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Larry Watts

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Larry Watts "was born and grew to adulthood in the small town of Ripley, Oklahoma. He moved to Texas where he worked as a police officer for more than 20 years, then in the police labor movement for another 20 years. Most recently, he retired after serving as the chief labor relations officer in one of Texas’ major cities. Watts’ experience is unique in that he has worked on both the labor and management sides of police labor and personnel issues during his career.

During his forty plus years working in and with the law enforcement community, he has been involved in assisting hundreds of Texas peace officers who were called on to make extraordinary decisions on the spur of the moment. Many of these decisions involved the use of their firearms and some the taking of another life. Watts captures the many conflicts that arise for the officer and all the other people whose lives are affected by these split second decisions in his novel Right, Wrong & Rationalizing Truth.

Larry Watts has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Labor Studies from Antioch University and completed the Harvard Trade Union Program at Harvard University’s School of Business while working in the police labor movement. The author of numerous trade magazine articles during his police labor career, Right, Wrong and Rationalizing Truth is his first published full length novel. Watts utilizes his unique experiences to make this novel come to life for the reader.”

According to the book description of Right, Wrong, & Rationalizing the Truth, it “is a story of the tragedy that engulfs all those involved when a peace officer uses a weapon in the line-of-duty. The author weaves a story filled with small town values, big city police work, the influence of political decisions, and racial overtones which all come together as the story’s characters make life changing decisions.

Watts tells the story of Chris Martin, a young police officer who kills a black man while being attacked by him. When investigators arrive at the scene, the man’s weapon is missing. The officer begins a journey that includes defending his actions, seeing political expediency become more important than the facts, questioning the entire law enforcement system, and ultimately questioning his own actions that fateful day.

This novel shines a glaring light on the rationalization, politics, and investigative shortcomings that are inherent in many high profile police use of force cases. It also gives an insider’s view of police union politics and decision-making when members’ personal political views conflict with a police union’s ability to best serve those members.

All the characters depicted are fictional and are the product of the author’s imagination. All events are also fictional and were created by the author drawing from his 40 plus years working in the law enforcement community in Texas.

According to the book description of Cheating Justice, “In the late 1980's Bobby Jordan learned what the Texas criminal justice system is all about. Bobby always thought that if you didn't do anything wrong, you didn't have anything to worry about. Now he is in the biggest fight of his life and it's with all the institutions that he has always believed were there to protect him; the police, the district attorney and the courts. Can an everyday citizen win when the "system" teams up against him. You won't put it down once you begin reading this gripping novel about Texas' criminal justice system and the frightening possibilities for us all.”

 

About the Houston Police Department

The Houston Police Department is organized into four main entities: Administrative Operations; Patrol Operations; Investigative Operations and Support Operations.  The Patrol Operations has the largest number of personnel and is divided into two commands: North Patrol Command and South Patrol Command.  The Investigative Operations are also divided into two commands: Criminal Investigations Command and Special Investigations Command.  The Criminal Investigations Command organizes the detectives like many police agencies, that is, by type of crime.  Detectives in the Criminal Investigations Command of the Houston Police Department work: Auto Theft; Burglary and Theft; Homicide; Juvenile and Robbery.  Because they are seen as more sensitive areas, major police departments tend to break out certain types of investigative functions under a specialized command, or with some specialized police command oversight.  Houston Police Department has chosen this path in its Special Investigations Command which is responsible for Criminal Intelligence; Gangs; Major Offenders; Narcotics and Vice.

The City of Houston was founded by Augustus and John Kirby Allen brothers in 1836 and incorporated as a city the next year, 1837. As the city quickly grew, so did the need for a cohesive law enforcement agency. It was in 1841 that the Houston Police Department was founded. The first HPD badge issued bore the number "1." The early part of the 20th century was a time of enormous growth for both the City of Houston and for the Houston Police Department. Due to growing traffic concerns in downtown Houston, the HPD purchased its first automobile in 1910 and created its first traffic squad during that same year. Eleven years later, in 1921, the Houston Police Department  installed the city's first traffic light. This traffic light was manually operated until 1927, when automatic traffic lights were installed.

Sources:

houstontx.gov/police/

wikipedia.org/wiki/Houston_Police_Department

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