A police reporter offers an up-close look inside the daily lives of North Carolina’s state troopers.
Like most law enforcement, their shifts can be filled with long stretches of tedium. They stay at the roadside, watching vehicles rush by, occasionally handing out a speeding ticket or pulling over a drunk driver. Then, suddenly, it can all turn dangerous, when someone pulls a weapon—or heartbreaking, when they are called to the scene of a wreck. This portrait of North Carolina’s elite Highway Patrol recounts both the drama and the day-to-day detail of these state troopers’ lives and work.
In interviews and anecdotes, troopers relate stories of manhunts, narrow misses, breathtaking confrontations, strange and hilarious encounters with the public, and aiding the injured and dying in highway accidents, while troopers’ spouses—and widows—tell of the heart-wrenching realities trooper families face. It’s a fascinating look inside a little-known profession, and the lives of the men and women who watch over us as we travel along—preferably obeying traffic laws as we go.
Using officers of the North Carolina Highway Patrol as representative of state troopers across the country, Asheville Citizen-Times police reporter Bartlett writes of the careers and lives of those who do this work. After rigorous training, troopers are usually sent to areas where they and county sheriff's officers are the only law enforcers. Their routine patrolling of highways, looking for speeders and drunk drivers, is often anything but routine, particularly when they try to intercept fleeing criminals or have to take charge at the scene of an auto accident. But their work has its humorous side, too, especially when motorists try to wheedle their way out of citations. Bartlett presents both male and female officers, their family lives and their views of the job. Photos not seen by PW. Paperback rights to Pocket Books.