This is a classic in the study of criminal justice in the United States. Although it was updated shortly after Watergate, it came after some decisions by the Warren court (Miranda, for example) began to change the interaction between cops and suspects to sculpt the modern behavior of police on the street. To my knowledge, the text is still a seminal work in sociology courses focusing on criminal justice. Skolnik's observations are still valid, and are the basis for many later sociological works focusing on police interaction with society. Fortunately, the text is also pretty accessible, though dense in some places. If you are interested in the behavior of the police as a sociologist, as a writer, or as an aspiring officer, this book will have something to say to you and will make you think about why certain patterns in criminal justice have persisted for decades, despite the "War on Drugs" and harsh sentences mandated since the book's publication.