Sutton, Randy 1957(?)–
Sutton, Randy 1957(?)–
PERSONAL: Born c. 1957. Education: Certified law enforcement ethics instructor, National Institute of Ethics. Hobbies and other interests: Singing and playing music, especially for musical theater.
CAREER: Princeton, NJ, Police Department, police officer, 1977–87; Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Las Vegas, NV, police sergeant, 1987–. Has worked as a narcotics detective, field training sergeant, federal task-force commander, advanced training supervisor, and certified police instructor. Has appeared as an actor in television series such as Las Vegas and in numerous commercials, television shows, and feature films. Producer of a CD of swing and big-band era music and original compositions. Member of board of directors of numerous charitable organizations.
AWARDS, HONORS: Community Service Award, National Latino Police Officers Association; U.S. Senate commendation; numerous police department commendations for valor and meritorious service.
(Compiler) Cassie Wells, editor, True Blue: Police Stories by Those Who Have Lived Them, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2004.
A Cop's Life: True Stories from the Heart behind the Badge, edited by Cassie Wells, St. Martin's Press(New York, NY), 2005.
Senior editor, Training Wheel (law-enforcement publication).
WORK IN PROGRESS: Working on scripts for a cable television series in development.
SIDELIGHTS: Randy Sutton is a sergeant with the Las Vegas, Nevada, police department, and he is also known as an occasional television actor and for his role as senior editor of the respected law enforcement publication Training Wheel. A veteran of almost thirty years of police work, Sutton has received commendations for his valor and service above-the-call of duty. Much of his work has focused on training and educating police officers, helping them understand and overcome the multitude of dangers they will face in the line of duty. Sutton shares much of his knowledge and experience in two books that explore the stresses, troubles, and victories of life as a police officer.
With True Blue: Police Stories by Those Who Have Lived Them Sutton seeks to "honor all police officers but especially those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks of 2001," noted Library Journal contributor Tim Delaney. The book is divided into five sections, each covering an element of police work familiar to officers: The Beat, War Stories, Officer Down, Line of Duty, and Ground Zero. The stories, many written by police officers from around the country, answer Sutton's question of how the police can show citizens and fellow cops alike who they really are. The book covers all elements of police work, from the sometimes-numbingly boring routine duties to violent encounters and occasionally humorous or bizarre incidents. Many of the stories relate to the events of September 11, 2001, and the gallantry of the police and rescue personnel who responded to the attacks. "The result is an effective overview of police work," Delaney concluded. Booklist reviewer Connie Fletcher called the book "a gripping look into cops' minds and hearts for interested teens."
In a profile by John Przybys for Las Vegas Review Journal, Suttone stated that "a legacy of truth" about police work is one thing he wants to express to his readers. "Truth, in all its frightening, depressing, surprising colors, is the thread that runs through" Sutton's second book, A Cop's Life: True Stories from the Heart behind the Badge, "brilliantly evokes the tormented inner life of the average cop with twenty short but powerful autobiographical sketches," commented a reviewer in Publishers Weekly. Sutton explores his own reactions to the harsh realities he has seen over the years and how the stress of police work can be formidable. He describes the tragic stories he has encountered involving the mentally ill, criminals, gang members, suicides, and burned-out cops. In one story, for example, a grandmother is killed by gang members after she complained about the noise they were making outside her tenement window. Another incident involves an honor student who hangs himself after receiving a low grade on his report card. In another, a daughter beats her dying mother to death as the older woman lays in a hospice bed. Occasionally, the gloom is dispelled by an uplifting encounter, such as a suicidal cop who finds a new reason to live when he finds sick puppy in a dumpster, and when a young girl displays unrestrained, innocent gratitude to Sutton after he helps her across the street.
"What comes through in Sutton's collection is the sense that, but for the job description, police officers are subject to feeling the same hopes, fears and frustrations as anybody else who's struggling to do a difficult job as honorably as they can," Przybys remarked. "Too often," noted a Kirkus Reviews critic, "he leaves us stranded at crime scenes without telling us whether victims lived or died, or if arrests were made." However, the same reviewer concluded that Sutton's work effectively "conveys the emotional toll exacted by years of cleaning up after human misdeeds."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, January 1, 2004, Connie Fletcher, review of True Blue: Police Stories by Those Who Have Lived Them, p. 797.
Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2005, review of A Cop's Life: True Stories from the Heart behind the Badge, p.530.
Las Vegas Review Journal, July 10, 2005, John Przybys, "Book Gives Inside Look at Police Officer's Life," review of A Cop's Life.
Library Journal, February 15, 2004, Tim Delaney, review of True Blue, p. 144.
Publishers Weekly, May 16, 2005, review of A Cop's Life, p. 51.
True Blue Stories Web site, http://www.truebluestories.com/ (October 23, 2005), biography of Randy Sutton.