Norm Stamper – CONNECTS 2006

Wage War on Crime, Not Drugs.

Norm Stamper is the author of Breaking Rank: A Top Cop's Exposé of the Dark Side of American Policing.


Norm Stamper PhD, was a police officer for 34 years. He served as chief of the Seattle Police Department (SDPD) from 1994 to 2000. In his 28 years with SDPD Norm rose quickly through the ranks and as a deputy chief served in each of the agency's bureaus. Norm received numerous awards and citations during his career in San Diego, including the Diogenes Award of the Public Relations Society of America for his leadership in the wake of the Rodney King incident and the subsequent Simi Valley trial verdicts.

Norm Stamper is the author of Breaking Rank: A Top Cop's Exposé of the Dark Side of American Policing. Opening with a powerful letter to former Tacoma police chief David Brame, who shot his estranged wife before turning the gun on himself, Stamper introduces us to the violent, secret world of domestic abuse that cops must not only navigate but which some also perpetrate. Stamper goes on to expose a troubling culture of racism, sexism, and homophobia that is still pervasive in the 21st-century force, exploring how such prejudices can be addressed. He reveals the dangers and temptations that cops on the street face, describing in gripping detail their split-second life-and-death decisions.

My intent is to help retire the word “civilian” in drawing a distinction between police and community members. Why? Because, if those served by police are civilians, that makes cops, ipso facto, a military force.

Norm Stamper