DUTY: THE LIFE OF A COP by Julian Fantino with Jerry Amernic (Key Porter), 320 pages, $34.95 cloth. Rating: N
For the record: NOW magazine has never published Julian Fantino's home address with a map showing how to get there.
T.O.'s former top dick has a selective memory when it comes to recounting his many travails with the media - and many others who've crossed his path - in Duty: The Life Of A Cop.
Aside from a few intriguing details about his strict Catholic upbringing and family - a sister who's a nun, a brother who left the priesthood after 10 years to get married - there's little peeling back of the famous Fantino thin-skinned veneer.
Instead, Fantino wastes much of our time rewriting the history of old wars fought while police chief in Toronto, York region and London.
He pines for the good old days when there were vagrancy laws and a cop's every move wasn't scrutinized by the prying eyes of politicians and "professional cop-haters in the media." What he likes best about his new job as OPP commissioner "is that there is no second-guessing of everything I do, as there was in Toronto."
In Fantino's view, the race-based crime stats fiasco of 89 that defined his career was a "set-up." Indeed, all the controversies that put egg on his face were set-ups, including the racial profiling uproar that preceded his departure from the Toronto force in February 2005.
Like the Jack Nicholson character who delivers that famous courtroom tirade in A Few Good Men, Fantino believes police critics just don't understand the sacrifices cops make. We should just shut up and be grateful for the men and women in blue who are "the last defence against societal breakdown."
Ironic, that for all the discrimination Fantino's own father and brother encountered at the hands of police, and the slurs Fantino himself saw as a young beat cop ' 'Get those wops off the sidewalk,' a superior once ordered ' he still adamantly clings to the belief that police don't engage in racial profiling.
Fantino blasts his critics, but the one question he never fully addresses in the book is posed by his brother: 'Why do you want to be one of them?'