Joseph Wambaugh is the charter member of the board of commissioners having joined in 1998.
Commissioner Wambaugh is a former law enforcement veteran having served as an LAPD officer from 1960 until his departure as a detective sergeant in 1974.
Along the way he built a career out of writing best sellers and is today, one of the world’s best selling police authors.
But Commissioner Wambaugh is more than just a cop-turned-writer, and his novels are much more than just "cop stories": they have effectively redefined the genre of police drama and the way police officers are depicted therein.
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Commissioner Wambaugh's cops are frightened, profane, violent, and fallible, forced to protect citizens who resent them.
His writing--both fiction and non-fiction--"takes us into the minds and hearts, into the nerves and (sometimes literally) into the guts of other human beings," claims Thomas Fleming in the New York Times Book Review. "It achieves a mixture of empathy and objectivity that creates genuine understanding."
His ability to evoke sympathy for crude and often distasteful characters has made Wambaugh popular with both readers and critics. "Let us dispel forever the notion that Mr. Wambaugh is only a former cop who happens to write books." comments Evan Hunter in the New York Times Book review.
"This would be tantamount to saying that Jack London was first and foremost a sailor. Mr. Wambaugh is, in fact, a writer of genuine power, style, wit and originality, who has chosen to write about the police in particular as a means of expressing his views on society in general."
To visit Commissioner Wambaugh's website, click on the banner link.