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Jerry VanCook

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Going Undercover: Secrets And Sound Advice For The Undercover Officer
Jerry Van Cook  More Info
Wellfire (Series: Executioner 189.)
Don (House pseudonym used by Jerry van Cook.) Pendleton  More Info
Real World Self-Defense: A Guide To Staying Alive In Dangerous Times
Jerry Van Cook  More Info

About the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation

In the early 1920's gangs of outlaws roamed the state robbing and burglarizing banks and terrorizing the citizens of many Oklahoma towns. These gangsters often escaped lawmen by fleeing across county lines. The U.S. Marshal's Service was the only law enforcement agency with statewide jurisdiction, but its officers were outnumbered by the bandits.


In 1925, Governor M.E. Trapp, in his State of the State Address recommended the creation of an agency of special investigators or state police to combat the outlaws. Thus the legislature appropriated $78,000 to establish the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, now known as the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.


A year after its creation, the Bureau's three agents or operatives were credited with reducing the number of bank robberies in the state by roughly 75 percent. Agents accomplished this by developing leads and using informants which were considered by many to be innovative investigative techniques at the time.


In 1939, the Bureau was taken out from under the direction of the Adjutant General's Office and became a division of the Department of Public Safety. It was during these years that the agency became known as the State Crime Bureau. This arrangement lasted until 1957, when the Bureau was placed under the direct control of the Governor's Office and again renamed the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.


Beginning in 1957, the OSBI began to emerge as the professional law enforcement agency it is today. Employees were placed under the merit system and for the first time, working for the agency was seen as a career opportunity rather than temporary employment.


In the wake of a controversial investigation of Governor David Hall by the Bureau, the agency was removed from the control of the Governor's Office. In1976, a seven member independent commission was created to oversee the activities of the OSBI. The makeup of the Commission includes: one police chief, one sheriff, one district attorney and four lay members. These members are appointed by the Governor and approved by the Oklahoma Senate to serve seven year staggered terms. In general, the OSBI Commission appoints the Director, hears complaints, establishes guidelines and serves as a buffer between the Bureau and potential political pressures concerning any particular investigations.


There are only seven agencies or entities that can request the OSBI to conduct an investigation. They include: Police Chiefs, Sheriffs, District Attorneys, the Attorney Generals , the Governor, Council on Judicial Complaints and any legislative committee with subpoena power. The OSBI has original jurisdiction in three areas: auto theft, oil field theft, and threats against public officials.


Today, the primary duty of the OSBI Investigative Division is to assist local law enforcement agencies in solving crimes.  OSBI agents offer a number of services including collecting and preserving evidence at crime scenes, participating in undercover investigations to obtain information and evidence, interviewing witnesses and apprehending criminals.  Agents investigate many types of crime, including but not limited to: insurance fraud, political corruption, oil field theft, auto theft, homicide, official misconduct, rape, and other white collar crimes. The Bureau has agents who are pilots, polygraph experts, forensic computer experts, and others with special skills which provide many avenues to solve and prevent crime. 


Specially trained Crime Scene Agents are located statewide, ready at all times to collect and preserve evidence from crime scenes.   The OSBI Investigative Division is home to the Crime Analysis Unit which provides investigative support to the division, as well as home to the Oklahoma State Clearinghouse for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. In addition to the headquarters office in Oklahoma City, the OSBI maintains five regional offices throughout the state.  The Bureau has placed these offices in Woodward, Tulsa, McAlester, Antlers and Lawton to allow Bureau personnel a faster response time to requests from local law enforcement.  In addition to these regional offices, the Bureau has Resident Agents strategically located around the state.




Jerry VanCook holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice and an M.A. in English, and has been involved in law enforcement for nearly thirty years.  Jerry VanCook began his law enforcement career with the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office (Oklahoma) and ended it assigned to the Special Operations Unit of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. A long time practioner of marshal art, Jerry VanCook earned his first Black Belt in Okinawan Goju-Ryu karate.  Jerry VanCook is the author of Going Undercover: Secrets And Sound Advice For The Undercover Officer; Real World Self-Defense: A Guide To Staying Alive In Dangerous Times; and, Volume No. 189 in the Executioner series.


According to Jerry VanCook, “In both Going Undercover and Real World Self-Defense I wanted write realistic books on staying alive and out of jail in the violent society that the 21st century promises to be. I wanted them both to be free of the politically correct law enforcement “party line” and something that would keep both cops and citizens alive. At the same time, I wanted the “good guys” to stay out of jail at the same time they were staying alive because we're not just fighting bad guys anymore---we've got a government that, little by little, keeps taking away the God-given right of self-defense and punishing people for defending themselves. How to tap dance around that problem is included in both books.”


According to one reader/review of Real World Self-Defense: A Guide To Staying Alive In Dangerous Times, “Interested in staying alive in dangerous times? Then this is the book to help you do it! Whether you're a beginner or advanced, this book has something for everyone. Many books "Claim" to be the ultimate defense book, but you don't see very many on here being reviewed. That's because most of them are overly complicated, lacking real world approaches or scenarios, or the info is just plain wrong... Not so with this book. Jerry covers each section and chapter in DETAIL, and then backs up that advise with more techniques throughout the book. He's obviously a believer in "stay aware and keep it simple"!

According to one reader of Going Undercover: Secrets and Sound Advice for the Undercover Officer, by Jerry VanCook, it “provides clear instructions for developing an alternate identity with a personality flexible enough to work in a barroom or a boardroom. You'll learn how to deal with such vital aspects of undercover operations as handling wary, greedy or double-crossing informants; covering the inevitable mistakes you'll make while undercover; and choosing the appropriate weapons to carry in case things go wrong. The book is written in a clear and entertaining voice, far from the dreary, dry read found in too many police technique books. VanCook takes you through the details of undercover work while making you feel as if you are being let into a private world only a few experience.

Here are some of the chapters contained within: A special message to women undercover officers; Creating an undercover identity; Creating an alternate personality; Personal transportation; Undercover Overnight; Getting into character; Rehearsing your new identity; Advance training;  Working narcotics and other illegal drugs; Robbery, burglary and theft; Homicide; Electronic aids; Creating illusions; Undercover weapons; Developing memory; and Testifying in court.

One of the features I like about Going Undercover is that not only does Jerry VanCook explain in detail how to do a particular phase of undercover work, but he also shows how things can go wrong, which they usually do, and what you can do about it. For example, in a chapter called "Creating Illusions," the author explains how you can convince a burglary suspect, who you are trying to get next to, that you are an armed robber. He even shows how you can take the burglar along on a "robbery." Jerry VanCook then illustrates what can go wrong even with the best of plans. The author's writing is conversational and filled with humor and crammed with excellent information. I recommend this book.”

One reader of Real World Self-Defense: A Guide To Staying Alive In Dangerous Times said, Jerry “VanCook has written the best introduction to the field of self-defense since Franco's general work on the subject some time back -- and he's gone Franco one better for the ordinary Joe who wants to be able to defend himself, but doesn't necessarily want to be an athlete. My personal bookshelves have 4 feet of books devoted to this subject area, and I've read many more than I own. I can say without reservation that VanCook's work is the best general introduction to the field that I have read. Beyond that, it is a provocative and unconventional treatment of self-defense that has much to offer even to an expert. Real World Self-Defense covers mental preparation, legal issues, weapons from firearms down to OC spray, unarmed combat and training considerations. Further, his conclusions in all these areas take into account the findings of recent research on the body's capabilities under the severe stress of having to fight for survival -- a whole area of research that the self-defense field in general has failed to take into account. If you only buy one book on self-defense -- why anyone would buy only one book on anything, I don't know, but anyway, if that's you -- buy this book.”

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