Saturday, October 23, 2010

WRITERS POLICE ACADEMY

by Jeanne Adams and KJ Howe

This is the story about recruits Adams and Howe, and their foray into the fascinating world of police and danger...

Setting: Greensboro, North Carolina

Players: Experts in the field of police, fire, bombs, SWAT and more!

The two green recruits entered the Writers Police Academy neophytes in the world of guns and ammo, but left as savvy sharpshooters with a back-up team bar none. The experts went above the call of duty to provide insight into the world of law enforcement, including a live simulated school shooting to demonstrate their organized response to an emergency situation.

Three action-packed days included the following workshops:

Psychology: Dr. William Lanning introduced the recruits to the world of psychopaths and sociopaths, describing the differences between spree killers, mass murderers, and serial killers. The recruits were granted an insiders' look into deviant minds. And Dr. Lanning didn't just talk about evil-- he showed it through a selection of slides taken of Mexican drug lords as they disposed of a dead body through the use of vultures. This disturbing footage captured the essence of cold-blooded killers and those images are imprinted on the minds of the recruits forever.


Action: One word says it all--FATS (Firearms Simulation Training Simulator). Adams and Howe had the opportunity to experience the same training as actual police recruits. They were given real Glocks and Sig-Sauers that had been converted to laser guns. Police scenarios were presented on film and the recruits had to make instantaneous decisions on whether to use lethal force.

Recruit Adams proved to be a commanding force with a deadly shot whereas Recruit Howe seemed to have a penchant for head shots.

Hmmm, what would psychology expert Dr. Lanning have to say about that?

Arson: Arson investigator Jerry Coble led the recruits into the world of fire starting, explaining the top seven reasons behind arson: fraud, pyromania, crime concealment, vanity, spite/revenge, civil disorders, and actions of juveniles. They also learned that fire burns up, then across, then down while continuing to move upwards. Fire investigators work like archeologists, moving from the least burned to the most burned to avoid mistakes.

Autopsy: Dr. Jonathan Hayes from the New York Medical Examiners Office took the recruits into the world of autopsy and he covered everything from methods of death to body storage.

Recruit Adams was pleased to find that her data was quite up to date in her own class while gathering even MORE gross, disgusting and fascinating information about how to dispose of, and investigate bodies and/or gross out your friends and fellow writers.

Fingerprinting, handcuffing, jail searches, tasers, pepper spraying, bombs, hazmat, and guns were just a few of the other topics covered. The instructors were generous with their expertise, staying after class to answer questions from the recruits.

If you're looking for a way to bring authenticity to your suspense, mystery or paranormal police procedural writing, think about attending the Writers Police Academy.

You won't be disappointed. For more information about this annual course, visit www.writerspoliceacademy.com

Agent Adams, Reporting for Duty, Ma'am! Sir! Grins.

What a rush it was to go to Greensboro and hang out with all these experts. No question was deferred or slighted. This crew of experts understood that writers are trying to get the details right the first time, and were generous and knowledgeable down to the nitty-gritty of how to start fires in cars, blow up gas stations (no, not like they do in the movies!) and follow the flames.

They also broke down the weapons they featured into their component pieces and gave us the data on terminology and structure. Going through the steps of crime scene analysis, bomb squad duties and riding a State Highway Patrol motorcycle were all made equally fascinating by the presenters.

From procedure to cartel-mentality, there was a wealth of information for every mindset in the crowd. We even got to interview the Sheriff of Guilford County (Greensboro) who readily admitted that he never thought his job would require him to be a rancher. (The prison farm raises cattle)

Agent Howe reporting for duty. If adrenaline is your addiction, the WPA is the place for you. Non-stop action, thrills and chills, and the chance to meet people in every area of the law.

62 comments:

flchen1 said...

Wow, how cool is that? Did the GR come along for some training, too? :)

Kim in Hawaii said...

I think it would be doubly fun if you "research" police procedures with the Hawaii Five O cast!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Fedora! You got the GR!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Fedora, he stopped by to let us know he knew more than WE did about firearms....thanks to P226.

We ignored him.

Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Kim! I so COMPLETELY agree with you. I'd love to have my stance or grip corrected by pretty much any one of the guys on Hawaii 5-0

*VWG*

Becke Davis said...

Oh my gosh, I am so jealous! What FUN!!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Becke, it was a BLAST! Harhar...

Seriously, it was so fascinating and so chock full of fabulous info. I learned so much!

Christine Wells said...

Wow, that sounds like suspense/crime writer heaven! You gals are so impressive. I'd have fainted at the sight of one of those guns!

What was your favourite bit?

Congrats on the rooster, Fedora!

Helen said...

Well done Fedora have fun with him

Hey Ladies what an awesome time you must have had although I gotta say playing with guns is not my scene all the rest I would have loved LOL.
This course must be a great source of information for writers. I have just finished reading Deadly Little Secrets Jeanne and loved it whoo hoo. Thanks for the great post KJ and Jeanne

Have Fun
Helen

PinkPeony said...

How fun! I learned how to load and hold a 12gauge shotgun for the first time a couple of months ago. I have short arms and could barely pull the trigger. :) I'd love to take a course like this. Thanks for the link, ladies!

Congrats on the pollo, Fedora!

barb said...

well done Fedora enjoy

What a great day you must have had ladies... but I think I will leave it up to them as I don't think I would be a good shot LOL

PJ said...

I once took a shooting course at the local police range to help me overcome my fear of guns. It was pretty cool and I discovered I was a darn good shot. I'd be fascinated by that segment of the training but I think I'll leave the body disposal and autopsy part to you two! ;-)

Lee Lofland said...

I'm glad everyone had such a great time. Planning has already begun for the 2011 event. For starters we've added a driving simulator (police car/fire truck/ambulance). Lots more to come!

Gillian Layne said...

How cool! I didn't even know they did such workshops. I'd love to hang out at NCIS myself, but for all the wrong reasons ;). And if I had the brains for it, I'd want to be Abby. Her job is amazing.

jo robertson said...

Wow, KJ and Jeanne, what a fascinating experience. Wish I could've been there with you. I've taken lots of classes in these areas, but as you know, first hand experience is the best!

LOL, Kim in Hawaii, maybe they'll have the conference in Hawaii next year. I'd sure love to see Alex McLoughlin!

Louisa Cornell said...

He's hanging out with you again, Fedora! DON'T let him near the guns, or the booze or the chocolate. Oh heck! Just lock him up!

I am SO jealous Duchesse and KJ !! What a fascinating workshop!

The psychological stuff and the body disposal and forensics would have been my favorites.

I live out in the boonies so guns are pretty much a given - though it is usually rifles, shotguns and pistols.

I would love to attend a workshop on nineteenth century police work and armaments.

Can't wait to reap the benefits of all your research, ladies! In your books!!

Anna Sugden said...

Oh how cool! I'm so envious of you guys! All that and you got to spend time with a fellow Bandita - awesome!

Makes me doubly frustrated to not live in NJ anymore!

I had fun hanging out with a friend of a friend, who's a forensics expert - we spent a few hours talking crime scenes and she was fantastic at helping me make my story have true to life details.

KJ Howe said...

Flchen1, congrats on the GR! Sorry I am late to the party, but I flew in from NY this morning and just arrived home.

KJ Howe said...

Sorry I am late to the party. I just flew in from NY!

KJ Howe said...

Kim, I have booked my flight to Hawaii! What a great idea.

KJ Howe said...

Becke, Jeanne and I had a blast. Learning fascinating stuff with a great friend made WPA a memorable experience.

KJ Howe said...

Christine, my favorite bit was the psychology talk. I love delving into evil minds. The FATS training was also memorable.

KJ Howe said...

Helen, I find it interesting that people have such strong feelings about firearms...such polarization in our communities. It is quite different in Canada because we have strict gun laws so firearms are not as prevalent.

KJ Howe said...

Pinkpeony, you would love WPA. If you have any questions, just drop us a line. We love ta
King about our fun experiences!

KJ Howe said...

Barb, you might be surprised how much you enjoy the WPA...there are so many topics, they have something for everyone. Thanks for stopping by today!

KJ Howe said...

Hey PJ Sharpshooter, Jeanne is our expert body disposal gal...she even teaches a course on it!

KJ Howe said...

Lee, thanks so much for stopping by today. It was a real pleasure meeting you in Greenboro. Hope to see you at Thrillerfest.

KJ Howe said...

Gillian, NCIS is my favorite show. Who do you like on it? I'm a huge Gibbs fan.

KJ Howe said...

Jo, you would have loved it. All the boom girls would have had a permasmile on!

KJ Howe said...

Louisa, research is so much fun. I believe that it's important to get the facts right. Your idea sounds great...history is fascinating.

KJ Howe said...

Anna, we must kidnap you for a mission soon! You would have loved the course.

KJ Howe said...

Jeanne, thanks for holding down the fort. It's great to be back home,

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Christine! My favorite bit was the FATS simulator. Firing weapons...pretty cool. Grins.

Second fav bits, a tie between listening to Dr. Coble talk about firestarters, Dr. Lanning talk about serial killers, and Dr. Hayes talk about the ME's office.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Helen said: I have just finished reading Deadly Little Secrets Jeanne and loved it whoo hoo. Thanks for the great post KJ and Jeanne

Hi Helen! Thanks so much. Glad you liked the book!!! :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Pink Peony, I know KJ said it too, but you'd love, love LOVE this weekend workshop.

Fabulous.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

PJ...it was so worth it. Cool about the police training you took!

As to the body disposal...grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Ooooh, LEE!! Hey! Ladies and Gents, Lee is one of the organizers of the WPA - and did a great job, as you can tell. Grins.

Lee that new simulator sounds fab. Hopefully the K9 unit can be there next year too. :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

KJ, glad you had a great trip to NYC!

Body disposal. My favorite. Grins.

Oh, and Gibbs and the NCIS crew are my favorites too!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Off to the baseball game...be back shortly...

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

LOVED the pics! And loved the sound of all the kewl workshops and hands-on stuff.

Thanks for doing the Banditas proud, KJ and Jeanne!

Congrats on the GR, Fedora. Is it pouring rain at your place today? It certainly is here. :-P Well, I'm glad for the chilly, nasty weather since that will make me appreciate my cruise even more. ;-)

AC

KJ Howe said...

AC, so happy you liked the pics. I was clicking away all weekend!

KJ Howe said...

Jeanne, looking forward to hearing about your baseball fun!

Lee Lofland said...

We have several K-9's lined up for 2011. I'm sure they'll be bringing their handlers, too. We've even scheduled a helicopter, a top expert on cyber crimes, and a very well-known expert on serial killers.

The driving simulator is really cool. It features wrap around plasma screens and shakes, bumps, bangs, and rolls with road conditions. I posted a little about it (photos and a video) on my blog a few days ago. Here's the link:

http://www.leelofland.com/wordpress/?p=8504

Nancy said...

Fedora, congrats on the bird!

KJ and Jeanne, what a fun weekend! Wish I could've done that. I know you had a great time.

Nancy said...

PJ, I would love to take a class like that. They don't seem to be offered around here, though.

Nancy said...

Helen, I enjoyed Deadly Little Secrets, too. Great job, Jeanne! As usual.

Not as much stuff blew up as I expected, but I didn't realize it until I got to the end.

Nancy said...

KJ, I hope you had fun in NYC. I hope to get there during the holidays and see all the beautiful decorations. I'm a sucker for that stuff.

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

How fun is this? I would loved to be a fly on the wall!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Wait...Lee, I'll get K9's AND handlers??? Sign me up!!

And the drivig simulator sounds amazing.

Your two experts this year on serial killers were awesome, I can't imagine how you could top them. Dr. Lanning's Buzzard Buffet was just chilling.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Marilyn, it would have been fun to have you there. :> Nary a mention of Goal Motivation and Conflict, but LOTS of great info on pathology of bodies, psychology of killers and methodology of bad-guy takedowns!

Ha!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Nancy said: Not as much stuff blew up as I expected, but I didn't realize it until I got to the end.

Hahah! this was a high-body-count book as opposed to a big BOOM! book, I guess, Nancy. Next one blows a few things up though. Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Baseball was fab today, folks. Gotta say, there's nothing like a kid's game that's competitive and fun and genuinely a great team play.

My son's team won, but even had they not, the boys had SO much fun playing together that they were just happy. THat meakes the win even more fun.

Pat Cochran said...

Hi, Jeanne & KJ,

How exciting, ladies! All the
classes sound most informational,
but I'm with PJ on the disposal
of bodies and such!

Congratulations,Fedora and Hello
to the GR! It's been a long while
since he visited Houston, but I
made sure we didn't go any where
near NASA when he was here!

Pat Cochran

flchen1 said...

It has been kind of an icky day out today; the poor GR is trapped inside with my family :) I can't seem to find him though--I'm guessing he's barricaded himself in the storage room to avoid being dragged into the kids' games... OK with me as long as he leaves my chocolate alone!!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oooh, Fedora, if there's chocolate in there he'll sniff it out...beware!

KJ Howe said...

Lee, your line-up for next year sounds phenomenal. Thanks for sharing!

KJ Howe said...

Nancy, NYC was phenomenal. I hope you get to enjoy it at Christmas!

KJ Howe said...

Marilyn, thanks for coming by. We had such a great time and the memories will last forever.

KJ Howe said...

Hi Pat, I love how everyone has different interests. We'll let you take a pass on the body disposal!

KJ Howe said...

Kids, kids, let the GR out! LOL

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

KJ said: Kids, kids, let the GR out! LOL

Hahah! he's a rascal.

SiNn said...

wow that seemed like funnn research ty for posting