Grrr! No Lights, No Sirens

Cop Book | Fireworks Safety | Stupid Lit'l Dreamer

Not Your Typical Hero in Blue

If you've ever wondered what it might be like to work as a cop on one of the most dangerous beats in the country, "No Lights, No Sirens" might give you some answers.

The book, published by William Morrow (a division of HarperCollins, which is owned and operated by News Corporation, the parent company of, is written by former NYPD officer Robert Cea (search ).

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Cea served a controversial 12 years on the force before turning his attention to Hollywood. He now makes his living as an actor, producer and writer.

"No Lights, No Sirens" chronicles Cea's career from his early days as a starry-eyed cadet to his stint as an undercover detective, where he was ultimately beaten to near death on a Manhattan rooftop.

Reading like a Hollywood movie script written for Colin Farrell or Mark Ruffalo — indeed, the book has already been optioned by legendary "Godfather" producer Al Ruddy — Cea's story is at once tense, offensive and uplifting. In other words, the stuff of great movies.

But don't look for your typical hero-in-blue story here.

"I became an animal like the dirtbags I was after," he said. "I lost my soul to the streets."

Cea says he broke all kinds of rules, from tampering with evidence to trading drugs for information and lying on the witness stand in what he called testi-lying. "I did it every chance I got," he said, "and I'd do it all over again in a millisecond."

Cea is not the most sympathetic character, and unless you've been in his shoes or you've met him, you won't like him. He broke the law in order to enforce it, and even though he was highly decorated and ultimately captured an elusive and brutal rapist, his former bosses on the NYPD have long since disowned him.

But his gritty journey and ultimate redemption are something worth considering as you head to the beach this July 4th weekend. "No Lights, No Sirens" is on bookshelves now.

Fireworks Grrr!

Fireworks are a great way to celebrate Independence Day, but please remember to think of the safety of your spectators. Every year somebody inevitably gets hurt because some Obliviot thinks purchasing pyrotechnics is all that is required for shooting off a grand spectacle.

Fireworks are mini-explosives and are dangerous. I know this is obvious to most people, but all it takes is a little preparation and attention to detail to ensure everyone has a great time, and no one gets hurt.

So please, consult a pyrotechnics professional or read up on fireworks safety at the National Council on Fireworks Safety Web site before lighting one single wick.

And PS — no firecrackers after midnight. Don't be an Oblivion!

Stupid Lit'l Dreamer

This week's Stupid LIt'l Dreamer mention goes to the folks at Yahoo! (search)

Not your typical SLD mention, but last week, Yahoo! took down all user-created chat rooms in response to the growing trend of adult perverts using the chat rooms to pick up minors for sex.

Perhaps the move should have been made years ago, but it's better late than never.

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Mike Straka is the director of operations and special projects for, and covers entertainment and features on the Sunday program "FOX Magazine." He also writes the weekly Grrr! Column and hosts "The Real Deal" video segments on