PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Brian Whiddon lost his job as a cop after witnessing the wrongful arrest of a black individual. He knew, before walking into the chief’s office, that what he was about to do would end his career. The police chief told him to mind his own business so Brian then met with the Public Defender who was representing the victim. The charges were dropped but Brian was still fired from his job as a police officer for insubordination, and no other agency would hire him. The career he’d dreamed about since childhood was over. But, Brian would do it all over again because it was the right thing to do.
Shortly after Brian posted about his new book on Facebook, his Facebook account was banned, with no warning and no explanation.
The story of how Brian lost his career for saving an innocent man from going to prison is included in his book.
Blue Lives Matter – The Heart Behind the Badge is a book about absolute truths. It makes no difference where you may land on the political spectrum today. This book addresses undeniable realities that all Americans (in fact, all societies with an established police force) must face.
1. There is an active war in the U.S. against cops – and it is now violent.
2. Having a police force in the community allows citizens to focus on things in life other than protection of their own lives and property. Imagine for a moment if you were the only thing standing between your family, your possessions, and those who would violently (and happily) take both away from you.
3. Cops, first and foremost, are human beings.
I knew I wanted to be a cop when I was in my early teens. I did not want to go to college, or the military (but I had to because nobody would hire an 18-year-old to be a cop). I didn’t want to be rich, or have a collection of letters after my name. I just wanted to be “that guy” who ran toward danger when everyone else was running away. I wanted to be the one that showed up in the dead of night in response to a frantic phone call to tell a frightened family, “It will be alright. I’m here.” I wanted to be the one who stood up to violent criminals when everyone else was afraid to.
Cops learn early on that the world is not really divided into black and white, right and wrong, good and evil. They learn that they are often taken for granted, and are rarely appreciated. From that point on, a cop necessarily abandons the fantasy world of heroes and villains, and saving the innocent from evil. They adapt to a life of staying alive for the duration of each shift. They sift through volumes of information at each call, trying to make sound decisions. And, they compartmentalize some of the most horrible and heartbreaking events than humans can witness. Sprinkled amongst all of that is a camaraderie with fellow cops, occasional heart pounding car chases, fights, arrests, manhunts, and experiences that are re-told and laughed over for years to come.
And, occasionally, you even get to make a difference in someone’s life.
I spent 15 years as a street cop. I never became a detective. I never joined the ranks of the brass. I never did police work from behind a desk. I was always on the street.
My family always loved hearing the stories I’d tell of crazy and wild things I saw and dealt with on the street. But, there were a lot of things I didn’t tell them about. They were too ugly. They were too personal. Some of them showcased my own failures.
Later, after coming onboard here at BookLocker, Angela enjoyed hearing my cop stories from “way back when.” She’s often told me that I should write my stories down, and create a book. But, I always thought that I had nothing to tell that people that they could not get from watching re-runs of “COPS,” and newer shows like “Real Time PD.”
The war on cops that has become more vicious, more frantic, and more hateful than anything my generation has ever experienced. In just 19 years, since 9/11/2001, cops have gone from being considered heroes, to being maligned by the media, accused of “systemic racism” regardless of their own color or ethnicity, and “de-funded” by their own communities – all while under sustained violent attacks across the nation.
They are being lumped into a group and de-humanized. That is a psychological tactic of warfare.
In 1776, it was the “Redcoats.” In the Civil War it was either “Rebels” or “Yankees.” In conquering the West, it was “Injuns” and “savages.” In WWI we had to kill the “Huns.” In WW2, it was “Krauts” and “Japs.” Throughout history, lumping people into groups, and identifying them with a catchy or offensive name, helped societies wage war on each other. It’s easier to kill off someone that you don’t see as a human being. Today, it’s “Cops,” “Pigs,” and “White Supremacists.”
America needs to remember that cops are human – and they are not the enemy.
So, I wrote my book. I told my stories. And, I included the ones I never even told my family. Blue Lives Matter – The Heart Behind the Badge is a collection of stories experienced by one cop. But, they are the stories of all cops because we all carry these experiences around. That’s why I included the stories of mistakes I made, stories of cop mindset, stories of things I hope I never have to see again, and stories of things that will haunt me until the day I die.
Cops are imperfect. They are not psychic. They are not omni-present. They have limited strength, endurance, and foresight. Cops get scared. They get angry. Their hearts break. They have homes, and debt, and kids, spouses, and parents. Cops love, hate, sympathize, lust, crave, covet, give, and take – just like you and I do.
That is why I chose not to write a book that made me look like a hero. I wanted people to know how it feels to come a fraction of a second from shooting a suspect, how it feels to try to save an abused little girl, how it feels to deal with homeless people, how it feels to see evil and death up close and personal. If reading my book makes you laugh out loud, cry uncontrollably, or punch your fist through a wall, then I’ve done my job as the author.
There has never been a time in modern history that we’ve needed our police more. It’s time to recognize that they are people, like us. But, they have chosen to see and deal with the things in society that we do not want to have to face ourselves. It’s time for us all to recognize that Blue Lives Matter.
Read More Author Backstories HERE!
Before becoming BookLocker’s Operations Manager, Brian Whiddon spent 15 years as a cop. He served in the US Army as an MP. He then went on to serve as a police officer in the Kissimmee Police Department, then in the town of South Palm Beach, and, later, in the city of Mulberry, Florida. He was a patrolman, a motorcycle officer, and a firearms instructor, and taught at the Police Academy in Palm Beach County.
He has also started an ongoing blog called “Our Blue Lives” – check it out here : www.ourbluelives.com
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- WritersWeekly Investigative Reporter Goes Undercover to Investigate POD Publishers! By Brian Whiddon, a.k.a. “Secret Squirrel”
- Brian Takes His “Home Office” on the High Seas! – Days 1-4
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