John DiGirolamo was the author It’s Not About The Badge: Real Cops. These are their real stories. The Journey of Their FamilyIt is a tribute and honor to the small-town officers who do so much every day. DiGirolamo also wrote it in response to the riots, unrest, and general melee of the Summer of 2020, with the horrific treatment of law enforcement, coupled with cries to “Defund the Police.”
“I think we’re definitely seeing the effects of the ‘defund the police’ movement. In almost every large city, crime is on the rise. However, my book is a focus on the human face of policing. This includes small-town officers. I think they have the least amount of a voice.”
DiGirolamo is that voice. He documents the stories and unique roles of six peace officers and his daughter, DiGirolamo.
DiGirolamo’s daughter Megan is a peace officer in the mountain community of Buena Vista, CO, and during the school year, Megan is the resource officer for the three town schools, elementary, junior high, and high school. Jesse Cortese (left), Dean Morgan (right), Mohamed Lamine Mullenax (left), and Jesse Mitchell all belong to the small Colorado communities. Officer Jamey Murray is an officer in Bellevue (Nebraska).
Although DiGirolamo is not in the first person but allows officers to tell their stories in their own words, the accounts are a glimpse into the lives of the officers and offer glimpses into important moments. Officer Jesse Mitchell’s story begins with him asking his girlfriend to be his wife. The Deputy Sergeant. Mohamed Lamine Mullenax adopts his nephew into his own family unit, and part of Officer Megan DiGirolamo’s story involves a friend’s depression and suicide. It makes for a surprisingly fluid telling, as well as a cinematic layering of the officer’s personal and professional worlds.
From the book, it is clear that a rural peace officer’s day can go from assessing a local who is mounting a scratch business on the sidewalk, to assisting a troubled teenager, to a dangerous shootout. As Officer DiGirolamo’s training officer told her, “you won’t be bored.”
Unless you are a real crime junkie, you don’t hear much about the lives of small-town law enforcement. Legacy media often ignores this specialized aspect of policing, and sometimes treats the local LEOs either as a side note, or “Barney Fife”. DiGirolamo aims to elevate and humanize these officers and provide a view on their unique backgrounds and the way they interact with the community.
After reading this work you will realize that the pursuit of law enforcement isn’t just a career option, but a passion. PhoneIt is. For those working in small communities, this is especially true. Every officer approached his or her path with the intention of making a deliberate, driven, conscious decision to follow that path. They are called to the same communities they grew up in and their love for the community is important factors that make the title. It’s Not About The BadgeIt is a truth that rings true.
It is 285 pages It’s Not About The BadgeIt makes for a quick and enjoyable read. There are fun facts about the officer and Chaffee County in Colorado where some of them live. As part of Officer DiGirolamo’s story, she shares a recipe for meatballs with sauce. I was more than happy to try it.
Buy it It’s Not About the BadgeAmazon.com, in both paperback and Kindle. You can also purchase a signed copy of the work at the book’s website.