Kennebunkport children’s book author Jocelyn Lacey is about to launch her newest book ‘What Police Officers Do’ and is taking a new approach to publishing by inviting others to parcticipate. Tammy Wells Photo

KENNEBUNKPORT – An author of two published children’s books is approaching her third publication in a different way, looking for participation from folks around the corner and across the country – and their efforts will not go unrewarded.

Those who take part receive an autographed copy of Jocelyn Lacey’s latest children’s book, “What Police Officers Do,” mailed to them or to the person or organization of their choice, she said.

Originally of Johnson City, Tennessee, Lacey first moved to the area a decade ago with her husband Steven, who studied yacht design at The Landing School. After he graduated, the couple lived to Rhode Island, New Jersey, and the Outer Banks of North Carolina before returning to Maine in 2018 when Steven became a yacht design instructor at the school.

The couple first met at East Tennessee State University, where Lacey studied mass communications. She has worked for several nonprofits, including as a court advocate and community outreach for a domestic violence program and for a child advocacy center.

Along the way, she penned “Coral’s First Sleepover,” about a mermaid and her special blanket and her first sleepover, and “Pierre the Peacock,” a story about friendship.

“Coral’s First Sleepover” was written when the Laceys were first in Maine, and was published in 2018; “Pierre the Peacock,” inspired by a peacock that suddenly showed up at their back door when the couple was living in New Jersey, was published in late 2017.

This illustration is from a new children’s book by author Jocelyn Lacey, called ‘What Police Officers Do.’ Lacey said she was inspired to write the book as a result of her work in a domestic violence program and with a child advocacy center. Image courtesy Jocelyn Lacey

Lacey said her latest children’s book was inspired by her work in the domestic violence program and at the child advocacy center.

She said she was also inspired by a Citizens Police Academy she attended in Johnson City and plans to sign up for Kennebunk’s Citizens Police Academy when the program resumes.

The book begins when a police officer comes to a school to talk to the students about various aspects of the job. One little girl was too shy to ask a question – but as time goes on, her questions are answered.

Lacey would like to publish “What Police Officers Do,” this year.

She launched a Go Fund Me effort this spring.

“A week later, COVID-19 shut down the world,” she said from her Kennebunkport home where the couple lives with an Entlebucher Mountain Dog named Gracie, an Old English sheepdog named Winston, cats Cagney and Lacey, and a fish.

“When I launched it in early March, there was no way to know that the world was about to shut down due to COVID, followed by the civil unrest our country is currently facing,” said Lacey. ” While there are bad people in every occupation, I truly believe that there are far more good officers than there are than bad.”

“With the latest news of the ambushing of police officers and talks of defunding police departments, I feel that this is a vital time to get this book into the hands of children everywhere, so they can know that a police officer’s job is to help in any way that they can,” she said.

For more information about the fundraising efforts, visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/6byjk-help-publish-children039s-book-about-police-officers.

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