When I asked Karen Solomon what inspired Hearts Beneath the Badge, this was her answer:
Ferguson. Seeing so much hate extended to all of law enforcement in the aftermath was troubling. It hurt my heart to read the news. Mainstream media isn't willing to take a neutral stance until all of the facts are out.
Viral posts become those that are the most inflammatory as opposed to the ones that are most flattering. This book will show you some of the happiness, and some of the heartbreak.
Although I suspect my biggest audience will be law enforcement families, this book isn't for them. They live it. The book is for the guy that is pissed off because he was speeding on the way to work and will now be even later, the gal who couldn't get out of a DUI so she wrongly accused the officer of misconduct, and the next person armed with a gun who thinks that killing a police officer will somehow help the world become a better place. Those are the people who need to read this book.
I spent my lunch hours interviewing officers and writing their stories, it was much easier than I thought it would be. The writing anyway, the interviews were difficult. Many times we were both brought to tears, there is a lot that isn't included because this wasn't the book for it. The purpose was to focus on the officer and their feelings, not society or the politics involved, just them. I hope I did them justice. Although each officer has been very happy with their chapter, I feel it isn't enough, and never will be. Not for what they do.