Leroy Logan – Closing Ranks: my life as a cop
ISBN 978 0 281 08347 3
This compelling story, which has been portrayed in one of Steve McQueen’s much lauded Small Axe films on BBC, is well worth a read. Closing Ranks is the well-told story of how a man, who was a child of the Windrush generation arriving in the UK from the West Indies in the 1950s, navigated his way into the ranks of the Metropolitan Police.
This book tells the story of what it was like to grow up black in Britain in the middle of the 20th century. The author’s father made an effort to ensure that his children received the best education. One of the dreams of the Windrush Generation was that their sons would become doctors! Although Leroy Logan gained a science degree, he decided to enlist as a police cadet instead. The story relates his experience of racism, the slow road to promotion, and finally his becoming a Superintendent at the Met.
The author’s unique blend of ethnic background, intelligence, and experience made him an invaluable asset to the police, particularly in times like the aftermath of the death of Damilola Taylor’s brutal murder.
What impressed me about this book is that he we see human determination and Christian integrity shining through the life and career of a public figure. Here is a role model for all, black or white, for how to conduct oneself in daily life.
This against the backdrop of family experience of police intimidation and violence, which made it very difficult for the author’s father to come to terms with his son’s choice of career path. But the testimony of this book is that:
“Sometimes your worst nightmare can be your biggest breakthrough.”
John Woods is a writer and Bible teacher based in West Sussex. He is Director of Training at the School of Preachers in Riga, Latvia.