Old School: The Police, the Public, and the Pranks


Thomas Sommerville was hired by the Detroit Police Department in September of 1973 at the age of twenty-one. He chose to work the streets as a patrol officer his entire career and was one of the highest decorated officers in the department. In 2004, he began working at the Marana Police Department (a northwest suburb of Tucson, Arizona) and completed fifteen years there as a certified crime scene specialist before retiring in August 2019. He enjoys riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle, playing ice hockey, painting, photography, reading, writing, playing his tenor sax and keyboards, going to the movies, traveling with his wife, pulling pranks, and making people laugh.

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Thomas Sommerville decided he wanted to be a police officer in elementary school when his job as a crossing guard gave him a sense of what it felt like to protect and serve (and wear a cool badge). Of course, his career proved a little more challenging than escorting his fellow classmates across the street. Whether he was breaking up fights, foiling bank robberies, or investigating homicides, Tom treated every crime scene as the most important one he’d ever encountered. And he learned how to use humor—sometimes in the form of outrageous pranks—to cope with seeing humanity at its worst.

Covering Tom’s forty-five years as a street cop in Detroit and a CSI guy in Arizona, Old School: The Police, the Public, and the Pranks gives readers a rare glimpse inside the world of law enforcement.


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