March 24, 2014
Police Officer Writes Children's Book
During his time as a Westland Police officer, Matthew Bobby gave police station tours to a lot of people. “Everyone loved them - kids and parents - they all loved them,” said Bobby, who spent three years working as a school resource officer at Westland John Glenn High School and other local schools. So Bobby used that experience for his new children’s book, Jake’s Trip to the Police Station. “A long time ago, everyone told me I should write a book with all the stories I had with 20 years at the police department,” said Bobby, who retired from the department in 2013. The title character, Jake, is the 10-year-old son of Bobby and his wife April, both lifelong Westland residents. Their daughter Madisyn, 15, a Westland John Glenn High School student, also makes an appearance in the book. Bobby’s brothers Joe, a Westland Police canine officer, Jeff, a Garden City Police officer, and Mike, who recently retired from the Inkster Police Department, are characters the book as are Westland police department retirees Steve Borisch and Mark Engstrom. Not to be left out, Bobby’s horse Taser, trained for police duty, is a character in the book but has the only pseudonym - he’s called Cuffs. Letting kids know The book is aimed at letting kids know more about what police officers do and also encouraging literacy, said Bobby.
When Bobby was a Westland school resource officer, he said he had a goal of visiting each elementary school class for a safety session. “I didn’t have time to do that. I was busy from the time I came on duty until the time I went home,” said Bobby, who handled juvenile investigations and other duties along with time spent at schools. “A lot of schools don’t have officers coming through anymore - they don’t have the resources.” That prompted Bobby to develop Lawman for Literacy through which he will take his book and a related program on law enforcement into classrooms. “I talk about crime safety, Internet safety, proper use of 911 and stranger danger,” he said. “Once I retired, I thought I have a good idea - they (students) can meet the author which will promote literacy and a positive outlook on police.”
The books and related program got a boost thanks to the Wayne-Ford Civic League, which purchased 400 copies of the book for Wayne-Westland schools. Enthusiastic support League President Vic Barra was so enthusiastic about the program that he contacted Wayne-Westland Schools Superintendent Greg Baracy and Deputy Superintendent Paul Salah. “We were invited to meet with all 11 elementary school principals and their staff. It was very well received,” said Barra, who was set to deliver copies of the books to the schools last week. “Over the years, I’ve witnessed the reduction in community funding for police officers to interact with students. This was definitely an opportunity to fill that void.” There are 25 books earmarked for Norwayne youngsters attending a community event at the Dorsey Center on March 29. Bobby will be on hand to talk with the youngsters and autograph their books. To help promote public safety, Bobby said he plans to write books highlighting firefighters and paramedics. Jake’s Trip to the Police Station is available at cuffspublishing.com