Reading ➹ Blue: A Memoir – Keeping the Peace and Falling to Pieces Author John Sutherland – Tactical-player.co.uk

Blue: A Memoir – Keeping the Peace and Falling to Pieces I don t think it s easy to write a memoir In fact, I d say it must be extremely difficult to describe the important parts of one s own life in a way that s relatable and meaningful to the total strangers who will read the words Additionally, within the genre, I reckon it must be such a challenge to write about a world unknown to many readers life inside the police service, for instance or accurately convey the intimate horrors of any form of devastating emotional distress Sutherland has done a terrific job on all three counts And that s a remarkable thing.I can remember the police service of forty years ago and its psychological ignorance and inability to attend to the inevitability and complexity of trauma and depression It was an unforgiving place When I heard about this memoir my initial hope was that I would find evidence of change in its pages Well, there s plenty of change and not just computers but I couldn t spot any signs of the cultural change I sought I found this quite disappointing, doubly so when confronted by the irony that, in working so hard to support his own officers and staff, Sutherland was striving to achieve the necessary cultural progression for the benefit of others that in due course he so desperately needed for himself.Apart from the few close friends and fellow officers who rallied round to offer support, the book gave me the impression that Sutherland was very much on his own as he experienced a completely understandable and human response to the terrible and relentless psychological demands of The Job For me, this makes Blue A Memoir not only an extremely moving and thought provoking piece of writing but also a particularly brave one.Is this book on the reading list for Hendon recruits It should be. This book is incredible, it captures what Officers go through on a daily basis and does so in an incredibly police typical way no nonsenseChange the dates and locations and this could have been my storyI fell too, in my 29th year The passing of a small child tripped me up I guess I nearly made itI will buy this book for some members of my family , I think it may help them understand what changed me It s such an accurate book, written in such a way that you feel as though you are there and maybe it will help those that have never been there to understand a littleThanks boss As I have completed 30 years police service I was interested in shared experiences and comparisons with my own career The book is well written and the experiences of the author will be very familiar with serving and retired police officers, although, for readers who don t appreciate the levels of violence and emotional strain under which police officers routinely work, they may seem exceptional My criticism of the book concerns the impression given by the author of being a front line, operational police officer , when, in reality, he was on an accelerated promotion scheme, which inevitably removed him from operational pressures and risks from very early in his career and the book increasingly becomes a cathartic justification for his nervous breakdown Thousands of my colleagues suffer similar stresses and traumas but do not break down and their stories remain untold However, I m not belittling the impact of a nervous breakdown to one s personal health, relationships or career and if that s your reason for reading the book, it will provide valuable information to enable you to empathise with the author. Take away the fact I was a Duty Officer at Southwark when John was there and I would still unhesitatingly recommend this book It starts as many policing books do with coppering tales of ludicrousness and heartache that only this job could provide, whilst in the back of your mind you know at some point there s a cliff edge coming up.This isn t a book written in an attempt to gain sympathy or pity It s just honest The rapid descent into depression is vividly portrayed and transports you to a place where claustrophobia is tangible, made stark because you know it isn t a product of creative imagination.This is a book about people and stories, and about their capacity to do terrible harm, only matched by their capacity to inspire and love It s also a quantum leap forward in the destigmatisation of mental illness.Worthy of 5 stars. A Sunday Times Top Five BestsellerThis Is A Remarkable Book Profound Anddeeply Moving It Has As Much To Tell Us Aboutmental Illness As It Does About Policing Alastair StewartJohn Sutherland Joined The Met In , Having Dreamed Of Being A Police Officer Since His Teens Rising Quickly Through The Ranks, He Experienced All That Is Extraordinary About A Life In Blue Saving Lives, Finding The Lost, Comforting The Broken And Helping To Take Dangerous People Off The Streets But For Every Case With A Happy Ending, There Were Others That Ended In Desperate Sadness, And In John Suffered A Major Breakdown Blue Is His Memoir Of Crime And Calamity, Of Adventure And Achievement, Of Friendship And Failure, Of Serious Illness And Slow Recovery With Searing Honesty, It Offers An Immensely Moving And Personal Insight Into What It Is To Be A Police Officer In Britain Today

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