J. J. Bittenbinder

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J.J. Bittenbinder
Born John Joseph Bittenbinder
(1943-09-01) September 1, 1943 (age 73)
Buffalo, New York, United States
Website http://www.jjbittenbinder.com/

John Joseph "J. J." Bittenbinder (born September 1, 1943 in Buffalo, New York) a retired member of the Chicago Police Department, safety speaker, and author; best known for his work as the host of the 1990s crime series Tough Target and as a public speaker on the subject of safety. He is known for his nasally voice and his distinctive moustache.[1]


J. J. Bittenbinder spent over 23 years on Chicago's Police Department, the last 18 in homicide and violent crimes. He became a police officer in 1971. He is considered to be an expert on violent crimes and tours the country, speaking to audiences about the topic. His 1997 book Tough Target: A Street-Smart Guide to Staying Safe was an overwhelming critical and financial success.

Personal life[edit]

Bittenbinder is originally from Buffalo, NY. His height is 6' 5". His nickname is JJ.

Television work[edit]

In 1995, J. J. Bittenbinder became the host of the television program Tough Target, which focused on crimes and their prevention. He also wrote for the show. It was cancelled in 1996. He also has two of his own television specials on PBS, Street Smarts: How to Avoid Being a Victim and Street Smarts: Straight Talk for Kids, Teens & Parents. He has made guest appearances on many television shows, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, and Primetime Live with Diane Sawyer. He has also appeared on CNN and been the subject of national PBS television specials[2]


Bittenbinder was famously parodied in the cult favorite sketch comedy program Mr. Show. In the episode "Now Who Wants Ice Cream?," comedian Bob Odenkirk portrayed F.F. Woodycooks, a bizarre, nasal-voiced host of a television show about crime; who was a parody of Bittenbinder. Woodycooks even has a strange mustache like Bittenbinder's and uses unusual and funny-sounding phrases to refer to criminals. Woodycooks hosts a show called Take Back the Streets in which he show dramatizations of crimes. The sketch ends with Woodycooks promoting his "F. F. Woodycooks Ice Cream Parlour Precincts." Mr. Show writer Paul F. Tompkins admits that he came up with the idea for the sketch after he heard Bittenbinder refer to a couple of rapists as "goofs."

Recent work[edit]

Currently, J. J. Bittenbinder "is a Detective for the Cook County Sheriff's Department in Chicago." [3] He is also currently serving as Good Morning America's Safety Specialist. Bittenbinder also maintains an account on the social networking site Myspace.com, where he makes an effort to connect with young people and to advise them to report any crimes in their area.


  1. ^ "J.J. Bittenbinder - Biography - Internet Movie Database", Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on May 21, 2007.
  2. ^ "J.J. Bittenbinder - Defence4U", Defence4U. Retrieved on May 12, 2007.
  3. ^ "J.J. Bittenbinder - AEI Speakers", AEI Speakers. Retrieved on October 28, 2007.

External links[edit]