Writer’s Digest Awards Judges Commentary

The voice of the author is strong and likeable. He gives a detailed account of his life and work in the police force in Los Angeles. The highlight of the book is his thrilling account of the North Hollywood Shootout, which others have likened to the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. At that point, the book sounds like a thriller, and yet it’s an accurate, fact-based, first-hand recollection. The author’s dedication as a police officer also runs through the daily routine and is rooted in a strong faith in God. Even the stroke he suffers, which effectively ends his career, cannot dampen his belief.



Amazon Reader Reviews


Good Read for Anyone

I asked for and received this book for Christmas. I heard about it from interviews about the anniversary of the shooting during the year and was interested. What the book isn’t is an in depth analysis of the North Hollywood shooting. If you want something like that, visit the LAPD Historical Society in Highland Park. You will learn all you will ever want to know and see actual artifacts. Really go visit, the place is awesome.

This instead is a great book about one officer’s career highlights and his personal experience during the shootout. I was expecting most of the book to be about the shootout. I was pleasantly surprised as it including the officer’s entire career. Compare it to when you run into a retired cop and they start telling stories. The book reads like that and it is fun to read. Very enjoyable as I like personal stories and everyone has a life full of stories to tell. One of my favorite things about the book is that cops often have trouble with relationships. Not this guy. He made every effort to give credit to his wife for always being there for him and for being very supportive. I thought it portrayed an interesting and loving picture of the teamwork needed for a couple to survive when one spouse has a very stressful job. The part of the book that does cover the shootout was interesting especially if you watched and remember the events of that day. As I was reading it, I would visualize what I saw on tv that day and was able to develop a vivid mental picture of what was being described.

I would recommend this book to anyone from people who like police stories to people wanting to become officers. It’s not a technical book about police work, it’s very easy to read, and entertaining.

Page Turner

Uniform Decisions is a glimpse into the mind, experience and heart of a police officer. Against the backdrop of Hollywood’s hyped-up rogue mega-man, it’s refreshing to read an honest account of real uniformed life on the streets nearby. Caprarelli is both protector and husband. He’s both responder and father. Additionally, his personal account of the North Hollywood bank robbery is appropriately dramatic, portraying a mix of confusion in the chaos, trained response, adrenaline, and then the physical and emotional responses that followed. It is educational, entertaining and endearing. Well done!

Bravery Under Fire

This book is a great account of an officer’s worst nightmare. Those of us who sit behind desks or talk on phones at work have no idea the bravery, commitment and dedication that are daily requirements for those who work in law enforcement. The term “Do the right thing” for them means the possibility of losing their lives, and John Caprarelli did the right thing over and over that day. It made my hands sweat and my heart beat faster just reading about the insanity and horror that played out over the long hours of Feb. 28, 1997. It is also a great reminder that police officers are regular people with families and friends, hopes and dreams, and fear – just like the rest of us. They put their fear aside and protect us from psychotics like Phillips and Matasareanu and they deserve our thanks and respect. If you like reading novels by Wambaugh, Patterson and Sandford, do yourself a favor and read the non-fiction version!

Thoughtful, Well Written, Story of Triumph

John Caprarelli had the courage to face deadly threats on the streets. In this well written, entertaining book, he has the courage to tell how those encounters effect you long after the gun smoke has cleared. He takes you through his life before the LAPD and shares entertaining anecdotes from his career. Most cops never have to fire their guns in the line of duty. John did not have that luxury. He writes about his lethal force encounters and how, unlike in the movies, cops do not always walk away unscathed, even if they were not hit by gunfire. Most importantly he tells how he was able to overcome the after effects of trauma. This book is a must read for anyone who carries a gun to defend life but is also recommended to anyone who enjoys a thoughtful concisely written memoir.

I urge EVERYONE to read Uniform Decisions!!! AMAZING READ!

I don’t read books for enjoyment…EVER! I never do! I read enough books to last me 10 lifetimes while getting my English/Writing B.A. I saw John Caprarelli’s news interview on KCAL9 promoting his new book. I decided to read the book and I am so glad I did. I have never read a book like “Uniformed Decisions.” All I can say is WOW! I couldn’t put the book down. I was addicted to every word John Caprarelli wrote. This book gets you hooked and you don’t even know it. I read it in two sittings on my iPad and can’t believe how much I enjoyed it. I can’t recommend this book enough! I wish the book was longer. I am hoping John Caprarelli writes another book. Heck, I will help him write/type it! I wanted to read more about an LAPD Officer that was squarely involved in the North Hollywood Shootout. I thank John Caprarelli for his 27 years of service to the City of Los Angeles.

Outstanding Insight Into an Officer’s Perspective of the Job

This book provides an outstanding insight into the rigors and stresses of law enforcement. It has universal application and not just limited to the L.A.P.D. I highly recommend that anyone interested in a career in Law Enforcement, read this book to gain an appreciation of the job’s challenges, prior to making a career choice.
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