Apex police children's book to connect with community

Jamiese Price Image
Wednesday, December 13, 2023
Apex police publish children's book to connect with community
The books are issued to officers that are out on patrol.

APEX, N.C. (WTVD) -- Apex Police Department have published their own children's book in a new effort to connect with kids in the community they serve.

The name of the book is "Who's Behind The Badge?"

Apex Police Chief Jason Armstrong says each officer that is featured in the book provided a synopsis of who they are and what some of their interests are.

The 40-page book highlights the stories of officers with the department.

From fishing to fingernail polish, each officer's hobbies and interests are shared.

The Apex police chief said it started as just an idea but now the book has gained nationwide attention. ABC11's Jamiese Price sat down with the chief to learn more.

Armstrong said it's a reminder that police are people, too.

"We have a really good relationship with the community here, but we can always do more. We see the age of individuals entering the criminal justice system is getting younger and younger," Chief Armstrong said.

The books, which took about four months to craft, are issued to officers on patrol who can give them out.

"A uniform doesn't define us as an individual. And so this book is a way that officers are able to share, who they are, not just as a police officer in this profession, but you know who they are to their families and who they are to their loved ones and their friends," Armstrong said.

After Apex published their book, a police department in Ohio reached out to get their own book published for the community.

"We're trying to break down some of those barriers that can set us up for a better community today," Chief Armstrong said. "The more that we can see each other in that light, that leads to more positive outcomes in the community."

ABC11 took the PD's book out in the community, where we met Simon Vann, a father of three.

"This has a specific information for each officer you were showing me, which is kind of nice to know some of the personalities," Vann said. "Let them know that they're actually like regular people with hobbies."

Elissa Moss, a mom of two young boys, said the book helps introduce younger children to police in a positive light.

"If they ever were in a situation where they can't find their parent or, you know, needed somebody, they would feel comfortable knowing they'd go to an officer after reading that book," said Moss.

And Armstrong said that's what it's all about.

"That leads to more positive interactions between the officers and people in the community," he said. "And at the end of the day, I think that's what a lot of people want to see."