By TIM KELLY
An Ocean City author and a former U.S. Marshal, Cape May County Sheriff and longtime law enforcement professional, have teamed up to tell an entertaining and informative story – and to aid a very good cause.
“Jersey Lawman: Life on the Right Side of Crime” is an engaging and entertaining new memoir of James Plousis.
Like any good nonfiction book, it engages and entertains the reader with “truth is more amazing than fiction” moments.
But “Jersey Lawman” is more than just a good book.
The co-author, George Ingram, a former Philadelphia Inquirer writer who lives in Ocean City, and Plousis have agreed that all proceeds from the book are to be donated to the U.S. Marshal’s Survivors Benefit Fund, which aids the families of Marshals killed in the line of duty.
“I was at a neighborhood gathering when I began hearing all of these really interesting stories and anecdotes from Jim Plousis,” Ingram recalled. “I told him that I thought it would make a heck of a book.”
Plousis, an Ocean City resident whose current job is chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, agreed to the project, and both men decided that any funds generated should go to assist those who lost a loved one as a result of their line of work as U.S. Marshals.
Although both men agreed the project was worthwhile, neither anticipated the time and effort involved at first.
“We would get together once a week and I would talk to Jim,” Ingram said. “I would write a chapter based on our talk and bring it to him. Jim would outline any sins of omission or other things to be changed, I would make the edits and then we would move on to the next chapter.”
It was a painstaking process that took over four years to complete, Ingram said. However, the result was one both men were proud of, he said.
“We were both pleased with the way it turned out,” Ingram noted.
The book, which carries a retail price of $19.99, traces the law enforcement career of Plousis, a former Ocean City police officer, through the telling of actual experiences while in the line of fire.
It uses a first-person narrative to take advantage of Plousis’ entertaining style of communication.
“Jim is not only a veteran lawman, he is a master storyteller,” Ingram said.
Reviews for the book back this up.
“A great read that any veteran law enforcement officer can appreciate and any rookie cop can learn from,” said Sheriff Ted G. Kamatchus of Marshal County, Iowa. “Jim understands what firm and fair are all about.”
The book also boasts a 5-star rating on Amazon.
Plousis, a graduate of Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania, worked in law enforcement for more than four decades. He was elected Cape May County Sheriff at 32 and was appointed as a U.S. Marshal for New Jersey in 2002 by President George W. Bush.
He also served as chairman of the New Jersey Parole Board for seven years.
The book relates numerous anecdotes from his years in many different roles: some funny, some sad, some surprising. Taken collectively, they help give a picture of the challenges law enforcement officials face each and every day they go on the job.
Both men felt it was important to tell Plousis’ story, but not to profit from it in any way.
“From the very outset, we agreed that 100 percent of the proceeds would go to the Benefit Fund,” Ingram explained.
“This is a generous (gesture) to help the families of slain U.S. Marshals,” said Daniel J. O’Donnell, the fund’s chairman.
“I’m honored that Jim gave me a chance to help tell his story,” Ingram said.
The book, published by Publishing with J.A.M., is available on Amazon.com and locally at SunRose Words and Music, 756 Asbury Ave., and Bookateria Two, 1052 Asbury Ave., in Ocean City.