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Feb 22 09 5:58 AM
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Feb 22 09 6:00 AM
When we meet Officer Paul Bacon, he's wrestling on the floor of an Old Navy in Harlem with a coked-up, 250-pound shoplifter whose
welfare card identifies him - to the cop's disbelief - as "Geraldine Harris."
In the midst of their struggle, his partner, Officer Clarabel Suarez, reaches for her pepper spray, just as Bacon remembers a piece of
advice he heard at the station: "Pepper spray only works on cops and innocent bystanders."
"The supernatural magnetism of my cop face pulled the stream toward me, bending it around body parts and funneling it between my
lips," Bacon writes in his forthcoming memoir, "Bad Cop: New York's Least Likely Police Officer Tells All." "The perp, naturally, was
totally unfazed and kept gyrating on top of me."
In that moment, Bacon starts to rethink his decision, made in a burst of patriotic pride after 9/11, to join the NYPD. "Years of
good intentions went up in flames, along with my lips and taste buds."
Bacon was a 35-year-old unemployed computer geek when he became the foulest of the Finest, eventually spending three years as a beat
cop, mostly in the 28th Precinct in Harlem.
But he readily admits in his book that he was a hapless, bumbling crime-fighter who handcuffed himself the first night he got his
equipment (and couldn't get free), and was either too timid to make arrests or - in the case of parking tickets - too sympathetic to the
"I lacked machismo, which is something that held me back when I was wearing the uniform," says Bacon, who now teaches scuba
diving in Hawaii, where he lives with his wife, a yoga teacher.
Still, the job did have its benefits. "It was like getting married to New York," he says.
It also gave him the chance to patrol with Suarez, the pseudonym he uses for a sass-talking Dominican rookie with whom he falls in love
while busting "skells" and trying not to be known as a "hairball" cop.
She's the brains of the operation, as when the crime-fighting duo come upon two men brawling in the street. Bacon is ready to jump
in when Suarez stops him.
" 'Wait,' she said, pulling me back by the arm. 'Don't get too close.' "
Undeterred, Bacon asks, "Don't we have to separate them, at least?"
Suarez answers: "In stupid little fights like this, you just wait for the results. The loser goes to the hospital. The winner goes
The experience made Bacon appreciate a cops' life. Though he used to believe friends when they told him about a bad experience with
a cop, "Now I know they tend to lie. I know it's something they did. I turned 180 degrees."
Ultimately, though, Bacon realizes the NYPD isn't right for him. Assigned to a midnight counterterrorism security detail at Police
Plaza, he's given the keys to a nearby patrol car to nap. But Bacon somehow locks himself inside the car and has to call 911 for assistance.
As Suarez drives him home on his last night on the job, he announces he wants to marry her. " 'That's sweet,' she
replied, patting my hands, 'but the only reason I'd marry you is for the life insurance, 'cuz you're not long for this world.'
Feb 22 09 8:13 AM
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Feb 22 09 8:53 AM
does he mean hairbag instead of hairball
Feb 22 09 9:13 AM
Feb 22 09 9:21 AM
"I believe that nobody should take joy in the murder of another individual, but if I told you I was weeping, I would be
EDWARD I KOCH (comments upon hearing that Larry Davis was murdered in jail)
Feb 22 09 9:26 AM
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Feb 22 09 11:26 AM
Bacon, who now teaches scuba diving in Hawaii, where he lives with his wife, a yoga teacher.
Feb 22 09 11:49 AM
Feb 22 09 12:34 PM
Feb 22 09 12:41 PM
"Hysterical...an honest look at the life of an NYC cop."
Albert O'Leary, New York City Patrolmen's Benevolent Association
Feb 22 09 12:53 PM
Feb 22 09 12:55 PM
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