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November 21, 2012
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Val Van Brocklin Cop Gumbo
with Val Van Brocklin

25 photos that will restore your faith in law enforcement

Memo from the Ideas Department: Let’s collaborate on writing a book

Have a photo to submit? Send it to me here here.

Let’s write a book — you and me — a positive book about policing. I’m open to your suggestions, but I’m thinking the title could be 25 (or 50, or 100) Photos That Will Restore Your Faith in Law Enforcement.

It’s not that we need our faith restored. But I’d like to get some real, great stuff out into the larger community to balance some of the media’s selection of what they cover when it comes to law enforcement.

I can’t take full credit for this idea. I got it from a news story about a social media website named Buzzfeed that has an uncanny ability to create posts that go hugely viral.

Land Grab for Clicks
One such post was 21 Pictures That Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity

It generated more than seven million page views in a week. If you’re unfamiliar with Internet traffic numbers, that’s a big number (one that if we could replicate, we might have our friendly PoliceOne Editor bowing to kiss our feet!).

Turns out Buzzfeed gets a lot of its ideas from other places on the Internet and then rehashes those recipes — without giving credit to the original chef. So, I’m giving credit — to Buzzfeed and, more significantly, to Ned Hardy — from whom Buzzfeed got the “pictures that will restore your faith” idea and whom Buzzfeed didn’t credit.

Restoring Citizens’ Faith
This is how I’d like us to team up. You send me photos that show law enforcement officers doing what we know you do every day — protecting and serving — in big ways and small ways. I’m not just talking epic, heroic acts, although those are very welcome. I’m also talking about stuff like the two example photos with this article.

The photos can capture courage, compassion, comedy, commitment, poignancy — anything that might restore the citizenry’s faith in law enforcement. Let’s go for a broad representation from local, state, and federal law enforcement — blue shirts, brown shirts, green shirts, or T-shirts.

Also send me the story behind the picture. It can be brief and doesn’t have to be polished. It’s my job to make the photos and stories “book ready.” I’ll get additional information from contributors and finalize the story, as needed. Let me know who took the photo, if you can. I’ll reply to every submission. For submissions selected to be published, I’ll send a release form for the publication of the photo. My contact information is below.

It will be my job to find a publisher. If I can’t interest one, I’ll take this project to Kickstarter, a funding platform that links projects like this with interested contributors. I’ve seen two photo book projects from my hometown reach their funding goals on Kickstarter by more than 200 percent. 

If this takes flight, I recommend we donate ALL of the book’s profits to Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.).

That way we serve two noble causes — restoring faith in law enforcement and helping the families of those who have shown the greatest love of all by laying down their lives in the line of duty.

Let’s make this big — as big as the spirits of law enforcement officers it has been my honor to walk in the shadows of for more than 25 years.

As with so many things, I can’t do it without you.


About the author

As a state and federal prosecutor for over 10 years, Val’s trial work has been seen nationally on ABC'S PRIMETIME LIVE, Discovery Channel's Justice Files, in USA Today, The National Enquirer and REDBOOK.

Described by Calibre Press as "the indisputable master of entertrainment," Val is now an international law enforcement trainer and writer who appears in person and on TV, radio, video productions, webcasts, newspapers, books and magazines. She has been a regular contributor to a number of law enforcement publications and has been featured in the Calibre Press Online Street Survival Newsletter, Police Chief magazine, The Law Enforcement Trainer magazine, and The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Gazette.

When she's not working, Val can be found flying her airplane with her retriever, a shotgun, a fly rod, and high aspirations. Visit Val at www.valvanbrocklin.com and contact her at info@valvanbrocklin.com.





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