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Sergeant Adam Plantinga: '400 Things Cops Know' and 'Police Craft'

Sgt. Adam Plantinga Phil(s) in the Blanks

  • San Francisco police Sgt. Adam Plantinga is author of the “400 Things Cops Know: Street-Smart Lessons From A Veteran Patrolman”, a collection of insights into our society and offbeat personal anecdotes taken from his years as a Police Officer.

  • Sgt. Plantinga’s new book “Police Craft”, provides an inside view of the police officer’s job, from handling evidence and conducting interrogations to coping with danger, violence, and death.

  • Adam Plantinga holds a B.A. in English with a second major in Criminology/Law Studies from Marquette University.

  • Plantinga admits to yelling at the TV when Hollywood cops do things that defy common sense like shooting at an oncoming suspect’s car or are utterly unrealistic, like kicking down a door in one try.

  • Once took him twenty-seven tries to kick down a door.

  • “400 Things Cops Know” was rejected by 90 literary agents before being published.

  • The greatest characteristic of an ideal police officer

  • Why people that need you the most, hate you the most

  • When Plantinga was afraid for his life on the job

  • Diversity training in police department

  • Body cams and its use as a tool

  • Deadly force and an empty gun

  • Untrained but justified

  • Taser as a good option

  • Tactics and hazard

  • How to prepare for a gun fight- always in a state of suspicious readiness

  • Domestic violence calls are one of the worst situations to go into

  • Kill Zone – Where not to park your car

  • 90/10 Rule

  • Racial profiling

  • Controversial shootings

  • How can you tell if someone is in a gang?

  • How do you know if you are being cased?

  • What to do if you get lost in a hostile environment

  • The element of surprise

Street-Smart Lessons from a Veteran Patrolman

By Adam Plantinga

400 Things Cops Know shows police work on the inside, from the viewpoint of the regular cop on the beat —  a profession that can range from rewarding to bizarre to terrifying, all within the course of a single eight-hour  shift. Written by veteran police sergeant Adam Plantinga, 400 Things Cops Know brings the reader into life the  way cops experience it — a life of danger, frustration, occasional triumph and plenty of grindingly hard routine  work.

In a laconic, no-nonsense, dryly humorous style, Plantinga tells what he’s learned from 13 years as a patrolman,  from the everyday to the exotic — how to know at a glance when a suspect is carrying a weapon or is going to  attack, how to kick a door down, how to drive in a car chase without recklessly endangering the public, why you  should always carry cigarettes, even if you don’t smoke (offering a smoke is the best way to lure a suicide to  safety) and what to do if you find a severed limb (don’t put it on ice — you need to keep it dry).

400 Things Cops Know deglamorizes police work, showing the physical, psychological and emotional toll of  the job. Plantinga shows what cops experience of death, the legal system, violence, prostitution, drug use, the  social causes and consequences of crime, alcoholism and more.

Sometimes heartbreaking and often hilarious, 400 Things Cops Know is an eye-opening revelation of what life  on the beat is really all about.

What Cops Know About Crime, Community and Violence

by Adam Plantinga

A veteran police officer gives his thoughtful, balanced views on police shootings, racial profiling, community relations, and every other aspect of policing in Police Craft: What Cops Know About Crime, Community and Violence.

Written by Adam Plantinga, the author of the acclaimed400 Things Cops Know, Police Craft is a thought-provoking and revelatory examination of policing in America, as seen by a working police officer.

Plantinga, a police officer for 17 years and a serving sergeant with the San Francisco Police Department, gives an inside view of the police officer’s job, from handling evidence and conducting interrogations to coping with danger, violence, and death.

Police Craft explores a wide range of topics related to police work, from the techniques of policing to the culture of the profession, the sociology of crime and criminals, and the psychological toll on police officers.

Not hesitating to confront controversial issues, Plantinga presents a police officer’s views on police shootings, racial profiling, and relationships between police and the community — and offers reasoned proposals on what the police and the public can do better.

Hard-boiled, humorous, and compassionate, Plantinga wrestles with the complexities and contradictions of a job he loves in which he witnesses so much suffering. Transcending today’s strident pro-cop/anti-cop rhetoric, Police Craft will give every reader a greater respect for the police and greater understanding of the job they do.

Audience: True crime and mystery readers, readers interested in police work, readers interested in current events and public policy related to policing, and active, retired and aspiring police officers.

About the Author: Adam Plantinga has been a police officer for 17 years and is currently a sergeant with the San Francisco Police Department. Plantinga’s first book, 400 Things Cops Know, received rave reviews from star crime writers such as Lee Child, Edward Conlon, and Joseph Wambaugh and was hailed as "the new bible for crime writers" in the Wall Street Journal. Plantinga lives in the Bay Area with his wife and daughters.

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