Edward Conlon was born in the Bronx and grew up in Yonkers. There were New York cops and firefighters in his background -- most notably his great-grandfather Sgt. Pat Brown, who was a New York policeman from 1907 to the Second World War, and who survived by being on the take. Brown's great-grandson took a bit of a left turn first by going to Harvard and majoring in English, then working for a social-service agency that advocated leniency for young convicts, before donning the NYPD blues and working his way up to detective.
In discussing what conditions were like in various bureaus of the NYPD in the 1990s and early 2000s, _Blue Blood_ not only covers territory that will be familiar from other cop memoirs -- how to behave on a stakeout, violent perps, rape task forces, obtaining warrants, dealing with informants, good cops and bad cops -- but past history of the department (especially where it concerned Conlon's forebears), the effects of various police commission investigations, and previous memoirs and histories of the department.
Also, this finely-wrought 2004 book relates Conlon's emotions and experiences after the destruction of the World Trade Center. He volunteered many times to search the rubble for evidence after it was removed from the Manhattan site to a Staten Island landfill.
This report prepared by David Loftus