Apprehensions & Convictions: Adventures of a 50-Year-Old Rookie Cop

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9781610352642: Apprehensions & Convictions: Adventures of a 50-Year-Old Rookie Cop
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What makes a fifty-year-old man quit a highly successful career in charity work to take on the low-paid, dangerous job of being a police officer? When Mark Johnson left the United Way to become the oldest rookie in the Mobile, Alabama, police department, he didn’t just have to adjust to a new career―he had to adjust to an entirely new life of danger, violence, and stark moral choices.

Apprehensions and Convictions is Johnson’s explosive memoir of his second career as a cop. Going from fund-raising with socialites to confronting armed suspects in the streets, Johnson found that poverty and crime were no longer social issues but matters of life and death. A civilized man whose first instinct is to help people in trouble, Johnson learned that some men can only be subdued with brute force and some chronic criminals refuse to be redeemed. Defying the skepticism of his wife, the derision of the younger cops who called him “Pawpaw,” and his own self-doubts, Johnson rose to become a detective and a highly decorated officer.

Apprehensions and Convictions also tells a personal story of how Johnson overcame his own demons to find a new sense of purpose and identity in midlife. From a troubled drink- and drug-fueled youth, to dealing with both his birth and adoptive parents, to struggling to find a steady career path, Johnson’s story is of a man who found his courage and changed himself.

An intense, sweeping narrative that explores the frustrations of an overprivileged youth, delves deeply into the dysfunction of the Mobile ghetto, and ends with an armed standoff between Johnson and an escaped cop-killer, Apprehensions and Convictions is a compelling new memoir of a remarkable life.

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About the Author:

Mark Johnson is a retired detective with the Mobile Police Department, where he was decorated several times for service and bravery. Prior to his police career, Johnson spent twenty years as a public relations director and executive director for the United Way.

Review:

"Part police procedural, part contemplative memoir, Johnson's Apprehensions & Convictions is all true, and a revelation. His story is by turns hair-raising, hilarious, and heartfelt. It should take its rightful place in the colorful Southern tradition of storytelling." ―Winston Groom, author of Forrest Gump

"This unique and entertaining memoir by a former national charity executive, who finds himself policing dangerous inner-city streets as a 50-year-old rookie cop, is exciting, absorbing and unflinchingly honest." ―Joseph Wambaugh

"Johnson's blend of harrowing experiences, the processes and choices of being a cop, and how he entered a different world makes for a powerfully compelling account." ―California Bookwatch

"These stories, told with verve and honesty, are Johnson's adventures on the street, as one policeman might tell another in the cop bar ... comic, convincing, and colorful ... a lively, readable tale." ―Don Noble, Alabama Public Radio

"An exciting and often illuminating book ... weaves a taut tale of his transition from the business world to rookie cop to veteran officer. For anyone who's wondered about life for the people wearing the badge, this is a reader-friendly look at the law enforcing life." ―Amanda St. Amand, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"Absorbing, gripping, controversial, abrasive." ―Paul Kritzer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"An unusually well written and exceptionally compelling read from beginning to end, Apprehensions & Convictions is very highly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary American Biography and Law Enforcement Studies collections." ―Midwest Book Review

"Gritty, thoughtful, and harrowing. Johnson gives you unvarnished insight into a world in which few dare to tread. He's the real deal and so is this book." Sgt. Adam Plantinga, San Francisco Police Department, author of 400 Things Cops Know

"Apprehensions & Convictions is more than a cop book. It gives the reader a good sense of what it takes to be willing to take a chance on making life changes when others ― even those close to us ― think that one is 'too old' to make a difference." ―Mike Ramey

"The authenticity and honesty with which Johnson writes is remarkable. If you write about cops or the sort of people who deal with cops frequently, this is a book that should be read and kept as a reference." ―Warren Bull, Writers Who Kill

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