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The book The Way of the Warrior: The Philosophy of Law Enforcement by Bernard Schaffer is a teaching biography. It’s an articulate no-nonsense account of one’s journey into the police fraternity and advice on what that can and in Schaffer’s opinion should mean. I want to make clear I have no personal ties to law enforcement, the military, or any profession that might have ever used a gun. However, I have a deep appreciation for an honest story, well told and this is definitely one of those. While James Patrick Cronin was an excellent choice to voice this book, I immediately thought of The Way of the Warrior as the combination of 1) excellent and expert instruction from the bestseller What Every BODY Is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People. I also heard in The Way of the Warrior, 2) the often brutally honest storytelling and vivid descriptions from The Bitter Taste of Dying: A Memoir by Jason Smith, a man working very hard to get away from the law. Expert knowledge and excellent story.
Schaffer doesn’t waste time reminiscing about his childhood but includes enough backstory to give us perspective. With over twenty years of experience and a father with another 30 years, the author is more than expert in what it is to be part of a police organization. If someone were to ask, “can someone explain what is happening with the police recently,” it’s Bernard Schaffer.
While some of the reviews and blurbs mark it as required reading for police training programs, this wisdom reaches much further and to a general audience. Whether someone is starting in any career, it’s important to keep out of politics and to focus on finding the mentors you need while enjoying becoming exceptional in a specialty. The “Warrior” title leads to an easy misconception that being a warrior is about fighting, but this book is about keeping the peace in oneself, in one’s department, and keeping one’s honor to the profession through pride in one’s craft.
The police dramas on television do the profession a disservice because they make it seem like each day is one filled with the excitement that keeps an officer prepared at all times. However, there is often tedium that might make an officer leave their bulletproof vest off their body. The routine might lead to forgoing regular practice for when a situation comes that makes clear the officer has not readied for it. Schaffer provides two excellent examples with the illogic of keeping one’s knife on the same side as the holster and another with actually trying to pull a trigger with bulky gloves. “Adapt. Improvise. Overcome,” he writes.
The book made me remember every instance I met a police officer, good and bad, but I want to share one. In a traffic class I was in for going through a stop sign at least a decade ago, I remember the instructor’s words vividly. “Do you know those people who go through red lights, cut you off without a blinker, and speed through school zones?” “Yes, we said” “Doesn’t that annoy you?” “Yes, absolutely.” “Well, you are those people.” Who knows, maybe Bernard Schaffer was that instructor? Few books get it right like this one did. It’s honest in the writing voice with a depth of know-how that makes it a definite must listen. Don’t be put off by the word “philosophy” in the title, it’s not Plato or Aristotle giving some difficult to understand lecture. It’s a really, really smart guy putting in plain English that sometimes people do dumb things and sometimes officers do as well, but here’s why all that happens. It’s street wisdom for the masses.
About the narrator:
James Patrick Cronin is a veteran narrator who has over 200 books on Audible alone. If I hadn’t known that he was narrating, I would have simply said, “wow, this cop’s got a really good voice, he should do voice work.” While I credit Cronin for his reading, he had a really well-written book to read from.
Audiobook was provided for review by the publisher.
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5 of 6 people found this review helpful
As an author, I bought this book for research purposes, in order to gain a better understanding of the mentality of law enforcement officers. It certainly did not disappoint. Despite having little interest in the subject, I found the anecdotes engaging and never felt like giving up on it--which I will often do if a book does not interest me.
The narration was very pleasant, and fit the book perfectly. It was perhaps the tiniest bit stilted in places, in the sense that you could tell it was being read rather than seamlessly performed, but this was nowhere near distracting enough to be irritating. I really did like the narrator very much. If not for that minor flaw, I would have given the narration five stars.
I received this book for free at my request from the author, publisher or narrator and have voluntarily left this review.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful