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Michael Simonsen

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Michael Simonsen is a former police officer for the Los Angeles Police Department. In 1977, as a means to teach children safety Michael Simonsen, developed an entertaining visual presentation through the use of a Macaw.  The bird, known as Officer Byrd, No. 007, was the genesis of the book The Adventures of Officer Byrd – Get Help!


According to the book description of The Adventures of Officer Byrd – Get Help!, it “is based on a true-story. It's about a real police bird who helps children and adults. The story is about Officer Byrd helping young people not to keep bad secrets and to get help. The children's book is for ages five to 12 plus. Your contribution to buy this book goes to help abused children. We are a nonprofit organization trying to help children all over the world.”

One reader of The Adventures of Officer Byrd – Get Help! said, “How can a macaw (parrot) from the rainforest of South America become a police officer in Los Angeles? You'll enjoy reading this exciting, helpful book about Officer Byrd to discover how and why. Office Byrd's mission and passion is to help kids. Oh, yes, he also has super powers! Like a true super hero, he uses his powers for good to catch the bad guys, especially those who harm children.

Author Mike Simonsen, Officer Mike in the book, has the same passion as his pet macaw. His goal is to stop abusers of children. As a result, he has written this first in a planned series of books about Officer Mike and Officer Byrd in the L.A.P.D. In real life, they present programs to schoolchildren through their Officer Byrd Non-profit organization.

Accompanying the Mike's suspenseful text are detailed, action-oriented illustrations created by Stephanus Dharma. The pictures are fun and informative, adding much to the text. Readers will enjoy seeing the computer generated illustrations from photos. You feel like you are not only right in the rain forest and Los Angeles, but that you know the main characters as friends and protectors.

This is a much-needed and highly important book for children of any school age from pre-school through upper grades. As well parents, grandparents, teacher, caregivers, counselors, and authorities in law and law enforcement, indeed anyone connected with children, will be well informed by this book. Units in the class and discussions with children can be based on it. Kudos to Michael Simonsen and Stephanus Dharma for helping our children through this book and their presentations! Extra applause to the real Officer Byrd!”


From the History of the Los Angeles Police Department (lapdonline.org)

After serving as interim Police Chief for about one year, Walter H. Auble resumed duties as Captain of Detectives when, in September 1908, he was shot and killed by a burglary suspect. He became the third and highest ranking officer to lose his life in the line of duty.

The nation, by 1910, was well under way to becoming industrialized with labor and management battling each other for dominance. Opposition to organized labor was frequently voiced by the Los Angeles Times, the community’s leading newspaper. Its workers had embarked on a prolonged strike and international news was created when, on October 1, the Times building was dynamited, causing 21 deaths. Two union organizers were convicted and imprisoned after being defended by the celebrated attorney, Clarence Darrow.

After heading the Department from 1911 to 1915, Charles E. Sebastian became the first Chief to be elected Mayor, partly because of his vigorous crusade against vice. Adverse publicity concerning Sebastian’s personal life triggered his early departure from City Hall.

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