Cynthia Brown, is the publisher and founder of American Police Beat, the nation’s largest law enforcement publication with over 250,000 readers. Cynthia founded American Police Beat in 1994 with the goal of creating a way for law enforcement people to communicate with each other about the most pressing issues and concerns facing their profession. Brown was inspired to undertake this project after working for several years for the Boston Police Department doing a number of varied tasks including facilitating meetings between beat cops and residents in one of the city’s most crime-plagued neighborhoods. Bill Bratton, former police chief in Boston, New York City and Los Angeles was her boss. For several years she published a neighborhood newsletter for Boston’s five police districts.
Cynthia is also a founding member of the Police Union Leadership Seminar, a three day annual event run in conjunction with Harvard University that is attended by the presidents of the largest police associations in the country. Cynthia is the recipient of many awards for her work, including the most prestigious honor in law enforcement, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund’s Distinguished Service Award. Former recipients have included several U.S. Senators, and former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush.
BRAVE HEARTS: Extraordinary Stories of Pride, Pain, and Courage (American Police Beat Publishing, October, 2010)
Brave Hearts is the story of fifteen men and women who have worked for the New York City Police Department. Whether they are shutting down international narcotics operations, making arrest for brutal homicides, settling marital disputes, getting illegal weapons off the streets, finding serial killers, or preventing another terrorist attack, they routinely face injury and death to serve and protect people, many of whom they don’t know and will probably never meet.
The officers profiled in Brave Hearts work for the New York City Police Department, but their stories could come from any law enforcement agency in any community in the United States. Their personalities are as varied as their assignments. But they all share a passion for their work and a conviction that they are doing something important with their lives. Despite the constant exposure to America’s dark side, they all view their work as a privilege and a job they are lucky to have.
These real-life heroes are also moms and dads. They get sick, suffer moments of weakness, and don’t always emerge victorious. But no matter the circumstances, they are right back to work for their next shifts, trying to do their jobs a little bit better than the day before. They are ordinary people, no different than you or me, except when it’s time to risk their lives to save a stranger or get a criminal off the street. Then these individuals display qualities we rarely see.