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Who is 'Wild Bill'?

A brief biography of the former New York City police officer.

Bill Stanton has “stolen a car,” “broken into a house,” and “lured kids” for one reason: He says Americans are in more danger than they need to be.

We’re more vulnerable, he says, because some simple rules aren’t followed. You may have seen him on the Today show as a paid NBC security consultant, showing how easy it is to snatch a child... or getting conned by crooked fortune tellers.

On "Dateline," see the world according to Bill, who says too many Americans don’t know a crime when they see it, and too many don’t call police when they do.

In 1987, three years after becoming a New York City police officer, Stanton was chasing a burglar on a routine call. He fell and learned the hard way that real life cops can’t jump they way they do on TV.

Stanton left the police department, opened a private investigation agency and became a personal bodyguard. At the same time, Stanton became bouncer at a trendy nightclub. And after hobnobbing with celebrities, decided he wanted to be one himself.

He became known as “Wild Bill,” and that character that he created ended up on the cover of New York Magazine.

But in the end Stanton says it isn’t about just show business or his own fame. He says his mission is simple: to keep us alert to the hazards that are out there.