Writing becomes former police officer's 'Destiny'

Dan Marcou.jpg
Dan Marcou

LA CROSSE, Wis. — With television shows and movies sensationalizing the lives of law enforcement officers, longtime trainer Dan Marcou decided that he needed to write a book about realistic police officers. Eight years later, he's a best-selling author.

Marcou, who recently published his fourth novel, "Destiny of Heroes," will be in Rochester on Saturday to sign books from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Barnes and Noble.

Before writing books, Marcou spent 33 years as a law enforcement trainer. He said he taught everyone from rookie officers to experienced sheriffs. Marcou would teach traditional classes and also, in order to keep up with the times, create his own curriculum.

"I tell people I've taught everything but driving," Marcou said.

Lt. Marcou retired from the La Crosse (Wis.) Police Department in 2006. As he neared retirement, he noticed more and more new recruits were unaware of the job duties of a law enforcement officer.


"I noticed that a lot of people were getting into law enforcement and they had no idea what they were getting into," he said. "There are no longer shows like Adam-12, where you could actually look at a television show and say that's a little like law enforcement. There was nothing out there. I decided to write a novel just for my students or people who wanted to get into law enforcement. I told my students, 'It's a quick read, a fun read and it will give you an idea of what law enforcement was.'"

Originally, Marcou said he was only going to self-publish 50 to 100 copies of the novel, titled "The Calling, The Making of a Veteran Cop," but interest in the book increased after someone gave it a strongly favorable review on a national law enforcement web site.

Soon, Thunder Bay Press, a division of Baker & Taylor Publishing Group, offered to print the book. After "The Calling" turned a profit, Thunder Bay Press agreed to publish more books.

Soon, Marcou published "SWAT Blue Knights in Black Armor," and "Nobody's Heroes," to finish "The Calling" trilogy. In his newest book, Marcou steps away from the first three books with a new story, "Destiny of Heroes." The fictional story is about John Savage, an Army veteran who serves in the Middle East and returns to Wisconsin to join the local police force.

Marcou says all of his books are tributes to the men and woman of law enforcement. "Destiny of Heroes" looks at a man who served in the military and then makes a transition to local law enforcement, a common situation, said Marcou.

After writing three books with the same characters, Marcou said he enjoyed going in a different direction with his fourth book.

"It was no problem creating new characters because no one was pressuring me to write," he said. "Stories come to me and when they come to me I sit down and write them down. This story came to me, and it's a good story. I write at my leisure and I want to write."

Although retired from the La Crosse Police Department, Marcou still tours the United States and teaches law enforcement classes. He also is a featured columnist for


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