Pierce R. Brooks flew for the US Navy during World
War II. After the war, he joined the Los Angeles Police Department in 1948 or 1949. As
a Los Angeles Police Officer, Pierce R. Brooks worked patrol, vice, narcotics and homicide. According to
the Crime Classification Manual, “along the way in Los Angeles, he met Jack Webb, the Hollywood director and actor.
Webb performed both function for the television series, Dragnet, and played the part of Sergeant Joe Friday.
Brooks was a perfectionist in his work, and he saw in Webb the same characteristics.” The
manual continued, “the respect was mutual. From time to time during Sergeant Friday’s opening
monologue on Dragnet, he announced the shift’s Watch Commander as Lieutenant Pierce Brooks.”
After a twenty years career, Pierce Brooks retired
as a captain with the reputation as one of the best detectives in the United States. After the Los Angeles
Police Department, in May 1970, Chief Brooks served as the Director of Public Safety in Lakewood, Colorado. Brooks
gained famed as the detective in Joseph Wambaugh’s book, The Onion Field, a true story of
a brutal police killing. An acknowledged expert on police survival, he has conducted many seminars and
lectures through the country. Brooks firm belief that most police killings could have been avoided motivated
him to write, “…officer down, code three.”
Pierce R. Brooks is also the author of The
Investigative Consultant Team: A New Approach for Law Enforcement Cooperation.
reader of …officer down, code three, said, “A classic gem of the police procedural
world and invaluable to authors and readers. I'm lucky to have a signed first edition copy and enjoy browsing through
the stories of how an officer must always be on the alert for the unexpected. "...OFFICER DOWN, CODE
THREE." was for many years the only book out there for police training and in many aspects has not been surpassed by
later efforts. Over and over Pierce R. Brooks stresses the refrain "use your common sense." The book is a gold mine
for authors looking for story ideas of the period. It was invaluable for us as our stories occurred during
the period when this was fresh information and it is sometimes difficult to obtain data about our recent past when computers
were not an everyday tool.”
reader of …officer down, code three, said, “This is a very good book which has
several fictional stories about simple mistakes that can cause an officer their life either from their own mistakes or others.
One of the stories is about an officer
who is riding shotgun with his partner driving and is constantly falling asleep in the car while on patrol. His partner tries
to talk to him about it but gets rebuffed with the other officer saying, "It'll be alright." etc. Until one
day, the sleeping officer is jolted awake by gunfire and a car speeding away. The officer jumps out of the car and rushes
to his partner laying on the street in front of it and discovers two large gunshot wounds to his partners chest.
Instinctively he grabs his shoulder
mike and says, "38-80 Officer down, code three!" The radio crackles back, "38-80, Your location?" The
officer stands up, looks around and sees nothing familiar. Just a road surrounded in trees. Racing through his mind, trying
to remember where he is. The radio crackles again, "38-80, WHAT IS YOUR LOCATION?" Looking down at his partner,
literally dying in front of him, he cannot remember where he is or how he got there...”