Police are People Too
“You experience the emotions, distractions, frustrations and successes of the characters in every chapter of In the Line of Duty. I found her heartfelt details to be spot on with a line-of-duty death. Being able to put such a tragic situation into words, is difficult in itself, but she does it with compassion, knowledge and respect for those in uniform who know what it is like to lose a brother or sister in blue.”
–Carl J. Harper, Training Officer, ERT (SWAT)
Lower Merion Township, Pennsylvania
Sadly, as humans, we tend to judge that which we don’t understand. And let’s be honest, most of us haven’t stood in the shoes of a police officer. We’ve never faced an armed subject at one o’clock in the morning or had to make life-and-death decisions on a daily basis. We’ve never had to focus in a traumatic situation and make a significant judgment call. We’ve never had to face families and friends who have been left behind and tell them that their loved one won’t be coming home.
In general, people either point fingers at the police or put them up on pedestals. No one is perfect, however, and sometimes that pedestal cracks. Instead of doing either of these things, though, I think it’s most important that we respect our law enforcement officers and accept that they are human, just like the rest of us. They have families and friends. They have feelings. They have hopes and dreams.
In the Line of Duty was inspired by my love of law enforcement, for those who serve and who have served, but I also wanted to write a book that showed the human side of policing. I wanted to paint a vivid picture that shows that police are people and illustrate how the loss of a brother in blue affects them—not only on a professional level but more importantly, on a personal one.
The characters in my book must carry on after a great loss to find the person who killed their fellow officer. Their grief tears apart relationships, changes people’s viewpoints, and has them acknowledging their own mortality, just as it would anyone.
So the next time you see a police officer, remind yourself that police are people, too, and deserve the same compassion and kindness as you or me.
Author of In the Line of Duty (Detective Madison Knight series)
Excerpt from In the Line of Duty, Chapter 3:
Troy gripped the sink in the men’s washroom at the Stiles police station with both hands and stared at himself in the mirror. He’d lost men close to him before. The last one was two years ago, and the officer had been killed in a car accident while off duty. He’d left behind two kids and a wife. But Barry…he was different. Life always equaled death, of course. It was a simple equation to accept until it touched close to home. And that’s what Barry’s death was for him–personal.
Losing Barry made it clear just how dangerous this job could be and how fragile life was. One minute here, the next gone. Barry had just been pumping gas, a routine thing, something people did all the time without any thought to their safety. Those on the outside would say that’s the risk he took being in law enforcement. Yes, there was the chance any one of them wouldn’t return home from a shift, but it wasn’t something Troy consciously thought about before heading to work.
In fact, when serving in a SWAT capacity, he’d say it was one of the safest positions within the Stiles PD. SWAT had the toys, and when they showed up to manage a situation, it was often brought under control rather quickly. Even the majority of criminals didn’t want to tango with an AR-15 and armored vehicles. Besides, dwelling on one’s mortality wasn’t healthy. But when something like this happened to one of their own, it spurred on such self-reflection. It could have easily been him in the morgue, or one of his team members. Or Madison…
His insides quivered with rage as his heartbeat slowed with his grief. He squeezed his eyes shut.
“I’ve got Dad’s car tonight,” Barry says. “We’ll take it out on the back roads and see what she’s really capable of.”
“Your dad’s a cop, Barry,” Troy reminds him.
“So? What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him.” Barry takes a few steps down the hall of their high school but stops and spins when Troy doesn’t follow. “Come on, man. Don’t make me take Lyman.”
Troy came back from his thoughts and opened his eyes to find himself staring at his reflection.
That night had been one of the best ever. Barry had sent the car airborne by racing over the railway tracks on the outskirts of the city. They’d even conned some seniors into getting beer for them and drank it by the tracks later that night.
Barry had made Troy feel alive…
Pain knotted in his chest, the regrets over skipping drinks with Barry last week paired with losing a part of his childhood somehow.
Troy pinched the bridge of his nose as the memories continued to rush over him.
“I just got my acceptance letter.” Barry holds the envelope in his hand. “This college has the hottest chicks… Not that it would matter to you.”
“What does that mean?”
“It’s Lauren and Troy sitting in a tree…” Barry sings.
“Seriously? You’re like a girl sometimes, you know that? A big, emotional girl.”
“Hey!” Barry punches him playfully in the arm.
Madison punched him in the arm sometimes, too…
God, what would he have done if Madison were the one who’d been killed?
In the Line of Duty is available in e-book, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook.
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He devoted his life to seeking justice. But would she get any for him?
It was an ordinary day for police officer Barry Weir. It was the end of shift, he was tired, and he just wanted to get home to his wife and kids. But someone had other plans for him, shooting him down and forcing him to make the ultimate sacrifice.
When news of Weir’s murder reaches the precinct, it leaves Detective Madison Knight and every cop in the Stiles PD itching for revenge. It cuts Madison’s boyfriend, colleague, and Weir’s childhood friend, Troy Matthews, deepest of all, driving him away from everyone he loves just when they need one another the most.
With evidence pointing to a gang-related drive-by, Madison and her team investigate the town’s seedy underbelly in search of justice for their fallen brother. But the deeper they dig, the more convoluted the case becomes. Now they need to figure out if this was a random shooting as part of a gang initiation, a straight-up hate crime, or a targeted kill. But with members of the Stiles PD under attack, they have to do it fast…before more officers pay with their lives.