Children's Author Pens Book on That First Bus Ride
Former Newark police officer tells tales out of the school bus
After more than 30 years on the beat as a Newark cop, Richard Allen certainly has some stories to tell. But Allen, the author of five other books, deals with an entirely different slice of life in his latest work, a children’s book entitled “Kindergarteners on Their First School Bus”.
“What it deals with are the funny things children say when they’re riding back and forth on the bus,” said Allen, who retired from the NPD a decade ago. “It turned out to be a hilarious book. The parents enjoy the book even more than the kids.”
Allen writes of one little girl who lost some stickers and was unable to find them. Frustrated, the little girl finally turned to Allen and said, “Is this bus hot or is it just me?”
Another little girl decided she wanted to get off at a friend’s house instead of her regular stop, so she forged a note from her parents to present to Allen -- who didn’t exactly have to rely on his detective skills to sniff out the ruse.
“There were a lot of misspelled words,” Allen recalled.
Allen drew his material from his experiences as a driver in Fairfield and West Orange, a career he started after leaving the NPD and the Air Force reserves, where he served for almost 30 years as a flight engineer aboard a C-141, one of the military’s largest cargo planes.
“I got to go to a lot of different places around the world,” Allen recalled.
Allen had always been interested in writing but his literary career didn’t take wing until after he’d left the Newark Police Department, when he began publishing poems with law enforcement and other themes.
Watching the very youngest students take part in what amounts to their first step into the wider world was a whole new experience, Allen said.
“In a couple of cases the kids were afraid and their parents had to get on with them. But most of the kids were excited,” Allen said. “A lot of the parents make a big deal about it on the first day. They have relatives over.”
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