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Kent Anderson

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Night Dogs
Kent Anderson  More Info
Sympathy for the Devil
Kent Anderson  More Info
Liquor, Guns and Ammo: The Collected Short Fiction and Non-Fiction of Kent Anderson
Kent Anderson  More Info

About the Oakland Police Department

The Oakland Police Department was founded in 1953.  It is organized into four bureaus under the command of the Office of the Chief of Police: Bureau of Investigations; Bureau of Services; Bureau of Field Operations; and, Bureau of Administration.

Oakland Police Department (CA) (Images of America)
Phil McArdle  More Info

A Complete History of the Oakland Police Department

Phil McArdle was the Oakland Police Department’s technical writer for 20 years and previously wrote a history of the police department that was published internally. He was the principal editor of Exactly Opposite the Golden Gate, a history of Berkeley, and his writing as appeared in the Baltimore Sun, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Berkeley Daily Planet, and numerous other publications. McArdle and his wife, Karen, collaborated on Fatal Fascination, a study of police work in the East Bay and elsewhere. The vintage photographs in this extraordinary compendium were culled primarily from the Oakland Police Department, the Oakland History Room of the Oakland Public Library, and the author’s personal collection.


According to the book description of Phil McArdle’s book, “The California legislature granted a charter to the new community of Oakland in 1862, and a year later, the town council appointed three peace officers. When it was a dusty Western town, Oakland’s major business was raising cattle to feed San Franciscans and the gold miners north of Sacramento. Year by year, as Oakland grew in size and population, the police department grew with it. The Oakland Police Department pioneered the use of call boxes, police cars, and other technical innovations. It has served the city well through good times and bad, wars, fires, and earthquakes. A large, diverse organization serving a complex multicultural city, the Oakland Police Department today accepts the challenges of policing in the 21st century.”

At the age of 19 Kent Anderson joined the Merchant Marines and traveled the world for two years. By his 23 birthday, he was a Special Forces sergeant in Vietnam, where he was awarded two bronze stars. In 1973, he joined the Portland Police Bureau, and worked as a street cop for 4 years before taking a leave of absence to earn an MFA in Fiction Writing from the University of Montana in Missoula.  At the age of 37, he returned to police work and joined the Oakland Police Department (California). After two years on the Oakland Police Department he resigned because he was, “sick of making unnecessary arrests to fill out the monthly quotas.


According to Kent Anderson, “that winter, broke and jobless, out of sheer terror” he wrote the first complete draft of Sympathy for the Devil. Shortly thereafter, he obtained a teaching job in El Paso at the University of Texas and rewrote the book several times during his four-year stay on the border.  He is also the author of Night Dogs and Liquor, Guns and Ammo: The Collected Short Fiction and Non-Fiction of Kent Anderson.


According to the book description of Night Dogs, “The North Precinct of Portland, Oregon, is home to two kinds of cops: sergeants and lieutenants who've screwed up somewhere else, and patrolmen who thrive on the action on the Avenue. Officer Hanson is the second kind, a veteran who has traded his Bronze Star for a badge. War is what Hanson knows, and in this battle for Portland's meanest streets, he's fighting not so much for the law as for his own code of justice.


Hanson is a man who seems to fear nothing--except his own memories.  And it is his past that could destroy him now:  An enemy in the department is determined to bring him down by digging into his war record and resurrecting the darkest agonies of that nightmare time.  And Hanson himself risks everything--his career, his equilibrium, even his life--when the only other survivor of his Special Forces unit comes back into his life. Doc Dawson is a drug dealer and a killer...but he's the one man Hanson can trust.


Night Dogs is an extraordinary work from a powerful and authentic voice in American fiction. Recoiling from the violence that Hanson deals with every day, the violence that is in Hanson, readers will also understand the compassion that drives him.  A novel remarkable for its razor-sharp characterizations and dialogue, its freshness of observation, Night Dogs--and Hanson--will remain etched in the memory for a long time to come.”


According to one reader/reviewer of Night Dogs, it “is a tough, gritty view of life on the streets and the way police officers deal with their constant exposure to this madness. It is very realistic and presents a variety of characters, some of which you might encounter in any big city.”


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