Policing in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. The raw, unvarnished truth. Find out about the cops who owned the night, who dominated the streets.
Chris Berg and Paul James Smith’s debut book
The Night Police is true-crime fiction told by
two cops who have been there.
In this white-hot, true crime anthology you'll meet the dangerous men that are The Night Police.
Listen in as real-life urban policing is graphically exposed from the inside.
Never politically correct, the hard edges have not been ground smooth to avoid abrasive thoughts or suspect tactics.
In The Night Police a kindly, rust belt tavern hosts four veteran lawmen who’ve gathered for a cathartic night of drinking and a homecoming of sorts.
The graphic and often extraordinary tales they swap are just the prelude to an unfolding and stunning revelation. These men and rogue trooper Max Golden take a dark journey together and no one escapes unscathed.
Find out about the lawmen who rode out the final chapters of the millennia and dominated after nightfall. The street monsters, The Night Police.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT THE NIGHT POLICE
“I love THE NIGHT POLICE’s authentic feel. It propelled me along a harrowing journey into the unseen world of adrenaline and pursuit that left me wanting more!”
Andrew Peterson, Internationally bestselling
author of the Nathan McBride series
“Fascinating, gut-wrenching, highly entertaining…a rare tale that this reader will not forget. It reads like the truth…an amazing novel.”
The editors at BookBaby
“Once you pick up THE NIGHT POLICE, you’ll have a tough time putting it down! The tales are apt to leave you with the same odd sensation in the pit of your stomach felt by the cop who lived to tell the tale…”
Rob Hanley, Former writer at The Los Angeles Times;
Editor at The San Diego Union-Tribune
"This is a work truly difficult to put down, even in the moments that rend the heart and soul. So immersive is the writing that the reader cannot help but feel transported into the screaming police cruiser, amidst the fog of war, and back again to the duo of relief and melancholy at end of watch. We hear the author’s voices, their shouts and laughter and tears translate as clearly and cleanly as if we were in the mix alongside them.
At its core, the gift of this writing is empathy for our guardians, if only a sliver. For even now, THE NIGHT POLICE have the watch, and we owe our relative tranquillity to them."
Charlie Gris, Buffalo, NY
"Are you game to be transported into the lives of THE NIGHT POLICE? How does it really feel to be in their boots, to feel the other side only the inner circle knows? Reading the experience from the point of view of THE NIGHT POLICE themselves is an exceptionally rich experience.
In some places it hurts and stuns. It’s funny, poignant and at times, bizarre. By the final chapter you may even question yourself for any separation you may have felt between them and us”.
Randy Kirwan, San Rafael, CA
"A great job by Berg and Smith. THE NIGHT POLICE is in the vein of Michael Connolly and the gritty deeds done by his Harry Bosch character.
Truly a page-turner. The sensory descriptions were real, the sounds and smells put you on the beat with THE NIGHT POLICE."
Tom Stuhlreyer, Milwaukee, WI
"I reviewed the book as a 30 plus year veteran cop from a major metropolitan police department, and I can tell you THE NIGHT POLICE is on target with every salvo beginning to end. The book accurately portrayed the path of a cop’s career from bright-eyed rookie to grizzled veteran. Parts of the book were told in such a way that it brought me back to scenes from my own career and brought an unexpected rush of emotions, good and bad.
I had to put it down at times to process old feelings, and it reminded me of the deep bond that forms between cops, a bond that lasts a lifetime. When I finished, all I could say was “Wow man... wow!”
Sgt. Brett Linden, San Jose PD, Retired
EXCERPTS FROM THE NIGHT POLICE
Heckle and Jeckle
Officer Ron Johnson was in a serious discussion with his graveyard shift beat partner, Officer Max Golden. Because of their similar time on the department and their propensity to get into shit, or otherwise stir things up, they had been tagged Heckle and Jeckle.
The senior of the two, Heckle (Officer Ron Johnson) was explaining why they urgently needed a confidential informant. Jeckle (Officer Max Golden) was nodding in agreement. “Jeckle, we will always be small-time if we don’t start developing snitches. We’ll never be street monsters, let alone detectives. Shit, they could transfer us to day shift!”
Jeckle bristled at the threat of day shift. “Let’s watch Brett Bollinger’s house tonight…shake down anybody we see leaving. If we catch somebody holding, we tell ’em they gotta snitch or else.”
The plan was beautiful in its simplicity. Everyone in the free world knew that Brett was a coke dealer. The narcs knew it well but were trying to work that into something bigger. They had shut Heckle and Jeckle down when they went to the narcs with what they thought was probable cause for a search warrant of the Bollinger home. The dynamic duo were disappointed when they were told to leave Brett Bollinger alone. However, the narcs didn’t say anything about shaking down his visitors.
A couple of cars had come and gone from Bollinger’s place, but calls for service kept them from making the car stops. At 1:30 in the morning, Jeckle came on the radio. “Northern, B11.”
“I’ll be out of the vehicle with a suspicious person, 2300 block of Lakeville.”
“Roger B11. Unit to fill with 11?”
“Northern, B12, I’m a block away. I’ll handle.”
Jeckle could hear Heckle’s squad car coming the entire time, assuredly more than “a block away.” The big 440 Dodge sounded like it could suck pigeons off the telephone wires when Heckle put his foot into it.
Moments later the darkened cruiser slid up to Jeckle and his suspicious person. Heckle jumped out. “Hello, Mike Cutler. Long time, no see.”
Cutler did not seem at all happy to see Officer Johnson.
“Hey, shit bag. Where you coming from?”
“Must be coming from somewhere…everybody does. I just came from Lakeville Park, so where you coming from?”
Jeckle chimed in, “I’m pretty sure I saw him leave Brett Bollinger’s place.”
Cutler visibly squirming now.
Heckle, “Well up jumped the devil! Brett Bollinger is a drug dealer! Mikey, you weren’t at a drug dealer’s house, were you?”
Cutler wanted to rabbit, but his drug-addled brain telegraphed his move about 4 minutes before his feet could get going. Jeckle wrapped a large gloved hand around Mike Cutler’s skinny neck and marched him over to the front of the cruiser. With his other hand he started turning out the contents of the hype burglar’s clothing.
On pocket number two Jeckle came up with two decent-sized glassine bags with white powder in them. It was enough to charge anyone with possession for sale.
“Uh-oh. Mikey, I’m so disappointed in you. I think this means you have to go to prison.” Jeckle snapped his handcuffs on Cutler’s skinny wrists.
Cutler now blubbering and blowing snot bubbles. “I can’t go to prison, man,” he wailed.
“Should have thought before you scored from Bollinger. I agree with you though, a little skinny shit like you will not last a week in prison. Some big grabboon is going to punk you out. What do you think, Heckle?”
“I think you’re right, Jeckle. About a week after he lands in Big Muddy, you’ll be able to turn a moped around inside his skinny asshole!”
“Big Muddy?” Cutler sobbed.
“Yeah, sure. Big Muddy, Mid-Central, Ozark, it’s all the same. Your skinny ass. Big black boyfriend with a dick like an anaconda.”
“Puhleeeeeze, you guys, I can give you something. I can give you Bollinger. You just saw me go there, I can buy from him!”
Tougher Than Jimmy's Neck
Bristol City domesticated a young, transplanted officer in the early 1960s. He was a hard-charging, ass-kicking street monster, the Night Police’s own, Pat Quinn.
One of this academy’s instructors referenced Quinn as “tougher than Jimmy’s neck.” There wasn’t a single recruit who could decode that phrase, though many of them used it their entire career.
Quinn spent over 30 years in the service of Bristol City, and as one might expect, not all of it in the good graces of his department or the city administration. The city fathers were a frequent target whom he referred to as “nincompoop windbags.” Most of the recruits thought that was hysterical. Who the fuck says “nincompoop”?
Quinn was the subject of more than one absolute monument to police work. One afternoon, during a break from back-to-back classes of “Organizational Matrix and Chain of Command” and the ever-popular “Introduction to Criminal Law,” a small group of the recruits were shooting the shit in a nearly empty classroom.
Joining them was another of their instructors, Tony Masero, 25 years on the job and a rapidly graying sergeant in the MPD, or Mounted Patrol Division (read cops on horses, typically referred to as the “Mounties”). He was sitting over the edge of the table drinking a Tab and regaling them with the cop stories they craved.
His Pat Quinn story went something like this:
After five years as a beat officer in San Diego, California, Quinn made the move east, purportedly to satisfy his young, first wife who was habitually out of sorts. She missed her Midwestern life, her family, and especially her mother who lived about twenty miles north of Bristol City.
BCPD scooped Quinn up, always on the lookout for bright young officers, especially from what they assumed to be the more progressive law enforcement of the left coast.
It cost him in salary and lifestyle to make the move, but Quinn worked to convince his brethren it was the right thing to do for his marriage. The little woman, Lorraine Quinn, bolted for Cincinnati, Ohio, about seven months after setting up their new homestead. It appeared she preferred the company of her new beau, a Roto-Grip Bowling ball salesman for fuck’s sake.
Back in ’62, the new year in San Diego rang in with a bang. Quinn was pushing a police cruiser through what is now the Southeastern Division, in the neighborhoods of Skyline and Lincoln Park. Gritty even then, this oldest section of Lincoln Park, between Imperial Avenue and Ocean View Boulevard, took up the bulk of Quinn’s patrol time.
On a warm, late afternoon in January, Quinn was berthed at Las Cuatro Milpas, an old joint even in 1962, in the Barrio Logan area. He was off his beat, by a lot, but in those days, a cop could flat cover ground, with little traffic stopping his progress. The yearning for those pudgy tamales and steamy bowls of chorizo was more than a young swashbuckler could resist.
According to Masero, Quinn had quaffed one of his favorites from Cervecería Modelo and dug in his pockets for change to leave as a tip. Paying a lunch tab was frowned upon by most cops and often they’d stiff the owners, not just here but anywhere they got the free meal. Not Pat Quinn. He knew they wanted him and other troopers in the door, as a deterrent to crime if nothing else, but he felt their service deserved payment.
With his back to the door, Quinn talked with the very hard-working owner of his favorite Mexican cookshop when he heard two pops. Before he could turn, a third. This one perforated the big front window of Las Cuatro Milpas and drilled Raphael Ochoa in the middle of the forehead, blowing the back of his skull off and marinating his sister María Isabel in his brains.
Quinn unholstered and threw his arm across the shoulders of the stunned María Isabel, crashing them both to the floor. Telling her not to move, he belly-crawled, pooling blood and brains into the front of his uniform shirt. He peered cautiously out the corner of the same front window only to see a single white male, with a handgun in his left hand. The suspect casually walked to a powder blue and white, Chevy Bel Air parked northbound, heading away from Quinn’s position. The guy slid into the driver’s seat and started the engine.
Quinn sprinted for his patrol car. The white guy was already moving and picking up speed by the time Quinn got underway.
What Quinn didn’t know was that the white guy, Denton Hawley, was three for four.
His first two shots killed DeMarco Santin and Hewitt Pierce, both San Diego County Sheriff’s Deputies. Just minutes before, the deputies had attempted to serve an arrest warrant on Hawley at the front door of his mother’s shop, “Angela’s Sewing & Alterations.”
DeMarco took the first round in the mouth, Hewitt took the second in the chin. Neither of them heard the other hit the ground.