2011 Writers’ Police Academy: The Beginning

2011 Wpa


The 2011 Writers’ Police Academy is well underway. Registration opened Thursday afternoon at 2pm, with many folks anxious to get the formalities out of the way so they could begin tours of the county jails and ride-a-longs with deputy sheriffs.

WPA recruits receiving briefing from a Guilford County, N.C. sheriff’s lieutenant, the shift commander, prior to climbing into patrol cars. The recruits were told of an on-going standoff with a kidnapping suspect that was already underway.

Heading out on patrol.

Receiving final instructions. WPA recruits were permitted to accompany deputies on actual calls and traffic stops.

Sgt. Catherine Netter teaching workshop on conducting jail searches. WPA recruits were then permitted to search the cells looking for hidden contraband, such as weapons and other illegal items.

EMS workshop

Learning about EMS equipment and ambulances.

Author Dana Stabenow (left) catching a brief rest between workshops, while Dr. Denene Lofland (top right) answers bioterrorism question from WPA recruit.

Corporal Dee Jackson teaches about personal safety for women.

On the way to an emergency call in the driving simulator.

Partners working together to navigate an emergency vehicle through an intersection. One drives while the other activates the emergency equipment (lights and siren).

Lots of accidents during the day, including one person (not the drivers above) who slammed an ambulance into the back of a police car. Fun and excitement all around!

Field sobriety testing (“walking the line”) while wearing DUI goggles. The pair of goggles worn by this WPA recruit simulated a level of .o6 blood alcohol concentration, an amount that’s well below the top of the legal limit. She failed the test miserably. Drunk as a skunk without ever drinking a drop.

No one passed the tests.

Police canine, Joy, delighted the crowd with a couple of fantastic demonstrations. She even allowed her handler to join in on the action. But Joy quickly stole the show.

Dr. Katherine Ramsland wound up the Friday program with a session called “Psychological Sleuthing and the Tools of Forensic Psychology.”

Then it was off to the reception where the crowd sang Happy Birthday to Sisters in Crime (It’s SinC’s 25th anniversary).

I finished up the day with a night owl session called Smelling Elephants: The Demons Inside My Head (you had to be there).

Time for a little sleep and then back at it bright and early on Saturday.

Wish you were here!

*There was far too much excitement on Friday for one blog post. More on Monday.