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Book details
  • SubGenre:Law Enforcement
  • Language:English
  • Pages:208
  • eBook ISBN:9781098363307
  • Paperback ISBN:9781098363291

Seven Shades of Blue

Tales from the Streets

by Jerry Schoenle View author's profile page

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"Seven Shades of Blue" provides the reader with an exciting inside look at a career cop's life and the challenges that he faces.  It is written in style similar to Joseph Wambaugh's, except the stories are real-life, first-hand experiences.  The text is filled with captivating story after story, from inside the walls of Attica Prison, to crime in the streets, including travels to China to train the Chinese Police and meeting Bob Hope during the Gulf War.


First-time author Jerry Schoenle with four decades in law enforcement, presents this riveting first-person account of a street cop’s life.  The book title, “Seven Shades of Blue,” refers to the seven different uniforms Schoenle wore during his career, beginning with the United States Air Force and followed by six law enforcement agencies. 

This fascinating first-person account gives the reader a behind-the-scenes view of a career cop.  It is told in a style like bestselling author Joseph Wambaugh's who is known for his fascinating novels on police work that could only be told by someone who has truly lived and experienced the world of a cop.  The memoir is easy-to-read, honest prose.  Rather than a factual autobiography, the book is more like the transcript of a veteran cop sitting around the campfire chatting with family and friends, telling compelling and sometimes shocking stories about his life. The format is similar to Mark Baker's "COPS," which causes the reader to be immediately engaged in the story and connect with the writer.  

A cops’ work is active, exciting, unpredictable, sometimes violent, and borderline-illicit.  Yet "policing" is less active, more a matter of maintaining public order rather than bagging the next arrest.  Policing is the mundane that takes up most of an officer’s day.  The author clearly shows the evolving nature of professionalism in policing from the 70s to the present day.  The book culminates and is all tied together with an essay in the addendum entitled "Fixing our Police, Yes, Black Lives Matter."  This provides concrete, research-based solutions on police reform.

"In four decades of policing, I have found police officers to be ambitious, alert to the requirements for advancement, disappointed when they fail to make rank, and elated when promoted.  We become warm and emotional when speaking about our families, cry when describing a child’s birth or marriage of a daughter.  All of this may be obvious and unexciting, but if it isn’t stated, cops seem like the flat cardboard character of most fiction works.  Until you have met the police, you can’t understand the cops.  Cops take risks, so you don’t have to" (Jerry Schoenle).

“Seven Shades of Blue” opens the curtain to the “thin blue line” of the cops’ world to help the reader understand who cops really are.

About the author

Jerry Schoenle served as the Chief of Police for the University at Buffalo from July of 2006 until March of 2018. He joined UB from his position as Assistant Chief of Police for the City of Arlington Texas Police Department, where he served from May 2005. Originally a Buffalo native, Chief Schoenle served with the City of Buffalo Police department from 1980 to 2000, rising through the ranks from Patrol Division Officer to Captain of Communications & Administration. In addition, he ran a police academy as the Director of Public Safety Training for Erie County Central Police Services from 2000 to 2005. He is a Police Accreditation Assessor and Administrative Studies consultant for IACLEA and for the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services. Mr. Schoenle also offers private consulting and Expert Witness Services. He earned his master's degree in Criminal Justice from Buffalo State College in 1999, where he was also an adjunct professor with the Criminal Justice Department. In 1997 he graduated from the FBI National Academy; in 2000, he attended the Senior Management Institute for Police instructed by the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He maintained a parallel career with the United States Air Force, both Active & Reserves, serving with the 914th Tactical Airlift Group during Desert Storm, retiring as a Chief Master Sergeant in 1995. Mr. Schoenle started his career in the criminal justice system as a House Parent for eight juvenile boys in 1978. Before accepting his first police officer position, he spent eighteen months as a NYS Correction Officer at Attica Correctional Facility from 1979-1980. He resides in Cocoa Beach, Florida.  While Mr. Schoenle is a first-time author, he does have several articles published in law enforcement journals.

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