Hearts Beneath the Badge is a unique compilation of interviews with officers across the country. It's not about the crimes they witness or the judgment they face; it's about them - Damien, Danny, Frances, Ken, Pamela, Brian, and more. Their thoughts, their fears, their proud moments and their heartbreak. It's about the people we often don't see because we are blinded by the uniform.
They are among the hundreds of thousands that are unseen each day, the men and women that go back for more no matter the personal cost. They provide meals, rides, lifesaving breaths and prosthetic legs. Yes, even prosthetic legs. There is much more to them than meets the eye-or the news camera. By reading this book, you will open yourself to a world of people you may have forgotten existed. You will see the names, families and some of the faces of the police officers that don't make the news.
Hearts Beneath the Badge is a book about the good deeds officers perform. There is a pressing need for people to see more than just the officer's hearts; they need to see their souls. Society as a whole needs to accept police officers for who they are - mere mortals. In order to do that, they must look through the layers of the officer's lives and see the heartache and joy, the same heartaches and joy we all experience. Society also needs to know that, whether we want to admit it or not, there is a price to be paid for pursing the love of the law.
90% of all sales will be donated to National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund, Safe Call Now, Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) and PoliceWives.
Excerpt 5: Preface Continues
This book is a simple gesture to say “Do you know who I am? I am the wife waiting to fall asleep until she hears her husband’s truck pull into the driveway. I am the mother who tucks her children in and has had to answer questions such as ‘Are the bad guys going to kill Papa tonight?’ I am the person in front of you that purchased your meal or coffee because I can see your uniform in my rear-view mirror. I am the person in the crowd who wants to tell you that you are doing a great thing. I am the one who won’t turn on the news because she is tired of seeing you crucified. I am the voice that says you aren’t a murderer or bigot or dickhead, you are a good person. I am the one who respects the soldier and the law enforcement officer above all others. I am your friend.”
Why would they believe me anyway? I could turn on a dime. They’ve seen that happen. They have a right to have a wall around them. They have a right to be afraid.
Everyone sees the flashing lights, the gun and the badge. Everyone reads the news. It’s all a flash in the pan and tomorrow is a new day, a new incident to question. For you and the press, perhaps. Not for the officers. Not for their wives, children, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers and friends. It’s never over. Every time they watch the news, read a paper or listen to the radio, their perceived shortcomings are being reinforced; even worse, their trauma is relived.
People are injured and killed every day. When Sally is killed in a drive-by shooting, everyone mourns and society protests the murder of an innocent. When Bob crashes his car into a tree while speeding, his family is consoled and a speed limit sign is erected. They get closure. When Officer Diane is shot at a traffic stop, there is silence. When Officer John is dragged by a motorist and dies as a result of his injuries, there is silence. The difference? Diane and John were wearing a blue uniform. It’s expected that they will die.
Do they not feel pain? Do they not need support? When a police officer is injured or killed, every other officer and their family walks a little slower, holds a heavier burden. It’s another chink in the armor. It’s one less chance they will be today’s casualty but one more chance they will be tomorrow’s. For those that were close to the incident, they carry the burden of the survivor.
Writing the book was easy; listening to the families was difficult. There is much more to them than what is in this book and I cried listening to so many of them. With each chapter I wrote, I fell in love with the people behind them. It wasn’t hard; they are good people. They are our neighbors and friends. But, this book isn’t about the sadness – it’s about the things officers do every day that don’t make the papers or the evening news. It’s what doesn’t go viral; it’s what is often overlooked.
Although I suspect my biggest audience will be law enforcement families, this book isn’t for them. They live it. This book is for the guy that is pissed off because he was speeding on the way to work and will now be even later, the gal who couldn’t get out of a DUI so she wrongly accused the officer of misconduct, and the next person armed with a gun who thinks that killing a police officer will somehow help the world become a better place. Those are the people who need to read this book.
Finally, this book isn’t a political statement, it’s not a solution to race relations or police brutality, real or perceived, so please set your expectations aside. It’s simply a book. It’s my way of saying thank you to a community that doesn’t hear those words often enough.
If one mind changes as a result, if one person is a little kinder when they are pulled over and if one person can hold their judgment before they assess the entire situation, the book will be a success.
About the Author
Karen Solomon is interested in the feelings of law enforcement and whether or not they have someone that will listen to them, most of them do not. Most books on the market are written by the police officers themselves, in almost textbook fashion relating protocol and situations with the orderliness of a police report. Her books are different from every book out there because the officers bare themselves to her; many of the interviews end in tears because they have opened up something that is very difficult to close. Karen Solomon is a graduate of Eckerd College and blogs as The Missing Niche. Her writing has been featured on PoliceMag.com and To Write Love on Her Arms. She lives in New England with her husband, 2 children and 2 dogs. Proceeds of her latest book, Hearts Beneath the Badge, will be donated to law enforcement charities.
Karen Solomon is giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card! Leave a comment on all the book excerpt blog stops and win 5 extra entries each time!