The incredible journey of a German immigrant, who came from the corporate world of business lunches and suit-and-tie dress code, to experiencing 9/11 shortly after arrival in his new home country. Then destiny flung him to the far southwestern corner of the United States, where he became a Deputy Sheriff at the age of 41.
In this autobiography, Peine takes the reader on a virtual ride-along, chronicling his life on the beat, later as detective, and finally as official spokesperson for the department. This book offers the author’s unique experience of American police culture through the eyes of a European immigrant. It subjects the reader to an unfiltered look at life in and around Tucson, AZ from 2006 to 2015.
It’s not all gun slinging, however, but rather a recollection and reflection on his time as a peace officer with the department that once had Wyatt Earp among its members.
CW/TW – The author discusses his experiences in and around NYC on 9/11. He discusses various cases/call-outs he was involved with as a LEO (deputy, detective, public relations officer) which (among other things) include violence, immigration, and sex crimes. Tom’s wife was diagnosed with and treated for cancer.
This sounded interesting. Tom Peine was born and raised in Germany. met his US citizen second wife there, ended up immigrating to the US and after leaving a corporate job, finally realized his long held dream of becoming a law enforcement officer. He had tried as a young adult in Germany but high blood pressure had ended that attempt. But with his wife’s blessing, and at age (almost) 41, he signed up to go through the challenging application process of the Pima County Sheriff department before being accepted into the program.
I enjoyed his account of the even more grueling 20 week long training course (oooh, the sand pit) followed by twelve weeks of apprenticeship with experienced deputies before going out on his own. His sense of pride and accomplishment were palpable. After years as a deputy, he shifted over to becoming a detective (finance crimes followed by sex crimes) and later a public relations officer for the department.
During his training days, he recounts how he and another trainee discussed how one officer had stated his (personal) view of law enforcement in that people were either sheep (average citizen), sheep-dogs (law enforcement) , or wolves (criminals) and how they disagreed with that view that set LEOs apart from the people they swore to protect. If a police force drifts to only being a force, then this is not the best thing for the populace at large. People must trust the officers who uphold those laws that society has chosen to live under. Officers must enforce those laws equally and fairly for the protection of all the people.
The recollections that Peine mentions vary from humorous, tense, frustrating, to heartbreaking. He advocates for mental health for LEOs and talked about a school visit he made – in full uniform – in Germany with English language students who were astonished when they discovered where he was born (he said that his accent was guessed to be more Canadian than German). He also talked about how coming from a country that (today) more strictly follows rules but that had a past when this was taken too far had affected his view of how to judge when to take a more lenient path with suspects he encountered.
Getting a viewpoint from someone who didn’t grow up in one’s country is, I think, a good thing. Seeing how Tom was embraced and supported by his new colleagues was heartwarming. This definitely falls under “job I could never do.” I think the residents of Pima County, AZ were lucky to have Tom looking after them while he did. B+
Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 25 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there’s no TSTL characters and is currently reading more fantasy and SciFi.