NYC’s new police chief salutes George J. Zaffo’s long forgotten ‘Your Police’ book
In other news, New York City announced its latest police chief, William J. Bratton, yesterday. What’s that got to do with us or books at all? Well, Mr Bratton, who is already a very known policeman for his pioneering strategies on crime reduction, took a faded yellow children’s book from 1956 into the press conference.
Your Police by George J. Zaffo is very obscure and long out-of-print but it’s a book that’s very special to Mr Bratton, who says he has carried the book from police department to police department during his long career.
Mr. Bratton told the New York Times: “I’ve taken this book everywhere I’ve ever gone, every department, it’s always proudly displayed, because it had such a profound influence on me.”
The NY Times adds:
It is easy to see how the book enchanted a young Mr. Bratton. Filled with bold, striking graphics and clear fonts, the book paints an exciting and sometimes sentimental portrait of life as a police officer. The book itself was larger than most picture books of its time and would have plainly stood out on a library shelf.
It follows the process of becoming a police recruit, training as an officer and performing police work. There are illustrations of a police laboratory, forensics equipment, a police helicopter, guns and mounted police.
Apparently, George J. Zaffo, who died in 1984, was once an apprentice to Norman Rockwell.
Below are more works written or illustrated by Zaffo, and, frankly, they look amazing.