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on May 10, 2004
I ran across this book in my local bookstore and bought it primarily for research. I was soon captivated by the author's ability to step aside from the subjects of his research and let them tell their own stories in their own ways. The book is broken down into 5 main stages any officer involved in a shooting will go through: before you become an officer, basic training, instances when you could have shot but didn't, the shooting incident itself, and the aftermath (including investigation and responses). In each case, the officers speak for themselves. The ring of authenticity is unmistakable. I commend Klinger for resisting the impulse to "clean up" the accounts to make them fit some preconceived assumptions about what an officer "should" be thinking, experiencing, or remembering. The book also gives information on how to access Kinger's complete final report (the academic exercise behind the stunning testimonies) on the Internet. This is a profound introduction for a general reader and a powerful affirmation of officer integrity for those with a special interest in the subject, especially for those who are or know officers themselves.
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on April 30, 2004
As a former police officer I have often found the readings on police use of deadly force to be clinical and detached. Working primarily with shooting statistics, formal policies, and legal doctrine, these readings usually fail to capture the uncertain and ambiguous conditions in which officers make deadly force decisions. The result is that the reader is left with the false impression that officer decision-making unfolds in an environment where the facts are clearly known and it is simply a matter of doing the right thing. Klinger, however, bridges this gap by drawing on a storytelling approach to research and writing. He introduces each chapter with background information on the related policing and deadly force topics, and then relays the officers' stories on these issues in their own words to give the reader a contextually rich understanding of what these individuals experience. The result is that the reader has a stronger grasp of the situations officers confront, and how the officers perceive both the incident and the period that follows. The book is an interesting read for the law enforcement community, and is also highly relevant for citizens, legal scholars, and political officials who have an interest in policing, whether from a critical or supportive perspective.
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on June 12, 2004
Being a cop in centralWashington State I was involved in a shooting last October. The experinces I had during the shooting seemed almost sureal due to exposure to extreme acute stress. Klingers book affirmed for me that I was not alone. The accounts from other cops involved in shootings gave me a sense of relief. This was theraputic. This book is a must read for every cop and their family members, if they've been in a shooting or not.
One of my field training officers once told me that police work is "hours of boredom spiked by seconds of absolute terror." Into the Kill Zone goes to the heart of the terror. The book also offers hope to those that have been involved in shooting. Every cop, including myself, that went into the kill zone has gone on to realize what is really important in life. Family, friends, God and life.
I implore everyone, cop or not, to read this book. It will give everyone an appreciation for those that serve in a profession that is life threatening everyday we put on a uniform.
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on April 23, 2004
From the very first sentences of this book: "Edward Randolph was twenty-six years old when I killed him. I was twenty-three" to the last paragraph, this is a non-stop action ride through the kill zone.
It's the kind of book you can pick up and start reading in the middle (It's basically a collection of cops telling stories about shootings they were involved in; what they were doing, how it went down, what it was like for them afterwards) and be pretty sure you're going to elevate your pulse by the time you're done.
If you want to know what it's like to be in a dark alley at 2 in the morning with a punk aiming a shotgun at your head-- or if you want to know what it's like to have to live with the consequences of shooting a 13 year old kid holding a water pistol, buy this book.
It's the next best thing to sitting in a coffee shop at 3 in the morning and listening to the cops tell the stories themselves.
If you like true crime, or action and suspense novels, try kill zone-- it's the real deal.
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on May 20, 2004
With the release of his new book, Into the Kill Zone, David Klinger raises the bar for writers of police non-fiction. Klinger
presents a series of first-hand accounts by those who protect and
serve of what it's like to face death at close range.The fear and raw emotion of the participants comes through in the clearly
enunciated details of life and death struggles.
As one who has been there and done that, Klinger can elicit the kind of detail and personal feeling other writers are unlikely to reach. He not only shows how police officers react to and deal with deadly threats, he also exposes the emotional impact
on their lives when they kill in the line of duty; a residual effect not seen or heard on the evening news.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand the dynamics of the ultimate encounter between good and evil, and especially to the officer who has not yet gone....into the kill zone.
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on June 22, 2004
As a former corrections officer, and assistant professor who teaches Criminal Justice classes, I strongly recommend this book for those persons interested in the police and police-citizen interactions. Klinger uses interviews with 80 officers who have used deadly force -- and the results from these interviews shed considerable insight into the officer's split second decision-making -- in their own words. This book is very well written, and gives the reader considerable insight into perceptions of officers who have been involved in shootings - before, during and after the event.
More than an academic work, this book will be of interest to persons interested in the police, police-citizen encounters, and the complex psychological factors that occur when police use deadly force.
Highly recommended -- this is the type of book that you won't be able to put down.
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on April 29, 2004
This book delivers. It gives the inside information from actual law enforcement officers on what it is like to be in a situation where lethal force is necessary. Sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic, Dr. Klinger is able to give a snapshot of the thougths and feelings of officers involved in deadly force siutations. He was able to get them to open up and tell what they were really thinking or feeling.
Oftentimes, the public has the perception that law enforcement officers are robots with no feelings. These true stories from these actual offices dispels those perceptions.
It should be a "must-read" for everyone in law enforcement and should be recommended for those that are not so they can see what it is really, truly like to walk in their shoes.
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on April 22, 2004
I first heard about this recently-released book when I caught part of an interview with the author on our local public radio station. He told the story of how a life-and-deadh situation four months into his police career forced him to take the life of a violent criminal in order to save his partner's life.
Having two close friends who are police officers, the subject immediatly interested me. I picked up the book and was instantly hooked. From the first few pages, this book gives you a "from the inside" look at deadly force situations. The book is interesting from start to finish. It raises important questions and gives the reader a point of view that is often overlooked. I strongly recommend this read.
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on July 7, 2004
Pretty good book if you want to get a sense of what a cop goes through during tense situations. It's bascially a collection of stories by other police officers. Some goes into some gruesome details of shootings and wounds. Some fascinating information on what happens during shootings, like getting tunnel vision during shootings, or starts seeing events in slow motion. But what is lacking is the science of it. He tells you what happens but doesn't explain WHY it happens. It seems that some research to explain the physiological human reactions and behavior during these situations would be enlightening.
But definitely worth the purchase. And I would do it just to support a former cop.
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on May 2, 2004
Into The Kill Zone was a wonderfully, powerfully written account of Police Officers experiences before, during and after the application of deadly force use. I spent 2 years as a Marine in Viet Nam. I spent my entire career as a firefighter and got to know and respect many police officers over my 29 years in public service. I wish I had the opportunity to read this years ago so I could have better understood what my Police Officer friends were and, most likely, still are experiencing in the wake of events like Dave writes about in his book. Trust me, this is a must read book. Thank you Dave Klinger.
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