Crusader: The Hell-Raising Police Career of Detective David Durk

James Lardner, Author
James Lardner, Author Random House (NY) $25 (0p) ISBN 978-0-394-57648-0
Hardcover - 978-0-517-17760-0
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David Durk, an Amherst graduate who had also spent a year studying law, joined the New York City Police Department in 1963. He was shocked and angered by what he found there: officers who had chosen police careers on idealistic grounds had learned to conform to the prevailing cynical attitude in the department because many of their superiors were dishonest, timid, lazy or all of these. Working with the later famous Frank Serpico, he gathered evidence against the department; they got nowhere until in 1968 they enlisted the interest of the New York Times, whose exposes resulted in the setting up of the Knapp Commission in 1971, which uncovered corruption in the NYPD. As a whistle-blower, Durk became persona non grata and was transferred into the finance department, where he unearthed potential scandals that were never exposed. Still regarded as a troublemaker, he retired in 1985. Lardner (Fast Forward), a former police officer in the District of Columbia, sees Durk as a hero, a commendation with which readers of this rousing volume will agree. (May)
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