AmericanHeroesRadio

As the editor of Police-Writers.com and a retired police officer turned author I have occasion to read a lot of books written by police officers .  Through the website I was contacted by former New South Wales (Australia) Police Officer Esther McKay ; and, ultimately received a copy of her book.  What I received was a well-written memoir of a crime scene investigator.

 

What struck at first is that cop work is cop; it doesn’t matter if you are walking my former beat in downtown Los Angeles or riding in McKay’s crime scene investigator’s truck.  To mimic Jack Webb, “the stories are true, only the locations have changed.”  Riding along in McKay’s journey you will find out that our Aussie brothers and sisters definitely have a language of their own; indeed, just as cops have our own “secret” language, McKay adds “witches hats,” “ambros” and “Salvos” to the lexicon of the international police slang.

 

The deeper you read into Esther McKay ’s work the further you delve into the seriousness of her message.  Time wise, Esther and I started our careers at about the same time.  While the technology of policing was increasing rapidly, the technology and information about protecting police officers was seriously lagging.  As the decade of the 1980s progressed, the demand to recover more evidence for DNA (and other examinations) increased, yet the idea of Universal Precautions for Bloodborne Pathogens had yet to find its way to the street cop. 

 

At about the same time, Esther and I seem to be having the same questions about the wisdom of contact with chemicals, fluids, smoke and debris at crime scenes.  It seems we were prepared to battle bullets, knives and fists but not microbes.  For me, the “this ain’t right” moment came at the scene of a stabbing.  The victim, cut from ear to ear, was only two blocks from a hospital.  My partner and I looked at each other and made an unspoken, instantaneous decision – the victim would not survive the wait for paramedics. Somehow, I ended up in the back seat of the cruiser, with the victim’s head and shoulders in my lap as I tried to staunch the flow.  I don’t really remember my partner driving to the hospital – we were just at the crime scene one moment and hospital the next.  While there was only a little blood on my face, my uniform, arms and hands were drenched. 

 

The power of McKay’s work is that it evoked that, and other memories.  The second and related theme of McKay’s work is the world-wide law enforcement training paradigm of “sink or swim.”  I am not certain how, but it appears we all learned police work on the fly.  When you combine the intensity of the crime scenes Esther McKay investigated with the universal “sink or swim” training you get to the real root of her work:  the psychological toll on cops.

 

As we journey with Esther we experience the unrelenting series of call outs, the contact with other’s grief, the death and injury, and its mounting toll on a good cop.  While we as readers see the signs, the players can’t.  Foremost, because at the time Esther McKay was playing the cop game the psychological impact was only just being understood and discussed, but rarely acted on.  In fact, today, we are still seeing cops (apparently around the globe) pursue relief down blind alleys like alcohol. 

 

Esther McKay ’s book is for every cop, sergeant and police manager.  It’s for those of you who want to join the ranks; and, those of you who are the loved ones.  All the signs, blind alleys and ultimately the right paths are laid out.  I think, perhaps, the afterword which is written by a doctor sums it up best: “Crime Scene is also a significant contribution to the literature of police work because it outlines the insidious nature of the traumatic effects of crime-scene work.” 

 

You can obtain additional information about Crime Scene and Esther McKay at:

http://www.police-writers.com/esther_mckay.html

 

About the Reviewer:

Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA is a 24 year veteran of law enforcement.  In his retirement he is a university professor and writer.  He is the author of Police Technology ; Leadership: Texas Hold ‘em Style ; and, is currently working on. From NYPD to LAPD: An Introduction to Policing .  You can view Raymond’s complete CV at www.police-technology.net/raymond.foster.cv.html .

  1. Today's Best
  2. Top Shows
  3. Best of BTR
    1. Loading

      Justin Bieber Crushes Selena Gomez

      Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez have broken up once again after Justin is immediately spotted with multiple ex girlfriends, flaunting it for Selena to see on social media. Plus, an exclusive interview with Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi.

    2. Danisha Williams

      Danisha Williams has no fear of relocating. In fact, she puts it in the must-do category for an inspired life.

    3. American Sniper Star Kevin Lacz

      Do you want to know the truth about fear? Listen as American Sniper star Kevin Lacz describes his truth as a Navy SEAL

    4. LeBron James: "I'm Coming Home"

      The saga is over. In an exclusive personal essay published on SI.com, LeBron James announced his decision to return to Cleveland after leaving the Cavaliers in favour of the Miami Heat just four years ago.

    5. Who Will Win The Hearts Of The Birdman

      NBA Free Agency is in full swing, so Jon and Ryan go all-out with a triple header episode featuring Seth Rosenthal on the New York Knicks, Rebecca Lawson on the Dallas Mavericks, and Ricky O'Donnell on the Chicago Bulls. They're all faced with the same tough question: who will win the heart of basketball's greatest free agent, Chris "Birdman" Andersen?

    6. What I've Learned In Cyber Security

      In this podcast Caleb Barlow speaks with Sandy Bird, CTO of IBM Security Systems, co-founder of Q1 Labs to discuss his recent appointment as an IBM Fellow, part of IBM’s elite "most exceptional" technical professionals.

    7. PGA Winner J.L. Lewis

      This week Next on the Tee with Chris Mascaro is 2 time winner on the PGA Tour and cancer survivor, J.L. Lewis.

    8. Violent Crimes In America

      Violent crimes in America have become an epidemic within the past decade or so, with more juvenile offenders taking to the streets, homicide and murder rates have skyrocketed, as science does their best to study the minds of America's most horrific killers. Amanda Seaton would like to invite you to delve into the world of crime and forensics.

    9. Living a Paleo Life

      Liz and Diane walk you through how to live a Paleo life.

    10. 2014 Training Camp Previews

      John Hansen goes around the league with Greg Cosell and previews some key things fantasy players should be watching for in training camps this summer.

    11. WWE Raw Review

      Catch Ring Rust Radio’s Full WWE Raw Review!

    12. Roger Eberts Life Itself

      Steve James joins Cinema Royale to talk about his stirring Roger Ebert documentary, Life Itself.

    13. Boxing Champ Mark Breland

      In this episode the Real Fans Real Talk Crew interview the 4 time boxing Golden Glove Champion, boxing Olympic Gold Medalist, and 2 time WBA Welterweight boxing champion, Mark Breland.

    14. "LeBron Is Going Back To Cleveland"

      Sheridan Hoops Radio on the Colin Cowherd show on ESPN Radio as they discuss Lebron James and much more.

    15. Author Robert Landau

      Robert Landau, author of Rock and Roll Billboards of the Sunset Strip, shows Peter a special photo he took of the old Marineland billboard advertising the former theme park that used to live on the land taken over by Terranea Resort.

    16. A Feel Good World

      Dale Brunner is currently partnered with his daughters and best friend in a movement called A Feel Good World. This movement gives people the knowledge and the means to make the most of their life.

    1. Loading

      Rodney Perry Live

      On his show, Comedian Rodney Perry covers arts and entertainment, everything from comedy and politics to music and acting, with his signature comedic slant.

    2. Saturday Mornings With Joy Keys

      Joy Keys provides her listeners with insight to improve their lives mentally, physically, monetarily and emotionally. Past guests on the show have included Meshell Nedegeocello, Blair Underwood, in addition to an impressive list of CEOs, humanitarians and authors.

    3. Small Business Unstuck

      Host Barry Moltz gets small businesses unstuck. He has founded and run small businesses with a great deal of success and failure for more than 15 years. This is a business radio show where he shares all the craziness of small business. It’s that craziness that actually makes it exciting, interesting and totally unpredictable.

    4. The Bottom Line Sports Show

      The Bottom Line Sports Show is hosted by former NBA stars Penny Hardaway, Charles Oakley, Mateen Cleaves. Tune in to get the inside scoop on what's happening in sports today.

    5. Hits Radio

      Hits Radio covers basketball, sports culture and entertainment with past guests including Jason Kidd, Robin Lundberg and Chris Herren.

    6. The Halli Casser-Jayne Show

      Listeners get an earful on The Halli Casser-Jayne Show, Talk Radio for Fine Minds. Whether it’s the current political cocktail or the latest must-read award-winning book, Halli tackles all topics and likes to stir — and sometimes shakes — things up.

    7. America's Most Haunted

      Official Internet radio show of forthcoming epic paranormal investigation book by Eric Olsen and "Haunted Housewife" Theresa Argie.

    8. World Footprints

      Award-winning World Footprints is a leading voice in socially responsible travel and lifestyle. Hosts Ian & Tonya celebrate culture and heritage and bring a unique voice to the world of travel.

    9. Football Reporters Online

      Football Reporters Online is a group of veteran football experts in the fields of coaching, scouting, talent evaluation, and writing/broadcasting/media placement. Combined, the group brings well over 100 years of expertise in sports.

    10. Small Business Roundtable

      Host John Martin interviews the nation's leading entrepreneurs and small biz experts to educate small business owners on how to be successful. Past guests have included Emeril Lagasse and Guy Kawasaki.

    11. Sylvia Global

      Sylvia Global presents global conversations pertaining to women, wealth, business, faith and philanthropy. Sylvia has interviewed an eclectic mix from CEOs and musicians to fashion designers and philanthropists including Randolph Duke and Ne-Yo.