Guardians in Blue

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Pub Date 31 Mar 2016 | Archive Date 30 Jan 2017


A fatherless boy growing up in a small Texas town is taken under wing by the local lawmen. They work with the town leaders to provide his basic needs and help him escape the shame and poverty of his circumstances. One in particular becomes his guardian.

He teaches the boy about life, how to face his fears, that honor is more important than comfort and that defending those who cannot defend themselves is the highest duty of a man. The boy learns the lessons well. He hears the call and his heart opens to it. He too becomes a Guardian.

A fatherless boy growing up in a small Texas town is taken under wing by the local lawmen. They work with the town leaders to provide his basic needs and help him escape the shame and poverty of his...

Advance Praise

“I found Guardians in Blue by Ken Bangs to be both entertaining and enlightening as he places his audience in the shoes of a young rookie policeman learning to serve and protect the citizens of Dallas, Texas. Set during the late 60’s and early 70’s, Officer K.W. Bangs relives some of his most memorable experiences as a street cop, field-training officer and investigator for the Dallas Police Department. I think readers will come away with a better appreciation for the challenges that all Police Officers, both then and now, face daily.”

David Elliston

Deputy Chief of Police Retired

Dallas Police Department

“Guardians in Blue is an action packed book about actual crimes from the Dallas Police files. These cases, as retold by Ken Bangs, come alive in a format that makes you feel like you are at the location and involved in the investigations.”

Gary Holly

Retired Police Officer

“After spending over 46 years in Law Enforcement, it didn’t take long for me to realize that only one who has walked the walk could have written Guardians in Blue.

Terry G. Box


Collin County, Texas

“As a man who was privileged to work the streets with Ken Bangs, I can tell you that he was the Guardian. If you want to understand police work at the base level, then Guardians in Blue is a must read. It goes beyond the violence and the sensationalism and gives you a window into the hearts and souls of those men and women who ride toward danger when everyone else runs away.”

Doug Sword

Captain Of Police (Retired)

Dallas Police Department

“Guardians in Blue, authored by Retired Officer Ken Bangs, gives us a look at what it was like growing up poor and fatherless in a small Texas town during the 1950’s and ‘60’s. Police officers became his father figures and instilled in him a determination to take control of the circumstances and chart his own course. He chose to follow their example. His heart’s desire was to be like them, to be a guardian.

I too grew up in a small Texas town and like Ken; my life’s ambition was to be a guardian. Again, like Ken I became a big city police officer and served 37 years with the Dallas, Texas police department. Maybe that’s why I found Guardians so compelling, why the story evoked such a raw emotional response. The story is so realistic; it so reveals the rawness of life experienced by a police officer that any who have ever worn the badge will be drawn in as they see themselves in the Guardians in Blue.

If you are a guardian, there are no x-police officers, this is a must read for you. It is reality at its finest. We are Guardians in Blue and this is our life.”

G. David Payne

Lieutenant of Police (Retired)

Dallas, Texas Police Department

“Tender, tense, and tough. Ken takes the reader from growing up in a small town with a dream to the tough streets of Dallas.

A riveting story of real life crime fighting. A protector of the people, by a masterful and dedicated Guardian.”

Jim Green

Retired Texas Peace Officer

“I found Guardians in Blue by Ken Bangs to be both entertaining and enlightening as he places his audience in the shoes of a young rookie policeman learning to serve and protect the citizens of...

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ISBN 9781612966748
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Featured Reviews

thanks you. enjoyed it. will get copies for family and friends.

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Guardians in Blue is a fascinating look into the lives of policemen in Texas. Written by Ken Burns, it details the life of one policeman, from the first time he decided he wanted to be police as a young boy until his eventual promotion to detective. All of the stories are true and happened to Burns. Burns was the son of a single mother in the 50’s in a small town in Texas. At that time, being a single mother was a scandalous thing and no one would give his mother a break or give her a good job. One good man, Lawyer Powell, gave them a place to live and looked out for them. Lacking a father figure, Burns grew up learning from the men who worked as police in his town. They took him under their wings and trained him in how to survive, skills which served him well in life. He wanted to be a policeman after he saw how these men helped people. So, he made it his life’s goal to do just that. After he grew up, he got hired as a police trainee. He was then drafted and went to fight in Vietnam. But, when he returned, he went to work full time as a policeman in Dallas. He learned quickly and rose through the ranks. This book details true stories from his experiences. As a rookie, in his fifth week of training, he and his trainer were involved in a shootout with a robbery suspect! Each chapter tells of another incident in his long career. He tells about being razzed as a rookie. Then, earning the respect of his fellow officers. Then, finally being cut loose on his own after training. He tells of the criminals he had to deal with and their stories too. His stories give a fascinating look into the day-to-day of lives of policemen in a large city. The things they deal with are never the same day to day and they always have to be ready for something to happen. If you like police stories, you should read this book. I have read plenty of fictional stories, but this one tells of the reality that the officers in our cities have to deal with each day of their careers. Sometimes, it is not pretty. Other times, they get to be heroes. Most often, it is stressful. This is a police story like you haven’t read before. It’s got all the excitement of fiction, but it is all real. The writing keeps up a steady pace throughout the book. The narrator is Ken Burns himself. He writes very well and sometimes uses terminology that is specific to Texas. For example, I didn’t know what a Tush Hog was! Thankfully, there is a handy glossary of terms in the back of the book. I learned that a tush hog is a particularly brutal criminal. Also, a ‘rabbit’ is a tracking device attached to a car! All the other police terminology is explained in the glossary too. The author did a good job with this book. The stories are exciting and maintain a sense of being there right along with him as he learns his craft. It would be a good book for someone looking to become a policeman to read. It’s also great as a documentary of how things were done in the 60’s and 70’s. Some things have changed, such as radio codes, etc. but otherwise the work of the officers is pretty much the same – finding the bad guys and stopping them! I’d like to thank NetGalley and the author and publisher for giving me the opportunity to read this novel in exchange for my honest review.

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Growing up fatherless with a mother still young enough to want to enjoy life the town's lawmen take the young boy under their supervision to teach him all a father would. To give him a sense of purpose and self esteem the town leaders agree to see that he is given every opportunity a child growing up with a father would have. He grows into a young man they can all be proud of and takes the things they have taught him into his adult life. Great read. I would like to thank the Publisher and Net Galley for the chance to read this ARC.

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The publisher however the opinions expressed are those of my own. The book is a slower read as each chapter is a story that tells the autobiographical timeline if one Texas police officer's experience from a boy to adulthood that drive him to becoming a policeman and one who guards the citizens he serves. The book does get better in the later chapters and begins to keep you interest in the book however the writing is choppy throughout. Definitely not a book I normally would have picked for myself but an enjoyable enough read to recommend to anyone that enjoys police writings.

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Oh, where to start??? This was a wild ride and kept me guessing their every move--- loved it and loved that it kept me on the edge of my seat!! Way to go!!!!!

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