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May I introduce myself:

Jacques Smeets

born on
06 august 1951

I grew up  in a rural area in a family of eleven children. Due to my strict upbringing by my parents, community and the Church, it was almost a given that I would choose a profession for life which would provide me with a stable income and pension. The choice for a “life in blue” was easily made. One could consider it a calling. At age 17 I was suddenly touched by a recruitment campaign for young policemen at my school and I entered the police academy at age 19. An argument with my father, who did not think highly of the authorities, followed. However, I persevered in following my intention of becoming a policeman.

After the academy, my long career with the police started in Maastricht , and as a young policeman, events followed one after another. Death and misery, aggression and violence, bureaucracy and new development had become quite normal in my life. So did the threats and insults against my person that had become custom in my profession. Anger, rage, sorrow, happiness and euphoria all became part of my daily life which I sometimes enjoyed, other times hated. So I lived and worked on, almost on autopilot for over three decades. The uniform remained sacred, contrary to the lack of respect a uniform in the Netherlands commands.

In 1998 I suddenly become ill and I lost interest in my work and suffered from a burnout. I recovered by learning about the psychological aspects of police work, and I find new meaning in the job. I started writing about my experiences and my first book is published in 2007. In the mean time I had changed both as a man and as a policeman, just like society and the job have changed over the years.

My second book De blauwe diender is published in the Netherlands in 2010 and this book is translated in English; it carries the title To Serve and Protect. It is a reflection of experiences, not a thriller or novel about the police. It is one hundred percent autobiographical and it attempts to make people aware of the daily issues policemen and women have to deal with. I present myself as sensitive towards the macho attitude that is still prevalent in police work even today. Humor can also be found in the book when I talk about birth on the street, a day of rafting with fellow officers and in the way I enlighten the images that accompany the text of the novel.

This book deals with issues such as immigration, working and living in the community, having fun with what you do and professional honor. Therefore this book is not only meant for fellow police officers but can also be enjoyed by those in other professions.

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