Fletcher, Connie 1947-

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Fletcher, Connie 1947-

PERSONAL:

Born 1947. Education: Loyola University, Chicago, B.A.; Northwestern University, Ph.D.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Department of Communication, Loyola University, Lake Shore Campus, 204 Loyola Hall, 1110 W. Loyola Ave., Chicago, IL 60626. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, instructor; Loyola University, Chicago, IL, associate professor of journalism, 1986—.

WRITINGS:

(With Michael Kilian and F. Richard Ciccone) Who Runs Chicago?, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1979.

What Cops Know: Cops Talk about What They Do, How They Do It, and What It Does to Them, Villard Books (New York, NY), 1991.

Pure Cop: Cop Talk from the Street to the Specialized Units—Bomb Squad, Arson, Hostage Negotiation, Prostitution, Major Accidents, Crime Scene, Villard Books (New York, NY), 1991.

Breaking & Entering: Women Cops Talk about Life in the Ultimate Men's Club, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1995.

Every Contact Leaves a Trace: Crime Scene Experts Talk about Their Work from Discovery through Verdict, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2006.

Also author of the pamphlet "How to Buy a Home: A Practical Guide to Finding and Buying the Right Home," Follett (Chicago, IL), 1978.

ADAPTATIONS:

Books adapted for audio include What Cops Know: Cops Talk about What They Do, How They Do It, and What It Does to Them, L.A. Theatre Works, 1994.

SIDELIGHTS:

Connie Fletcher, the sister of a police officer, offers an inside look into law enforcement with What Cops Know: Cops Talk about What They Do, How They Do It, and What It Does to Them. Fletcher interviewed 125 members of the Chicago Police Department, who revealed that one of their hardest jobs is conducting raids on the locations of drug dealers. They also told her that maintaining control when they arrest a child molester is very difficult, even for the most experienced veteran. Fletcher followed with Pure Cop: Cop Talk from the Street to the Specialized Units—Bomb Squad, Arson, Hostage Negotiation, Prostitution, Major Accidents, Crime Scene. In this volume she similarly interviews Chicago policemen, but focusing on the special units of the force.

The field of law enforcement has long been dominated by men, but in the last several decades, women have taken an increasing number of jobs and made considerable strides rising through the ranks. It has not been easy, however. Breaking & Entering: Women Cops Talk about Life in the Ultimate Men's Club, contains interviews with female officers of varying ranks and ages, including those in both urban and rural settings. The dominant theme is the difficulty they experienced during training, as partners of male officers, and in their relationships with the wives of male officers. Stories of sexual harassment and discrimination are included, as are observations of the differences in law enforcement styles of men and women. Wes Lukowsky commented in Booklist that Fletcher offers "an extraordinary glimpse inside a world too often seen only in fiction. This is the real deal, and it's as good as any crime novel."

In Every Contact Leaves a Trace: Crime Scene Experts Talk about Their Work from Discovery through Verdict, Fletcher interviews crime scene experts, including some who are well known. Fletcher demonstrates how good forensic scientists help even small communities with limited resources and lack of access to high-tech equipment. Many of the crime lab experts, medical examiners, DNA experts, and crime scene reconstructionists with whom she spoke said that television series often give the impression that towns have more resources available than they really do and that crimes are solved quicker than they are. The book shows how the fact that every contact does leave a trace has made solving crimes both more efficient and more difficult. A Publishers Weekly contributor described as "especially well-crafted" a section of the book that compares a Midwestern town's investigation of the killer of a young girl with the task of identifying victims of 9/11.

The eighty contributors describe the details of their jobs, some of which are gruesome. Booklist reviewer Stephanie Zvirin noted that "the speakers' testimonies seek to blunt the horrors they observe every day."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, June 1, 1995, Wes Lukowsky, review of Breaking & Entering: Women Cops Talk about Life in the Ultimate Men's Club, p. 1702; August 1, 2006, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Every Contact Leaves a Trace: Crime Scene Experts Talk about Their Work from Discovery through Verdict, p. 16.

Publishers Weekly, November 16, 1990, Genevieve Stuttaford, review of What Cops Know: Cops Talk about What They Do, How They Do It, and What It Does to Them, p. 50; November 8, 1991, review of Pure Cop: Cop Talk from the Street to the Specialized Units—Bomb Squad, Arson, Hostage Negotiation, Prostitution, Major Accidents, Crime Scene, p. 57; May 4, 1992, review of What Cops Know, p. 27; June 5, 2006, review of Every Contact Leaves a Trace, p. 52.

Reference & Research Book News, November, 2006, review of Every Contact Leaves a Trace.

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Fletcher, Connie 1947-

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