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Born and raised in St, Louis, Bill Leahy was a product of the parochial school system. It was custom back in the early fifties for the St. Louis Police Department to hire 16 year olds to work as Telephone Operators in the District Stations. Many came up through the clerical ranks just as he did and later transitioned to the "wearing of the blue." The five or so year stewardship provided a tremendous edge usually leading to positions as an Aide to the Commander. Those in this inner circle were often groomed for bigger things...that is, if you stuck it out.

It takes about five years of working on the streets to turn that young police officer from a liability to an asset and about the same amount of time to learn that you are not bullet proof. All too many officers are lost in these formative years just as some are lost later in their careers through complacency or "playing it cheap." If one makes it to retirement, then there is the worry of the city fathers using your pension money to pay off municipal debt.

The job provides an invaluable education in social problem solving and a depth of understanding of human emotion that will pay dividends throughout a lifetime. No matter how long you are gone from the job, you are always an "ex-cop" and accordingly, held to a higher standard.

Where else could one gather such a collection of stories that provide a peek behind that badge, permitting the reader to see what makes a cop tick...