BOOK SIGNING DRAWS ATLANTA’S BEST IN THE POLICE FORCEadmin
Last Saturday night, a diverse and powerful group of attendees were graciously invited into the welcoming and lovely home of retired Atlanta police supervisor Debbie Joe in celebration of the Atlanta Police Department (APD) memoir “When The Thin Blue Line Begins to Blur.” The book was written by former APD Retired Commander (2011) Khalfani B. Yabuku – who originally joined the police department in 1984. He witnessed the APD undertake many transitions over the years – some for good and some for bad – and he served as a highly trained SWAT officer, lead counter-sniper and primary firearms instructor for the SWAT team among many other critical roles at one of the most challenging police departments recognized in the southern United States. Dignitiaries there in support of the book included former Clayton County Commission Chairman and former Atlanta Chief of Police Eldrin Bell, Fulton County Sheriff Candidate Charles Rambo and Rockdale County Sheriff Candidate Moses Purdue along with Shaolin 7th Degree Senior Master and former Atlanta Falcons Linebacker Michael Reid.
The book chronicles 28 years of Yabuku’s struggles to start the healing process from within the walls of the Atlanta Police Department. Chapter after chapter, he takes us on patrol to expose the myriad issues which have become systemic practices of law enforcement agencies across the country. Yabuku offers solutions and answers to long-standing issues contributing to the mistrust and lost respect between our nations’ domestic heroes and the citizens they’re sworn to serve and protect.
During this book signing event, a conversation was spurred amongst the attendees that moved every participant there. Real, honest and raw stories were shared that would shake any Atlanta citizen to their core. Some of the stories spoke to the integrity of the officers Yabuku knows – the strength of character displayed in the darkest of situations. Other stories spoke of how Yabuku had to bravely combat even the mayor of Atlanta at the time in the name of what was right and best for the community that he serves. Several officers were in attendance who shared their stories – as did citizens – of what their real officer-community experiences were like. It was not done without great restrain of emotion and attendees left feeling the gravity of the situation before us: having to deal with a community whose trust has been severely abused over the years and figuring out how we can best all move forward together.
When asked why he chose to write this memoir, Yabuku said “I hope to convey to the average citizen that in spite of the images of an impending ‘police state,’ widespread corruption, racism and other issues that serve only to widen the chasm of distrust and disrespect between the police and the public, there is indeed a faction of officers on every department who stand against the status quo and dare to cross or even break the Thin Blue Line when it begins to blur. My ultimate desire is to restore the faith of the general public in the idea that this faction of officers is growing exponentially – and daily.”
A big thank you to everyone who attended and made this night both fun and meaningful! You are all so very much appreciated.