams at you, don’t scream back. Because if they piss you off, they own you.”) but some of it is only applicable to their job. Plantinga reminds his fellow officers that the media decides which story they want to report, not you. So yes, you and your colleagues might be doing very good work and might have a thousand feel good stories that could be told but the media will most likely choose to report the story that puts law enforcement in a bad light. Teachers probably feel the same way. He also says it’s best to take steps in your personal life so that you don’t feel like the world is just evil. Hang around normal people who aren’t in law enforcement sometimes. Keep your home clean and organized. That way when all you see is horrible situations and constant bad decisions and filthy houses, you will be able to stay sane by having something different going on in your life (Plantinga says 90% of the people out there are good, 10% are bad but 90% of the time police officers are dealing with the 10%). I shuddered when he talked about going into houses so filthy roaches rain down on you from the ceiling. Places with multiple dogs inside who haven’t been outside in years so there is feces everywhere, suspects they deal with who have head lice…I was getting itchy just reading it! Plantinga also debunks a lot of things you see officers doing in the movies or on TV. Short and sweet. Thank you for the job you do police officers!

Stacy W.