BOYLE COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) — A country musician from central Kentucky has released a new children’s book that he hopes will teach kids how to trust and support law enforcement.
Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery Gentry co-wrote Police Officers Our Friends!, set in his hometown of Danville. The time for this book comes when a church in Kentucky needs support.
It has been nearly two weeks since three officers and a K-9 were killed in the deadly Floyd County ambush. We saw so much support in this area during the funerals for these officers last week. Montgomery said he hopes this book will teach children the value of officers to communities.
“Our men and women are our American heroes, and they get a bad name. I was just tired of it myself and fed up with it. We thought, you know what, it’s time,” Montgomery said.
The book was co-written by Randy Graham and illustrated by Michael Southerland. It explains the role of the police in communities and encourages children to support and respect them.
“You know, because when they come to a stop light and they don’t know if a friend is pulling up next to them or an enemy is shooting at them or something,” Montgomery said.
On Monday, Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Bartley called for support to continue supporting the community while departments mourn their losses.
“It’s absolutely amazing… From my perspective, the support that these families and these police departments have received,” Bartley said. “I’ve seen people come to these funerals from almost every state in America. And that’s great. But for me it’s the support they’ll get when all of this is over.”
Bartley said he was concerned about the lasting impact of the shooting on departments as officers leave the force and fewer come to replace them.
“I think you’re going to have some sort of exodus of people leaving the police community. I think you will have trouble finding people to take on these roles in this area. And so I think the effects can be forever. Certainly in the long term,” Bartley said.
It’s a worrying change that Montgomery hopes his book will turn to the page.
Co-author Graham said they want communities and police officers to feel a sense of ownership of the book and use it for community policing and building relationships between families and their local departments.
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