By Andreas Yilma, Staff Writer
BEACON FALLS — Beacon Falls police officer Paul Scott Markette didn’t have to look far for inspiration for his second children’s book.
Markette, who has been a part-time police officer in town since 2018 after retiring from the Naugatuck Police Department, self-published “K9 Arty Saves the Day!!” earlier this year.
The book follows the characters of Officer Greg and his K9 partner, Arty, as they patrol the town of Beacon Falls. In the end, Arty saves Mayor Gerry, who is stranded out in water at a park.
Markette said the main characters are based on fellow officers Greg Gallo and Arty Denze, and Mayor Gerry is based on First Selectman Gerard Smith.
The book comes 10 years after Markette, a 53-year-old Naugatuck resident, self-published his first children’s book, “I’m With Poppy!!”
Markette said his fellow officers encouraged him to write another children’s book that takes place in Beacon Falls. Markette said the book was well received by his fellow officers, especially Denze, and they laughed about it.
“They thought it was a good idea,” Markette said. “They enjoyed it.”
Markette said the book’s main message is about bringing the community and police together.
Several high-profile incidents this year, including the death of George Floyd, a Black man, in May at the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer, sparked nationwide calls for police reform as well as protests against police brutality.
“We’re (police officers) in a bad light. We’ve been in a bad light for about a year now and it’s sad. I hate seeing that,” Markette said. “I just want people to realize we’re human beings too. We’re regular people with families.”
Markette said he hopes the book can help show that police officers are the same as everyone else.
“I just thought it was something I can try to bring together to have people look at us (police officers) more as human beings,” Markette said. “Yeah we make mistakes but we do a lot of good and we do care. We’re regular people.”
Markette dedicated the book to his father, John, who died in August. He said he would like to write more books about K9 Arty, possibly a series, but he’s going to see how things work out. The book is available online through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Markette sold copies of his book during a recent toy drive hosted by the Beacon Falls police and Bethany police departments, and raised $200 to donate to the drive.
“I’m trying to bring the community together,” Markette said.