WINCHESTER — There is little doubt that city Sheriff Les Taylor and his deputies are multitalented; they’re tasked with keeping order at the Joint Judicial Center, screening visitors for prohibited items and transporting prisoners.
Recently, however, several have added writing to their resume.
While reading books to kids at local schools, Taylor, along with Maj. Al Sibert and deputy Mackenzie Carter, were inspired to write a children’s book to help answer some of the typical questions they hear about law enforcement. Another inspiration, Taylor said, was the need for newer books in local preschools.
The product of their collaboration is “Deputy Knowles Knows,” an illustrated story chronicling a deputy’s visit to a school.
The writing process, Taylor and Sibert said, was simple because they were putting their own life experiences into words.
“We asked ourselves, ‘What do kids want to know?’” Sibert said. “So why not give them what they’re already looking for?”
During their free time, the three shared ideas via email, crafting and then tweaking the stories. They later enlisted the help of local author Jay Foreman to edit their drafts. Local college student Morgan Myers illustrated the story.
The book was published on Amazon’s “CreateSpace,” a self-publishing program.
Available on Amazon, the book costs $12. Of that, $4 covers the printing of each book; $2.50 goes to the Winchester Area Literacy Foundation; and the rest benefits the Winchester City Sheriff’s Office Foundation.
While raising money for charity was a primary objective of the project, creating a positive image of law enforcement officers was also important to the authors.
“It’s not just the educational side of it where we’re educating them about what we do; it’s also about the positive reinforcement,” Sibert said. “A lot of times — and not just with youth, but with adults — a lot of interactions they have with police is negative, whether it’s a traffic stop or your house is broken into. We’re trying to tell them that we’re not just trying to catch you doing something bad.
“We’re here to protect and serve,” he said. “Serve is a big part of that.”
The trio is planning a book signing to introduce “Deputy Knowles Knows” to the Winchester area, but Taylor said they’re still working on finding a location.
— Contact Christopher Earley at [email protected]
*Posted in The Winchester Star on November 27, 2015 by Christopher Earley