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McGill co-authors book on policing's impact on those in uniform
Criminal Justice Training Center Coordinator Jeff McGill has co-authored a book titled The Price They Pay, which will be released on Oct. 22. McGill, who has been a training center coordinator at Northwest Florida State College since 2013 following a 15-year career with the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, partnered with author Karen Solomon on the new book.
“It talks about things we don’t like to talk about,” McGill said of the book. “This is what happens in the real world. It’s not necessarily pretty all the time.”
McGill and fellow Training Center Coordinator Steve Hough were each featured in Solomon’s first book, Hearts Beneath the Badge, which was published last year. Before joining the Public Safety Department at NWF State College, McGill and Hough were partners for 12 years as Okaloosa sheriff’s deputies. They were working together on a U.S. Marshal’s Service Regional Fugitive Task Force on Dec. 9, 2011, when a fugitive being served a warrant opened fire, hitting Hough three times, once in his face and twice in his leg. Hearts Beneath the Badge devotes a chapter to Hough and another to McGill in an effort to describe the impact of the shooting on both officers.
Now McGill has gone from having his name in a chapter title to his name on the cover. The Price They Pay is “a raw look at the impact of policing on the people who don the uniform each day,” according to the book’s foreword by Capt. Barry M. Thomas, chief deputy of the Story County Sheriff’s Office (Iowa) and president of the FBI National Academy Associates.
“In an effort to humanize what many view as a superhuman profession, Solomon and McGill explore the emotional damage that is the end result of dealing with exposure to death, dismemberment, pain, suffering, conflict, fear, anger, scrutiny, vilification as well as societal and organizational pressures,” Thomas writes. “Solomon and McGill look beyond the uniform and put a human face on the law enforcement profession, providing the average citizen a glimpse into the hardships faced by peace officers and their families on a daily basis.”
In a review on Amazon.com, Sgt. Bill Rusk, executive director of Badge of Life Canada, says, “The Price They Pay is a unique blend of impactful short stories mixed with educational portions on what post-traumatic stress actually is and how it invades the very being of individual police officers during their careers.”
Those educational portions of the book were written by McGill, who holds a master’s degree in criminal justice from Arizona State and is working on a Ph.D. in criminal justice from Nova Southeastern. The book explores six topic areas: traumatic stress injury, psychological response to mental trauma, agency policy, collateral damage, officer suicide, and resilience.
What does McGill want readers to take away from reading the book?
“For non-law enforcement, we want them to recognize that cops are human. There’s more to this job than what’s portrayed in the news media,” he said. “For law enforcement, we hope it opens their eyes and helps them to know about an issue beforehand so they’re better prepared to handle situations. For agencies, we hope they take some of this into consideration when making policy.”
Proceeds from the sale of the book, which can be pre-ordered now on Amazon.com, go to national law enforcement charities.