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Rosa Brooks is a law professor at Georgetown University and founder of Georgetown’s Innovative Policing Program. From 2016 to 2020, she served as a reserve police officer with the Washington, DC, Metropolitan Police Department. This is a fascinating glimpse of what modern policing (and training) is like from the point of view of a liberal feminist

“Brooks has an anthropologist’s ear for the language of policing, jumping from the reports full of passive-voice bureaucratese to the darkly humorous, profanity-laden shoptalk. She zips from hilarious descriptions . . . to bone-dry observations. . . . [Brooks’s] style recalls the work of immersion journalists like George Plimpton, Ted Conover and Barbara Ehrenreich—who happens to be Brooks’s mother. Brooks makes this part of the story, nesting in a book on policing a beautifully written mini-memoir about growing up the daughter of a famous activist and writer, who disdains the police but also values a certain toughness.” —New York Times Book Review

“Delivers a nuanced and revealing chronicle of her experiences training to be a reserve police officer in Washington, D.C. . . . [Brooks] vividly sketches her patrol partners and the D.C. residents they encounter, and highlights problems caused by mass incarceration, racial discrimination, and lawmakers turning ‘trivial forms of misbehavior’ into jailable offenses. . . . This immersive, illuminating, and timely account takes a meaningful step toward bridging the gap between what American society asks of police and what they’re trained to deliver.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

 “A thoughtful book that offers abundant material to rile up—and edify—Blue Lives Matter and Defund the Police advocates alike.” Kirkus

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