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Alan Burton

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Captain Alan Burton's first book was published while he was a student at the FBI National Academy.. He served 25 years in the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office (California).  Alan Burton retired as a captain. According to one biography he has published 18 books.  However, we have located nine books, seven of which are academic works centered on police department communications.  As an example, Alan Burton wrote Police Communications Guide: For Managers in 1984.

Alan Burton has published as least two novels Terrorist and Duty!: A Cop’s Story. 

According to the book description of Duty! A Cop's Story, “duty drives Ben Sterling up the bumpy road from jail deputy to elected Sheriff. It's the story of good, bad, honorable and dishonorable cops. It's an inside story, written by one who's been there.”

One reader of Duty! A Cop’s Story said, it “follows the career of a fictional officer from his first day to running for election as County Sheriff. According to one reviewer, “I have been a law enforcement professional for nearly 10 years and this novel is full of stories that could have only been written by a cop. The story follows a young deputy through out his career and into the stresses of the job. Many pages in this book had me laughing (out loud) and shaking my head when I recalled similar incidents.”

According to the book description of Terrorist, “What can a man do to avenge his father's death? Jerry Baxter's naïve choice is to join the Apostles for Peace - a radical anti-nuclear group with anarchist motives.  Jerry Baxter is easily seduced by an attractive revolutionary who introduces him to terrorism, and to her sister.  "Terrorist" takes you inside an American terrorist cell, where plans are hatched for an assault on the military's highly-guarded classified shipments.  Suspense, spies, FBI and ATF agents, cops, shootouts, sex and murder, violence from the sky, and a trip into the navy's nuclear storage arsenal - all go to make a page-turner of "Terrorist.”

About the Contra County Sheriff's Office:

The 720 sworn personnel and 332 civilian personnel of the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office are organized into four bureaus: Administrative Services Bureau; Custody Services Bureau; Field Operations Bureau; and, the Support Services Bureau.


The Custody Services Bureau operates three detention facilities within the Detention Division, which are located in Marsh Creek, Martinez and Richmond. The three facilities average an inmate population in excess of 1,500. Custody Alternative and inmate transportation are also responsibilities of the Detention Division. Deputy Sheriffs provide security for the Superior Courts as well as Commissioners. The Marshal’s Office, with its accompanying duties pertaining to the Courts, was merged with the Office of the Sheriff in 1988, and now constitutes the Court Security Division within Custody Services Bureau.


The Field Operations Bureau consists of three service divisions: Patrol, Investigation and Coroner's. The Patrol Division provides patrol services for the unincorporated area of the County; the five contract cities of Danville, Lafayette, Oakley, Orinda and San Ramon; and the special districts in Alamo, Blackhawk, Crockett, Diablo and Roundhill; as well as contracted services with the Contra Costa County Housing Authority, A.C. Transit, the Contra Costa Water District and Contra Costa Regional Medical Center.


The Investigations Division is responsible for follow-up investigation of all reported felony offenses and certain misdemeanor crimes that occur in unincorporated areas. The Investigations Division investigates roughly 9,400 felony and misdemeanor crimes annually, to include homicides, robberies, burglaries, as well as all sex crimes and narcotics violations. Detectives are assigned to Narcotic Enforcement Teams (NETS), which are staffed by local law enforcement agencies and supervised by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement (BNE) Agents. Detectives also provide service to contract cities and special districts.


The branch of Administrative Services is one of the four Bureaus in the Office of the Sheriff. Five distinct units described below provide the majority of services performed by this Bureau: Inspections and Control, Personnel and Finance, Planning and Research, Professional Standards and Employee Development. The Office of the Sheriff has its own Crime Laboratory, which provides service to all law enforcement agencies in the County and is known for its excellence.


The Communications Center dispatches for all Sheriff’s patrol units and contracted services, as well as all emergency medical and Animal Control services countywide. Annually, 800,000 phone calls are received in the Dispatch Center. The communications center was recently upgraded and remodeled.




Duty!: a Cop's Story
Alan Burton  More Info

Alan Burton  More Info
A basic guide to disaster communications
Alan Burton  More Info
Communications guide for public safety dispatchers
Alan Burton  More Info
Police Communications Guide: For Managers [Alan Burton's]
Alan Burton  More Info
Police telecommunications
Alan Burton  More Info
History of public safety communications
Alan Burton  More Info
Police communication guide
Alan Burton  More Info
Facility planning for communications centers
Alan Burton  More Info

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