The army, however, was a means to an end: Pegues knew that what he really wanted was to work for the NYPD. He tested, was approved, left the military, and tested again. He was a father twice over by that time, and he was determined to be a cop, though many departments then oozed with racism.
Still, Pegues persevered. He took on the worst assignments, so he could study for higher positions. He climbed in the ranks, paying his dues and finding mentors to help him be the best policeman he could, to “protect and serve” the people in various precincts.
He made history, until the day he spoke “against the wrong people.”
“Once a Cop” seems like two books that were accidentally glued together in the same cover. One good, one meh.
In the beginning, you’ve got author Corey Pegues’ story of life in poverty and crime, which is wild, violent, and almost movie-like. That ultimately segues into Pegues as policeman, and is filled with names, numbers, and an undercurrent of anger.
It’s perhaps because of the rage in the latter half that the book’s first half is more readable and, though filled with harshness and profanity, more accessible.
(“Once a Cop: The Street, The Law, Two Worlds, One Man” by Corey Pegues, c.2016, Atria, $16, 320 pages.)
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