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Armed and Dangerous: Memoirs of a Chicago Policewoman
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Armed and Dangerous: Memoirs of a Chicago Policewoman

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  133 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
The critically acclaimed memoirs of one female police officer's sixteen-year odyssey, beginning with day one at the Police Academy and spanning assignments on Chicago's West Side, one of the most dangerous areas in the city.

The notorious cops' code of silence is broken as the author recounts incidents in the West Side projects: shoot-outs, ambushes, and what it feels like
Paperback, 336 pages
Published April 6th 2002 by Forge Books (first published March 7th 2001)
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Jun 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book contains the good, the bad and the ugly about being a police officer in the city of Chicago. I was fascinated by this woman's views on Chicago, the department, other officers, the public, her kids, etc. The author tells her compelling tale with an honesty that allows you to see the city and her environment through her eyes.

I found this book and the perspective of the police particular interesting since I have recently read Gang Leader for a Day, which chronicles a graduate student who
Jun 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A fine book to read if you want to know about the cop's life - especially those in Chicago. I was left admiring them and yet wanting to avoid them. You never know whether you're dealing with a good one or a bad one.

Gallo is a fine writer, and this memoir is funny and sad by turns. She captures the first strange days of the rookie, the daily maneuvering of politics (something women must pay especially close attention to if they want to survive), and the numbing horror of seeing evil day in and d
Lori Tatar
May 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
If I had a say, I would make Armed and Dangerous: Memoirs of a Chicago Policewoman required reading for anyone considering a career in law enforcement. It is gritty and unforgettable. I will never look at a police officer the same way again.
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Since I am seriously considering a job in law enforcement, this was an important read for me. I especially appreciated Gallo's honesty and transparency in Chicago police departments in the 80s/90s. The stories felt much more real than other "real police" stories I have read.
Aug 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
A quick-reading, fascinating collection of memoirs from a female former beat cop. The author doesn't flinch from telling the most gut-wrenching tales of human depravity and insanity encountered on the job. As a former psychologist, she reaches into the minds of cops and explains why they do what they do, and how they manage to keep it together in the face of endless misery and danger. The stories range from terribly sad to hilarious, and are all told in colorful language in a matter-of-fact way. ...more
Sep 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club
After watching countless hours of Law & Order and other cop shows, it was good to read this candid view from the inside of the force to see that is not as exciting as it all seems on TV. While reading, I wanted the author to tell me how she was able to overcome and change the unfairness that she was faced with. The fact that she told the story as a detacted observer made me a little angry at first. But as I kept reading, I came to the same conclusion as I believe that author did. You have to ...more
Sep 07, 2011 rated it it was ok
Ugh. This book is brutal. If you have any faith in humanity, it will be severely tested by the reading. We're talking grotesque violence and sexual assault, including against children.

I would like to learn more about the veracity of the book, which was published in the pre-James Frey era. In her 16 years as a cop, the author seems to experience every imaginable scenario (and several unimaginable ones). She gives the impression that Chicago is as dangerous and hopeless as Nuevo Laredo or Joburg.
Oct 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book is shocking and honest. Gallo discusses some really heinous topics in the gentlest way possible. I have a completely different appreciation for the police force now. I love that she admits that cops have short comings, she even says some are down right dogs, but most are just trying to serve and protect. She addresses a number of situations that range from entertaining (the priest getting caught with the prostitute) to horrifying (finding a discarded infant corpse in a trash can.) I wa ...more
Sep 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: not-kid-books
Well, what can I say? After having worked in the 12th district myself, it really brought me back. I love the way Gallo puts the evolution of a police officer in perspective from being a fresh recruit to the ending. I think I really related because I actually worked the beats that she did. I remember what it was like out there. And I don't feel so bad leaving the force after reading her explanations regarding various circumstances. I feel almost as though I have had a closure. I would recommend t ...more
Jul 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club
This book made me laugh and cry, usually one right after the other. This seems to be the authors way of giving you the bad without beating the reader over the head with it. After particularly rough parts involving kids, I did have to put the book down for a little while. But I was still able to finish the book in a couple days. The author's writing style kept pace with the high adrenaline action of the police job and I really liked the dispatch/cop intros to each chapter.
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