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Peter Moskos

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Cop in the Hood: My Year Policing Baltimore's Eastern District
Peter Moskos  More Info

About the Balitmore Police Department 

The preservation of the peace, protection of property and the arrest of offenders has been the goal of Baltimore residents since August 8, 1729, when the Legislature created Baltimore Towne.


The first attempt to organize a force to guard Baltimore occurred in 1784. Constables were appointed and given police powers to keep the peace.  The State Legislature on March 16, 1853, passed a bill, "to provide for the better security for the people and property in the City of Baltimore." This statute provides that police officers should be armed and that a badge and commission be furnished each member.


Today, the Baltimore Police Department’s jurisdiction encompasses an area of 86.0 square miles: 78.3 sq. miles of land and 7.7 sq. miles on waterways. The present Headquarters Building of the Police Department was opened in 1972.



Peter Moskos is assistant professor of Law, Police Science, and Criminal Justice Administration at the City University of New York's John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He specializes in a sociological approach to police culture, police patrol and crime prevention, drug violence, community policing and terrorism, police/minority relations, and qualitative methods. He is a former Baltimore City police officer. Peter Moskos is the author of Cop in the Hood.


According to the book description of Cop in the Hood, it “is an explosive insider’s story of what it is really like to be a police officer on the front lines of the war on drugs. Harvard-trained sociologist Peter Moskos became a cop in Baltimore’s roughest neighborhood.... Moskos reveals the truth about the drug war and why it is engineered to fail.... He describes police-academy graduates fully unprepared for the realities of the street. He tells of a criminal-justice system that incarcerates poor black men on a mass scale—a self-defeating system that measures success by arrest quotas and fosters a street code at odds with the rest of society—and argues for drug legalization as the only realistic way to end drug violence and let cops once again protect and serve.... Cop in the Hood ventures deep behind the Thin Blue Line to disclose the inner workings of law enforcement in America’s inner cities. Those who read it will never view the badge the same way.”

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