The life of a police officer is rarely an easy one, and the sacrifices made and dangers faced by those in the line of duty are not always appreciated. That is the message Larry Cappetto hopes to get across with his documentary film, "Beyond the Badge," set to premiere at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 14, at The John Carroll School in Bel Air.
Cappetto, a Grand Junction, Colo., native, previously made a documentary about military veterans nationwide that aired on PBS. This time, he wanted to focus on Maryland law enforcement officers and veterans, explaining he has worked with Howard McComas, of the McComas funeral home family, and also often come in contact with the Harford County Sheriff's Office.
"My goal with this film is to honor and to thank those who worked in law enforcement," Cappetto explained. "I want them to know that people appreciate what they do."
Cappetto worked as a police officer with the Fruita Police Department in Colorado and the Mesa County Sheriff's Office as a reserve deputy in Grand Junction.
He said his movies are a platform for him to honor what those who serve have done.
"I feel like for the last 10 years, I have been serving my country through the lens of a camera," he said.
He said the film got a lot of interest and, "before I knew it, I had almost 30 officers."
"We are going to have a good group of people," he said.
Cappetto focused on 24 officers from all over Maryland, including many former officers from Harford County. He noted next week is National Police Week, and National Peace Officers Memorial Day is May 15.
Besides the showing of the 70-minute documentary, which will involve building a stage and special set-up at John Carroll, the evening will feature a color guard, bagpipers, antique police cars and special speakers, including Bill Toohey, who was spokesman for Baltimore County Police for 14 years.
It will also include a "very poignant tribute to a fallen officer," Cappetto said, explaining the details will be a surprise.
"The whole film is very touching; it's inspiring for the young and the old. It's especially important for anyone in law enforcement or anyone considering a career in law enforcement," Cappetto said.
After the world premiere at John Carroll, Cappetto said the movie will probably be used as a training film. He noted he goes into schools a lot to show his veterans film or talk about law enforcement and veterans.
"This will be used for educational purposes," he said.
He expected perhaps 150 or 200 people to come to John Carroll's auditorium on Tuesday.
"Hopefully we can invite the community to come out," he said.
Attendees are asked to RSVP by calling 970-549-1208 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Light refreshments will be served after the film presentation.