Did you know there are over 800,000 sworn law enforcement workers and over 17,500 agencies in the United States? There are bigger agencies like federal, primary, and secondary state agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration, which are both federal. Then there are also smaller agencies, such as special jurisdiction and regional/municipal agencies, like the New York City Department and school safety agencies.
Whether someone works as an FBI agent or for the NYPD, they are putting themselves in harm’s way everyday to protect us ordinary citizens, diving head first into situations we couldn’t even imagine. The following books share real, eye-opening stories from law enforcement officers that will make your appreciation for law enforcement skyrocket!
1. Bullets, Bombs, and Fast Talk: Twenty-five Years of FBI War Stories by James Botting
For over 25 years, James Botting worked as an FBI agent and was present at some of the most historical events the agency has been involved in, such as Waco and Rodney King. In this book, the former agent covers those stories and so much more. Having been a part of bombings and hostage situations, Botting goes into profuse detail to ensure the reader feels as if they are there in the moment with him (check trigger warnings before purchasing).
2. Special Agent: My Life on the Front Lines as a Woman in the FBI by Candice DeLong
Candice DeLong has had an incredibly successful career in the FBI. In her book, she goes over the long string of events that landed her a position in the FBI and recounts her experience as a woman in the field. DeLong takes her readers through the procedures and processes of profiling and reveals the truths in the investigation of locating the Montand Unabomber. She even reveals things the media doesn’t want you to know! This book is truly nothing short of captivating (check trigger warnings before purchasing).
3. The Lowcountry Murder of Gwendolyn Elaine Fogle: A Cold Case Solved by Lieutenant Rita Y Shuler
After being a special agent, Rita Shuler joined the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. This is where she discovered the story of Gwendolyn Elaine Fogle. Fogle was murdered in 1978, with her case remaining unsolved for 37 years. In this book, Shuler discusses teaming up with Corporal Gean Johnson and the steps they took to finally solve the cold case that had been sitting in the evidence room at Waterloo Police Department for almost four decades (check trigger warnings before reading).
4. Unmasked: My Life Solving America’s Cold Cases by Paul Holes
Paul Holes had a career specializing in serial killer predators and cold case investigations for more than 25 years. In this memoir, Holes goes over some high profile cases, such as the kidnapping of Jaycee Dugard and the identification of the Golden State Killer. He recounts years of crime-fighting and even discusses the sacrifices he’s made in order to complete almost 30 years of law enforcement work.
Holes displays a vulnerable side into his personal life, which is a nice touch when discussing law enforcement work because in most cases, we only think about the dangers these individuals put themselves in to keep citizens safe, and not the emotional toll these careers take on individuals like Holes (be sure to check out the trigger warnings before reading).
5. A Hunger to Kill: A Serial Killer, a Determined Detective, and the Quest for a Confession That Changed a Small Town Forever by Kim Mager and Lisa Pulitzer
This story follows the hunt of a serial killer and the detective who worked tirelessly to bring him to justice. In 2016, Kim Mager worked for 8 days straight in order to extract confessions from serial killer Shawn Grate. She used 30 years of law enforcement experience and psychological tactics, determined to make sure Grate would never hurt anyone ever again. Once you start reading, you won’t be able to put it down (be sure to check the trigger warnings before reading).
6. Fingerprints and Phantoms: True Tales of Law Enforcement Encounters with the Paranormal and the Strange by Paul Rimmasch
Paul Rimmasch tells spooky, chilling tales of unexplainable events that he’s experienced in his 20 years of law enforcement. In a field where logic and science overrule all else, Rimmasch takes a different approach, going over the more unusual, less-talked about things that have taken place throughout his career. If you believe in the paranormal, this might be the perfect book for you (check the trigger warnings before reading).
7. Hearts of Darkness: Serial Killers, the Behavioral Science Unit, and My Life as a Woman in the FBI by Jana Monroe
As one of the first analysts and the only female agent at the time, Jane Monroe defied the odds set against her. Monroe worked on serial killer cases, such as Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer, and consulted on over 850 cases in her 25-year career. Working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and being a profiler, she shares her experience as a woman in a field dominated by men and also discusses the toll that kind of career can have on someone (be sure to check the trigger warnings before reading). Emily Prentiss from Criminal Minds is who this reminds us of!
After reading these eye-opening books, we think it’s fair to say that law enforcement officers are a different type of strong and determined. Always looking for answers and bringing criminals to justice, these officers and agencies keep us safe. Don’t forget to show your appreciation!
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