At age 26 in the 1980s, Flo Trapani was an officer with the Simi Valley Police Department when few women in America were joining the ranks of law enforcement. Flo’s job as a cop made headlines, as she was one of only a handful of women on the force comprised mostly of men. But soon after she started the job, she learned she wasn’t welcome in this male-dominated profession. Her fellow officers and superiors conspired to remove her from their ranks—to the extent that she feared her life was in jeopardy—which forced her to take an early retirement. Now, nearly four decades later, Flo is ready to share this story of deceit, betrayal and heartache—and the acceptance and forgiveness that helped her move on.
“Back then, I couldn’t let it go because it felt like a dirty secret that I was forced to carry for years,” Flo said. “Today, I no longer feel I have to hold anything inside. What happened to me happened, and there’s nothing I can do to change the past. But I learned many life lessons from this experience that I can hopefully pass on to future generations, including my daughter and grandson—and all the women out there who might feel victimized or betrayed with no way out. I am here to tell you: there is always a way out. Just be true to yourself, and everything will fall into place.”
The Oath, written by award-winning journalist and author, Alicia Doyle, is a nonfiction novel about Flo Trapani’s first-hand account of her rise and fall to justice at the hands of her brothers in blue.
TRUE STORY - Above, Flo Trapani, left, a former Simi Valley police officer, is the subject of a new book written by local author, Alicia Doyle
“This book got me hooked to the point I could not put it down until I finished the story. Such a sad but truthful story written in such a motivational way." - Lucy Leyda, Amazon review 5 out of 5 stars
“Imagine having a vision of your future—a life mapped out in your mind of how your destiny will unfold. You think you do all the right things to manifest your vision and embrace all the obstacles that come along for making your dreams come true. But what happens when the vision of your destiny changes due to unforeseen circumstances…would you walk away and start over?” In The Oath, author Alicia Doyle takes us on a ride along with the subject of her book, Flo Trapani. This book is a page turner through the days of an extraordinary woman, from Catholic school in New York to law enforcement in the Simi Valley Police Department, from personal struggles to professional battles. Ms. Trapani’s life is an inspiration." - Margaret Seven Wellman, Amazon review 4 out of 5 stars
“The bravery in sharing this story along with the compelling writing style of Ms. Doyle make for a wonderful and raw read." - Desiree Burgdorfer, Amazon review 5 out of 5 stars
“Flo Trapani is a remarkable woman. I say this not only from reading this book, but because she was a guest speaker in my graduate class in family therapy at Cal State Northridge at least ten times. As this book shows, she had enormous courage and has come through to this day in grand fashion. I must also praise Alicia Doyle who did a first-rate job of listening to her story and writing it keenly in this book. Read on. You will be rewarded.” – Dr. Stan Charnofsky, a licensed clinical psychologist and retired professor from California State University Northridge who has authored thirty novels.
“I grew up in the town where this occurred, so some of what happened was known to me, but the depth of betrayal by nearly the entire department, including the Police Chief, was not only shocking, but also disgusting. A quick and compelling read." - Darla J Dagay, Amazon review 4 out of 5 stars
“I was so excited our brave warriors book was coming out and when I got it I sat and read it in one day. Thanking God that Flo had the backbone she had; and feeling terrible I wasn’t there, more, for her. ‘82-‘83 God had our backs." - Catherine, Amazon review 5 out of 5 stars
“A powerful story of a woman who wanted to serve her community only to be refused by a few…in blue. And a police chief who turned a blind eye” - Barbra Williamson, Former City Councilmember, City of Simi Valley 1991-2012
“Florence Trapani’s life story as a daughter, police officer, wife, and mother is both amazing as a unique drama and representative of every woman’s ongoing personal and professional struggles in our patriarchal society. From her beginnings in New York’s post-war working-class Italian neighborhoods, to her career as a Southern California small-town cop, she confronted an unbelievable sequence of life challenges. She is the super-heroine of her own fascinating story, summoning innate powers of resilience as she faced ordeal after ordeal.” – Joel Block, Esq. [Retired]
“You'd think bullying ends when we grow up and move on from the schoolyard. But it takes on other forms of harassment when it is taken into adulthood. May we all learn from this and change our hearts to be more encouraging and lift up the righteous and everyday heroes. Thank you Flo for your courage and grit." - Kathy I., Amazon review 5 out of 5 stars