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THE BCMC: The Big City Motor Cop
A young, idealistic young man from Iowa comes to California to join the Los Angeles Police Department in the late 1950s. The country is in the beginning of the Civil Rights era and many cities are in turmoil. After a two-year stint in street patrol in downtown L.A., Pete Felix achieves his goal of becoming a motorcycle officer. His fellow officers call...
A young, idealistic young man from Iowa comes to California to join the Los Angeles Police Department in the late 1950s. The country is in the beginning of the Civil Rights era and many cities are in turmoil. After a two-year stint in street patrol in downtown L.A., Pete Felix achieves his goal of becoming a motorcycle officer. His fellow officers call themselves B.C.M.C. meaning, Big City Motor Cops. His first trial is to complete the rigid training required by the LAPD to be accepted as a motor officer. As Pete relates, it was not an easy task. During his motor officer training, Pete meets his future police partner and they begin to experience the challenges and dangers that motorcycle cops face daily on the crowded and mean streets of L.A.. Pete begins his story after his retirement as a middle-aged man watching the riots on TV that followed the Rodney King incident. He fumes at the lack of police attention to the crimes being committed in front of the cameras. Finally, he realizes that he can do nothing to stop the wild scenes and, in frustration, heads off to bed thinking of the past and his time on the job with the BCMCs. He then relates many of his activities, arrests and experiences, which include many humorous incidents mixed with some of the most terrifying times in the City of Angels. The reader will find out what it is like to be a traffic enforcement officer in one of the largest cities in the country. Pete tells how he learned the ins and outs of riding a big police motorcycle on the streets and freeways of L.A. and gives you a personal glimpse of the many personalities that make up the LAPD of that era. Look in on the rollicking times in the police roll-calls as they start their tours of duty. They challenge authority of supervision and generally raise hell at some of these roll-calls! Pete opens his police story with the chilling and most dangerous motorcycle police action: a pursuit! He describes his thoughts and actions as he chases the suspects and tries to stay alive while doing it. As the story unfolds, you get a picture of the private conversations and relationships between the officers with which Pete works in the various phases of his career. Accidents and confrontations with traffic violators are the daily challenge of a BCMC and Pete has his own way of dealing with them. The manner with which cops deal mentally with the horrors and the sadness of the real life and death that the cops must face will surprise you. Some will say that cops must be hardened and cynical to cope. Some are and some aren t. Go with Pete and his fellow officers as the City of L.A. erupts into the chaos of the Watts Riot. Feel the terror and dangers that faced the BCMCs and the innocent victims of the riot. Pete survives several minor accidents on his motorcycle but, while on a special detail chasing speeders in a busy part of L.A., Pete crashes into a car that makes an illegal turn in front of him. He receives major injuries that threaten his career as a motor cop. Pete recovers and regains his position on the job but things are never the same for him after that. As Pete ages, he looks back at the way things were and the way they for are him now. With a flare for comedy and a dedication to duty, Gary Smith tells the stories that he and other officers lived on the LAPD in his era. The stories in his book are true stories from his personal experiences and of some of his fellow officers. Names have been changed but the realities that Gary portrays here are.... The way it was!
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