The College Endowment Association
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Sgt. Adam Plantinga - 400 Things Cops Know: Street Smart Lessons from a Veteran Patrolman

Program Date: November 29, 2017

Adam Plantinga

"400 Things Cops Know" shows police work on the inside, from the viewpoint of the regular cop on the beat—a profession that can range from rewarding to bizarre to terrifying, all within the course of an eight-hour shift. Written by veteran police sergeant Adam Plantinga, "400 Things Cops Know" brings the reader into life the way cops experience it–a life of danger, frustration, occasional triumph, and plenty of grindingly hard routine work. In a laconic, no-nonsense, dryly humorous style, Plantinga tells what he's learned from 13 years as a patrolman, from the everyday to the exotic. After graduating from Marquette University, and a few years in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Plantinga became a police officer, first in Milwaukee and later in San Francisco. From day one, Plantinga began jotting down notes about the job. What it's like to be in a high-speed pursuit, to wear the uniform, to interact with people on a crime scene. Then the English and writing-intensive major pulled together the notes into his book, 400 Things Cops Know: Street-Smart Lessons from a Veteran Patrolman, published in October 2014. Plantinga calls the emphasis on social justice learned at Marquette a formative influence on his police work. "If you're doing it right, social justice is what you're fighting for as a cop."