By: Sean Pearce
York Region News
In the interest of full disclosure, I would like to preface this review with a confession. I have never cared much for Julian FantinoÃ¢Â€Â™s public persona.
I have often thought of him as brash, arrogant and as holding little respect for the legal half of the justice system as a whole. Then I read his book.
Duty: The Life of a Cop gives the reader an in-depth look into the psyche and circumstances that have shaped the life and career of the current top cop with the OPP and former chief of York Regional Police. The book is visceral, passionate and, most importantly, honest.
After reading it, I find I still disagree with Mr. Fantino on many points, but I have a much better understanding of why he feels the way he does.
The book speaks volumes about what it means to be a police officer.
With every page, it reminds the reader policing in real life has nothing to do with TV shows or movies and every man or woman who carries the badge is putting his or her life on the line to serve and protect polite society.
To that end, it begins with the senseless death of Const. Michael Sweet, a Toronto police officer gunned down by two thugs in the attempted robbery of a tavern in Toronto March 14, 1980.
This incident is recalled throughout the book as it chronicles the investigation and eventual trial of the Munro brothers responsible for the murders.
Mr. Fantino pulls no punches in his recounting of the events surrounding the death of Mr. Sweet and the trial of his murderers going so far as to suggest justice would have been best served if capital punishment had been an option for the pair.
After reading some of the circumstances surrounding the event, it becomes difficult, at some points, to disagree with Mr. FantinoÃ¢Â€Â™s logic on such matters.
Beyond the death of Mr. Sweet, the book talks about everything from the fight against drugs, biker gangs, organized crime, police corruption and, not surprisingly, the speeding epidemic plaguing OntarioÃ¢Â€Â™s roadways.
Regardless of topic, however, Mr. Fantino presents the facts and then presents an entirely frank opinion 100 per cent devoid of sugarcoating.
ThatÃ¢Â€Â™s not, of course, to say the book doesnÃ¢Â€Â™t have lighthearted moments amid the hard-hitting stories from the forefront of the thin blue line.
Mr. Fantino includes in his work, tales of his childhood in rural Italy and his subsequent challenges adjusting to life in North America as a young man.
Other humourous moments come as Mr. Fantino retells tales of some of the characters he has worked with over the years.
It is one of the things that truly reminds the reader police officers are so much more than mere law enforcing automatons, but rather real human beings like the rest of us.
It is those varied experiences of a career, spanning nearly four decades, that make you realize why Mr. Fantino is the way he is and he minces no words in the final chapter, stating what is wrong with the legal system, why, what needs to change and how.
Duty: The Life of a Cop is a riveting and sincere look at policing by a man who has clearly seen and heard it all.
http://georginaadvocate.com/News/Region ... cle/75000/
http://www.amazon.ca/Duty-Life-Cop-Juli ... 155263874X
http://www.polizei144.com/index.asp?Pag ... &ProdID=44
Oh, I can't believe he would hurt Sgt. Woolley's feeling that way!hwybear wrote:... real life has nothing to do with TV shows or movies...