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Brian Willingham

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Soul Of A Black Cop
Brian Willingham  More Info

About the Flint Police Department

The Flint Police Department consists of an Administrative Office and two Bureaus: Police Operations Bureau and Criminal Investigations Bureau. The Bureaus are commanded by a captain each and report to the Deputy Chief. Each Bureau consists of Divisions which are commanded by Lieutenants. 


The Detective Bureau was historically organized into offense-specific squads devoted to homicide, robbery, burglary, larceny, sex crimes, auto theft and vice/narcotics.

A lieutenant supervised each squad and contained a detective sergeant and the number of detectives necessary to the assignment. A special arson squad was created in 1977 when a Flint firefighter was assigned to work with a police partner.  Flint detectives developed reputations for competency and were considered the finest in the State by their peers. The detective rank was abolished in the mid-1970’s and all detectives became sergeants. This move gave the Administration more flexibility with personnel assignments, as sergeants could thereafter be moved between investigative and uniform assignments depending on need. The Detective Bureau’s name was changed to Criminal Investigative Bureau.




Brian Willingham is a police officer with the Flint Police Department (Michigan).  In addition to being former U.S. Army Sergeant, husband and father of three, Brian Willingham is an accomplished public speaker and the author of Soul of a Black Cop.


According to Howard Zinn, Professor Emeritus, Boston University, “Brian Willingham ’s extraordinary day-by-day account of his life as a cop reminds us that behind at least one of those forbidding police badges is someone with compassion and a profound understanding of the human condition. Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to sit beside a policeman in his cruiser and follow him through the day? As we read Willingham ’s carefully crafted memoir, we are brought close to the scenes he describes: the beaten women, the desperate shoplifters, the crack victims, the raped children, the mentally disturbed. But there are moments which save him and us from despair: the smile of a child reminds him that "children are born happy. The world makes them sad." Willingham sees beyond the cruelties of everyday life to the deeper sickness of a society that doesn't realize its own addiction to war is reproduced in the violence on its city streets. He writes gracefully, with a generous spirit.”

According to one reader of Soul of a Black Cop, “This work is a powerful, thoughtful look at the social collapse of a society we most often ignore. Mr Willingham has created a provoking picture of America through his words; words of a cop, words of a father, words of a son, and a neighbor. This book is moving, often heart breaking, but always sincere.”

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