My protagonist is former police detective turned college writing professor. (Hey, we have to have some stuff in common!) Because I share her disabling hearing loss but not her police experience, the Writer’s Police Academy is the perfect place to put myself in my character’s shoes.

I know TV is not the place to learn correct police procedure and even the best authors can make mistakes. Writers need to learn as much as they can so they write about police procedure correctly.

So what did I learn?

1. Police gear is heavy, bulky, and hot (and sometimes smelly).

Yup, it looks cool, but it’s bulky and heavy. Notice that that duty belt is mostly empty. It needs extra ammo, a night stick, extra handcuffs, extra pouches of miscellaneous stuff (like medical gloves and tourniquet), etc. These make the belt so bulky you can’t comfortably lean back in a chair or car seat – and female officers have to take the belt off to go to the bathroom. (Ask Tami Hoag about that.)

And it’s HOT. In the photo I’m comfortably dressed in shorts and t-shirt. In her patrol officer days, my protagonist would have worn long pants and a uniform shirt over that t-shirt and vest. Did I mention how hot that would be? The vest doesn’t breathe well so you sweat more. That means your t-shirt, vest, and even your uniform shirt become sweaty in no time.

Now imagine how hard it is to get in and out of a patrol car in all that gear, without snagging it on the seat belt, steering wheel, car door, etc. It impedes other movement too, like chasing bad guys and tying your shoes.

The equipment changes your stance, too. The first couple hours I wore a duty belt, I was busy trying to figure out what to do with my arms. I ended up putting my hands on my hips or resting them on the duty belt. Now I understand why some people find the cop stance threatening or intimidating.

2. But wait, there’s more!

(Photo by Angi Morgan)

In some situations, officers carry a Break Out Bag (BOB) with extra gear. That way if they’re stuck in a stand-off they have extra ammo, snacks, water, first aid stuff, cargo straps for hauling injured office to safety, and any extra equipment they might need. In this photo Matt Ninham is showing just a few things from that BOB: a mirror on a stick, a selfie stick (for looking in attics, etc.), a pry bar, first aid gear, etc. The BOB is carried on the officer’s non-weapon side. Yup, even more added weight. My protagonist definitely does her push-ups and weight lifting.

3. There’s MUCH more to training than you might think.

Need to use your night stick to get a suspect to back up? Don’t aim for the head!

(Photo by Annette Dashofy)

When searching a building for an armed suspect, can you walk quietly and safely using a roll-step? Communicate silently with your fellow officers? Go though doorways without whacking your weapon, duty belt, etc., on the doorframe? It’s a good thing my protagonist knows this stuff!

That doorframe probably has marks from my weapon and duty belt whacking it. The bad guys would definitely hear me coming.

Can you anticipate an attack?

This was an example of how fast a suspect could draw a knife and kill an armed officer.

Writers Police Academy 2017 Knife Vs. Gun

It’s one thing to read about that on The Graveyard Shift; seeing it in action is an eye-opening experience.

This was also a good example of other skills my protagonist needs, like dealing with Emotionally Disturbed Persons (EDPs) and having a basic understanding of languages used by local populations (like Spanish in Green Bay). Hmm, what language does my protagonist need to learn?

4. Practice, practice, practice.

I thought hitting a target on a shooting range meant I was a good shot. During Shoot/Don’t Shoot training I learned that hitting a moving target is NOTHING like hitting a stationary target at a range.

I also learned that If my life depended on drawing a Glock from the holster on a training duty belt, I’d probably die. Officers have to practice drawing their weapon tens of thousands of times so they can do it quickly and smoothly when their lives depend on it.

Shoot/Don’t Shoot training really gave me insight into what a shooting situation feels like. I knew it was just a training scenario and that I was completely safe but I felt my heart rate increase when the countdown started. (“Your scenario will begin in 5 seconds… 4…. 3…” Yikes!) In my second scenario I even experienced the stress-induced slow-motion effect. It was like the bad guy reaching for that revolver was moving underwater. (Too bad for him that all but one of my shots hit center mass.) I was so focused on being ready to shoot that I forgot all the other things I should have done like speak, move, and take cover. This give me a lot more to work with when I have to imagine what my protagonist is experiencing in a shooting situation.

5. So much to learn, so little time to learn it.

WPA is only four days. I’d love it if it were at least two day longer so I could take all the sessions. Here’s a smattering of what learned in the sessions I haven’t mentioned yet:

  • Handcuffing another student is much easier than handcuffing a training dummy.
  • Tasers don’t cause convulsions, drooling, or any of the other amusing affects seen on TV or in books. They do cause muscle stiffness and involuntary screaming but not permanent harm.
  • TASER stands for Thomas A. Swift Electric Rifle. (How cool is that?!)
  • You can leave behind touch DNA (from sweat and skin cells).
  • You can leave fingerprints behind even when using latex gloves. (Who knew?!)
  • Fingerprints can be recovered from the sticky side of duct tape, even if when two sticky sides stuck to each other.
  • Bad guys are more likely to give up when they see police dogs, even when the human cops are visibly armed.

I learned so much more about procedure, mind set of cops, interview and interrogation, etc. than I could possible describe in one short blog post.

After thinking about all I learned at WPA and how little I have in common with my protagonist, I’m now working on making her a more realistic, well-developed character. It’s working, too. For the first time, I feel like my character is telling me things I need to know about her, like what her name really is (which is not the name I chose for her).  Either I’m starting to get the hang of this writer thing or I’m becoming an EDP – and I have WPA to thank for it. I can hardly wait for next year!



Cathy is a college writing instructor at the University of Michigan-Flint. In her copious spare time she’s working on her first mystery novel and enjoys attending mystery writing conferences and the WPA. She can be reached at [email protected] or [email protected]

Each year, the Writers’ Police Academy hosts the fun but challenging Golden Donut Short Story Contest. The rules are simple—each story must be exactly 200 words, including the title. The focus of the tale must be based upon a photo prompt (above image was the photo selected for the 2017 contest).

This year, the judge of the contest was Craig Johnson, the bestselling author of the Longmire series.

Craig Johnson

After reading through a mountain of excellent entries, a team of pre-judges narrowed the pile to twelve stories, which were passed on to Craig for final review.

*All judging and screening was performed blindly, meaning author names or other identifiers were not attached to the entries. 

So, without further ado, here are the top dozen, starting with Craig Johnson’s pick for first place, “Hide and Seek…” by A.R. Kennedy. By the way, this was Kennedy’s second win having also placed first in last year’s contest.

The second place honor goes to Michael Ring for “The Choice.”

And, coming in the third spot was Ry Brooks with his tale, “Echoes.”

Congratulations to the 2017 winner and to all who entered. I understand that each of the stories were excellent, making judging extremely difficult. Thanks, too, for your continued support of the WPA!


2017 Winner

Hide and Seek…

By A.R. Kennedy

“Found!” Bryce yelled.

“Time to go!” their father hollered. “No more of your games. The tour starts in thirty.” The trio headed to the penitentiary. “I must be some big shot to get us on the first tour ever.”

The boys marveled at the old, now closed, jail. All the places they could hide. All the hours they could play.

The tour guide prattled on about the jail’s history, its famous inmates and one inmate never found. Convicted murderer Oliver Seaver. “Escaped, dead, or still here? We do not know.”

Reign and Bryce trailed behind, bored.

The guide continued, “Some say they still see him wandering the halls.” He cackled, scaring no one. “Is it his ghost? Or is he still here?”

“Hide and seek?” Bryce whispered.

Reign nodded and started to count. “Ten…nine…”

Bryce hid under a bed and waited. He heard Reign’s calls. And he remained hidden.

He heard his father’s calls. And he remained hidden.

Bryce heard the jingle of keys and the cell door closed. The lights shut off.

The museum closed for the night.

Leaving Bryce still hidden under the bed.

And then he was found.

But not by his brother.


2nd Place

The Choice

By Michael Rigg

Montresor fumed at the delay. What was taking so long? And he gagged at the odor— despite covering his mouth with his kerchief. Was it the foul-breathed vintner unlocking the heavy iron door? Or the stench of the nitre lining the brick archways and plastered walls of the cellar?

No matter, but each passing second impeded completion of his business and delayed his return to the fresh light of day, where a carnival of joy and reckoning awaited. The plan was in motion. He must continue.

At last. He moved rapidly past the prison-like bars toward sturdy wooden racks laden with barrel after barrel of sherry.

“Which shall you choose, Signore?” The vintner adjusted his lantern, illuminating oaken casks as far as the light would carry. “A mature Fino—still protected by the flor—or  an Oloroso, perhaps?”

“Neither. Something more refined. I have a colleague—a true connoisseur—who will embark this night on a long sojourn. I wish to give him a memorable farewell.”

“Amontillado, then?”

“Yes, of course.” He nodded. “A full pipe of Amontillado. Only the best will suffice. Send it forthwith to my palazzo. Your silver awaits.”

Montresor smiled in anticipation.


3rd Place

Echoes

By Ry Brooks

“Dispatch, I’m ten-twenty at Valley Juvenile Detention building. Exterior is clear, and proceeding inside. Ten-four”.

The former minimum security facility, abandoned for decades, was soon scheduled to be bulldozed for a shopping mall. A passer-by had reported movement inside. As new man on the roster, it was my duty to check for unauthorized “visitors” tonight, likely nocturnal copper thieves stealing wire and plumbing. It was almost midnight and I apprehensively swung the entrance door aside and stepped into the gloom.

From the dormitory cells, I heard faint shuffling sounds and swept my Maglite, but there was no one and no sign of activity. Then, I heard a low crying from an area I had already cleared. It was a boy of about ten, curled up in a ball, hugging his knees.

“Is there anyone here with you?” He shook his head no. “Come with me, son.”

I got him into the back seat of my cruiser.

“Dispatch, it was just a kid. I’m bringing him in, ten-four.”

“Uh-huh. We’ll see. Ten-four.”

At the station, I opened the rear door and froze. The car was empty and the boy was gone.


THE MONSTER INSIDE

By Barbara Venkataraman

Rusting iron smells like blood; it sickens me. This foul odor permeates my senses and defines my barren existence, overpowering all else. But do not pity me in my cage, I chose this life. No, I am not a monk; they abandoned the monastery years before the gates went in. These wretched bunks were theirs. The brotherhood eschewed comfort to better concentrate on prayer–as if prayer could save them. One by one, fear drove them out, down the mountain, away from the village, beyond the reach of the monster that killed indiscriminately, for his own pleasure. Some said he was the devil sent from hell to torment them. Others said he was a man, tortured by demons that forced him to do unspeakable things. But is that not the case with all murderous villains? Bloodlust is madness, a blind frenzy that feeds on fear, thrives on terror; it cannot be resisted. I would know…

I, too, feared the monster. He terrified me more because I knew him so intimately. But I was the only one who could stop him, end the killing. Thus, I did what had to be done. I locked him in this cage.


End of the Road

By Brent Maguire

The guard stands, silent, in the corner, staring at the floor. Not intrusive, but no confidentiality exists in this space. While not a restricted area, most inmates shun this steel gate.

Bill West, the prisoner with whom I am waiting, wears the traditional orange jumpsuit of this facility. Today he is clean-shaven. He shows no sign of distress or anxiety. His gaze is fixed on the stone courtyard beyond us, leading to another gated area. Through those bars I can see the infamous corridor in the distance, leading to the theater that houses the electric chair. I consider Bill’s veneer of calm.

“You’re the psychologist,” Bill would say, whenever I shared my clinical wisdom.

On this occasion, he remains quiet, watching. The steel doors past the flagstones are now open, waiting.

“Anything you want to say?” I ask.

“I’m good. What about you?”

I smile. Deflection is a well-worn tool of prisoners and psychotherapy patients.

We embrace.

Bill sighs, the first sign of tension breaking through his stoic demeanor.

The guard stirs and reaches for his keys.

“C’mon Doc,” he says, grasping one of my shackled arms, “it’s your time.”


Camp

By Fleur Bradley

They called it camp, but everyone knew what it was. Using an old fort as a teen detention facility was smart, Charlie thought. What better place to keep kids in than a place designed to keep people out? The bars looked original, clanked as they shut behind him.

He was getting the bottom bunk. Below a burly, sweaty guy.

“Welcome to Campatraz!” The guy jumped off the top. “Get it? Camp, Alcatraz?”

“Genius.” Charlie dropped his sheets on the cramped bottom. At least he was scrawny.

“Apologies ahead for the farts, Chicken Little. Name’s Gary.” He saluted.

The other guys were busy reading.

“Shoplifting, petty theft, fraud,” Gary said, nodding, assessing the room. “Can you believe they put us together? By the end of six months, we’ll be Ocean’s Eleven.”

Six months, must be nice.

“Except for this one guy I heard about. Stabbed five boy scouts at camp, in his tent, because they called him short.”

Charlie said, “But they couldn’t prove it, so now he’s here on lesser charges.”

“You heard.” Gary nodded. “The press named him Chucky. But it’s Charles.”

“Charlie.”

Gary leaned closer. “Which one do you think it is?”


Vow of Silence

By Nana Herron

My dear Sister Angelica. Swish.

When you arrived, you were a breath of fresh air. So light and carefree. Swish.

Everyone was drawn to your ethereal beauty. Swish.

But with your beauty, you brought the noise of the outside world in. Swish.

It started with the questions. Oh, so many questions. Swish.

Then there was the laughter. Swish.

Just a little at first. Soon everyone joined in. Swish.

 

I tried teaching you our ways. Swish.

But you would not listen. Swish.

How could you? You were too busy talking. Swish.

Cloistered life is for the chosen. For someone like me. Not someone like you. Swish.

Waiting in the shadows, I heard you coming from a mile away. Swish.

Rosary beads jingling. Feet dragging. Humming. Swish.

I only wanted a word. To help you see the light. Swish.

 

Instead you died of fright. Swish.

Weak heart? Who knew? What now? Swish.

Your body was heavier than I expected. Swish.

Tucked in bed, you appear asleep. Swish.

Rest assured. The vow of silence shall be obeyed. Swish.

Having swept away the drag marks, my work is done. Swish.

All it took was a little faith… and a broom. Amen.


Secret Dead

By Ford McMurtry

Archibald Duke crossed the terreplein overlooking the parade ground once used by the Confederates garrisoned at Fort Pulaski. There was no sign of life at the caretaker’s shack atop the southwest wall. Relieved, he lowered himself down to the prison gate.

Inside, mason’s hammer in hand, he lit a lantern and pushed back a bunk to reveal a hole where the secret cache was hidden twenty years before. “It must be here,” he thought! “It’s… gone,” he stammered. Silence. Then, behind the click of the turning cylinder of the Peacemaker, a familiar voice beckoned. “Looking for this?” Eying the map held by his former captor, Duke’s heart sank. “Hopkins squealed afore he died and I’ve been waitin fer you,” Rollins laughed. “I trust two million in Lee’s gold is worth a dyin for Reb!”

Deftly, Duke snapped his wrist and the hammer flew. Its spike pierced Rollins’ eye cavity and he fell back against the grated gun port. The Colt barrel flashed and Duke’s shirt shredded in a pink mist. The paper caught wind and fluttered to the moat below as the digger, captor and map each released their secrets back into the earth. Secret dead.


 The Request

By Michael Rigg

As Margaret Skaggs hastened under the archway—through a huge iron gate—and into the monastery’s wine cellar, she thanked God that the walls couldn’t speak.

The formerly white bricks—now dusty and gray—had witnessed desperate acts. Unsanitary surgery—without anesthesia—became routine in their struggle to mend the wounded. Those deemed unsalvageable? Cast aside—stacked like cordwood on racks built to hold casks of Bordeaux and Chardonnay—to face the inevitable, alone.

“Nurse.” A whisper. “Nurse.”

Her flashlight beam darted between corpses. Dozens more dog tags to collect. She followed the light—watching, listening.

“Can’t feel my legs.”

Mangled flesh. The stench. Gangrene.

“Johansen, is it?” She returned his dog tags. “Been here long?”

“Couple days,” he wheezed. “Everybody left.”

“Right. Negotiations failed. Wainwright surrenders at midnight.”

Silence. Had he heard her?

“Surrender. Japs. Captain, don’t let ‘em take me.”

“Don’t worry soldier. They promised…”

“Your sidearm.”

What?”

“Your sidearm. Please.”

“I can’t.”

He touched her arm. “You do it.”

“Do what?”

“End the pain.”

“Johansen…no…”

Look… my legs. Smell‘ em?”

She nodded, eyes tearful. “I understand.”

Chambering a round, Margaret Skaggs thanked God that the walls couldn’t speak.


BARS

By Regina Sestak

I see bars every time I close my eyes. Those black iron bars in concrete marked the entrance to this prison where I have been rotting for so many years. I came in through that doorway only once, but I remember.

I was drinking in a different kind of bar that night. A stranger said he knew where we could get some cash. I only had to drive him there and wait. While I was sitting in my idling car I heard the shot.

I swear I never knew what he had planned. I never took a life. I told the Judge, who said, “Felony murder,” when he locked me up.

The Judge has lived behind another kind of bars; a decorative iron gate blocks the entry to his drive. I have seen photographs in magazines. His house. His wife. His kids.

After my sentencing, the girl I loved married somebody else. The job I had been hoping for went to another man.

Although I never took a life, the Judge took mine.

When I get out tomorrow, I will obtain a knife and hold it to the Judge’s throat and say, “I never took a life. Until now.”


2084

By Christine Clemenston

A siren blared from the distance.

“Come quickly.” Genevieve gripped the boy’s tiny hand and shuffled faster down the cobblestone path. Her chest thundered.

“Where are we goin’, Grammie?”

“Hush.” She refused to die without showing him first.

Genevieve peered back one last time, and pushed on the rusty iron gate filling the archway. The hinges squealed but gave way.

“This is it,” she whispered.

Inside, dust coated the floor and empty metal shelves. Paint chipped walls stared back at her, as if apologizing for what had been done.

Her gaze rose to the boarded windows.

This wasn’t supposed to be.

“Why are we here, Grammie?”

The answer stuck in her throat. She came to show him. But how did she begin to describe how much knowledge, how much hope used to live here? Her breath hitched. Or even dare to let herself remember?

Suddenly, her grandson let go and darted between the rows of shelves. His pounding feet echoed off the high ceiling.

“This place is big!”

 

“They were right here, honey.” She inhaled, pulling the memories into her lungs, her veins. “Can you smell them?”

“Smell what?”

“The books. The glorious library books.”


CHAINED

By Peggy Strand

I clutched a corner of dank bulkhead to delay them.

“Cease,” I begged. “I am innocent.”

My plea waffled beyond the first limestone archway of a macabre Roman labyrinth.

My captors yanked my shackles, tearing tender flesh. The soldier at my left, his sour breath radiating infirmity, struck my head to a black iron grate. “Shut yer yap.”

My concussed gaze fell to broad, age-worn planks underfoot. Blood spackle denoted the doom of my predecessors. Thrust onward, I flinched as my toe struck an upturned brick of a scalloped pattern conceived ages ago. Now only one stone curvature separated me from a deep throated rumble where padded feet paced.

Propelled unrestricted from dismal shadow to blinding sun, I staggered in the charring sand. The coliseum roared its desire to witness fresh slaughter.

Two lionesses crept forward, their eyes fixed upon me. A third majestic beast trundled inward, a dense mane framing his massive head. Baring fangs, he charged the grumbling females. This kill was his.

“Lazarus,” I whispered.

The beast stormed forward. His leap encircled my shoulders in joyful recognition.

I bowed. I stood tall.

Silent, the people took to its knees in reverence. Here was their king.

 

The 2017 Writers Police Academy marked the second time I was lucky enough to present This year I had the honor to present workshops on Blood Spatter analysis and Fingerprinting.

As usual, before I started my first session I felt under prepared. I teach these topics on a regular basis to folks going through police training. To get ready, all I did was take materials I already hand and cut stuff out to fit in the session time of just over one hour. Then self-doubt hit, I feared I had cut too much information and my sessions would run short.

Wow was I in for a surprise. In every session, I ran out of time! I forgot how many amazingly good questions WPA participants ask.

As an Academy instructor, there is always pride in hearing about former recruits doing good as officers. That same pride bubbled up every time someone thanked me for a tidbit they used in a story.

During the blood spatter class I was able to do a demonstration of blunt force trauma using a spatter head.

Blood Spatter/Investigation

One the points I made in class was saying there was a certainty unpredictability about what will happen during a bloodletting event. Body composition, hydration levels, and other factors can alter characteristics of blood. This proved correct with each session.

In the first session, fake blood was flung nearly all the way across the classroom.

Bloodstain pattern session. Dexter-style (photo – Ry Brooks)

In the second session, it only flew a few feet.

Regardless by the squeaks of joy coming from participants it seemed they had fun watching my dummy (who I call Daryl) getting his skull beaten in.

The fingerprinting sessions while less exciting provided some thought provoking questions. During the sessions, I told the story of Brandon Mayfield, a person suspected of a terrorist bombing due to an error in fingerprint matching. In each session, I saw eyes widen as if the story sparked an idea for writers in the room.

Both days went fast, and soon it was time for the banquet. Walking towards the banquet, I was stopped by someone who said they were a first-time attendee. She wanted to ask a question not covered in the sessions. It was about home life and the ability to see my children play sports if on duty. I enjoyed every question I get but overjoyed to spend time humanizing the badge.

It seems the human facet of cops is one aspect of the WPA that does not get enough attention. There are countless books, videos, and web pages to research police procedure. Until folks meet a few officers and honestly take some time to talk to us people never fully “get” police personalities.

My only regret from the weekend was not being able to attend any session. With teaching multiple topics multiple times a day, I never got to go sit in on any of the other sessions. Also, personal and professional responsibilities kept me away from most of the evening events at the hotel.

Hopefully next year I will be invited back to present again. Until then my inbox is always open for questions or feedback, [email protected]


RJ Beam is a Law Enforcement professional and author from Wisconsin. He has experience both as a firefighter and police officer. During most of his career, RJ served as an evidence technician, processing crime scenes.

In 2003, he started writing by launching his blog www.RescueHumor.com. Over the years RJ was asked write articles for various police magazines and journals. He has released two novels in his Stuart Thompson series, Fire Cop in 2015 and Cops & Stalkers in 2017.

 

What could I say about the 2017 Writers’ Police Academy that could accurately portray this fantastic, thrilling event? Could there possibly be an appropriate mishmash of words arranged in neat little rows and paragraphs that could possibly describe, well, this …

Writers Police Academy 2017 High-Risk Traffic Stop

Officer Down!

 

WPA recruits learn the bite IS worse than the bark!

Green Bay Police Mounted Patrol

Writers drive police vehicles in hot pursuit, then perform PIT maneuvers. THRILLING and HEART-POUNDING!

Knife/gun drill

SWAT: Explosive entry

Blood Spatter/Investigation – WPA Dexter style

Blood Spatter/Investigation P.2

Writers’ Police Academy 2017 – Building search training.

Craig Johnson, 2017 keynote speaker, found a bit of pleasure in crashing police cars during pursuit driving.

It was an honor for me to introduce keynote speaker Craig Johnson, and especially so as the trailer for the new season of Longmire played on the screen behind me. #2017WPA #CraigJohnson #Longmire

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each year as a means to help support the mega-beast known as the Writers’ Police Academy, the event features a raffle and silent auction. It’s fun. Really fun.

Well, since we tend to offer some unusual items not typically available anywhere else, and after receiving so many requests to allow non-attendees to participate in the auction, we pondered the idea and, in 2016, decided to offer a few items for sealed bids. The move was a huge success, thanks to each of you!

Sealed Bid Auction – Open to Everyone!

This year we’re offering five exciting items for sealed bids. These are available to the public, therefore anyone and everyone is welcome to participate.

How Do I …


  • Type BID in the subject line along with with the name of the item, e.g. BID Guitar or BID Script or  BID Critique, etc.

  • In the body of the message please state the dollar amount of your bid (e.g. – “My bid for the signed guitar is $1 Zillion Dollars.”).

Also, please include your full contact information.


Bids will remain a secret until bidding closes at midnight PST, Saturday August 12, 2017. You need not be present at the WPA to win. Attendees of the 2017 may submit sealed auction bids as well, and the same rules apply.


Sealed bids are in addition to the raffle and silent auction items available at the event. You must be present to participate in the raffle and silent auction.


And now … The Items …

 

Oak Ridge Boys – Signed Guitar and CD

A guitar and CD signed by the legendary Grammy-winning Oak Ridge Boys. This unique item is a wonderful addition to any room in the house. I have one in our den, a gift from my wife who, by the way, spent big bucks for it at the auction. Superstar author Lee Child placed the winning bid a few years ago and he, too, has one of these signed beauties in his Manhattan office. WPA instructor/Detective Marco Conelli is another owner of one of these prized guitars. (In case you didn’t know, Marco is also a singer-songwriter/frontman for his own band in NYC).


Murder, She Wrote – Signed Script

Murder, She Wrote script signed by head writer/showrunner Thomas B. Sawyer. Tom also served as Head Writer/Showrunner or Producer on 15 network TV series. He has sold and written TV movies, 9 series pilots, 100 episodes, both comedy and drama. This script is a must-have prize of epic proportion, especially so for Murder, She Wrote fans, and writers of all genres.


Seat at a “For Law Enforcement ONLY” Gang Conference

This is HUGE! We have two seats available to a “law enforcement only” gang conference.
Police K-9That’s right, for the first time EVER, two lucky writers will have the opportunity learn and train side-by-side with top police investigators, all at a conference where outsiders are not permitted. That’s right, you’d be the ONLY writer privy to insider information about developing and maintaining confidential informants—gang-related, so this is especially tough for cops—human trafficking, how gangs infiltrate communities, Asian gangs, gangs and social media, and much, much more. This is a rare and EXCITING OPPORTUNITY that’s not available to the public.


A Complete Pond for Your Home

Cool indoor/outdoor pond.

A pond! No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you. We have available for you a wonderful indoor/outdoor pond. It stands appr. 2-feet tall and appr. 4-feet across (appr. 40-50 gallons). The pond comes with everything you need. Well, you’ll have to supply water, plants, and fish, of course, but the rest—pump, liner, filters, plant baskets, light kits, etc.—are included in this package. Denene and I have one and we love everything about it, from the soothing sounds of the fountain to watching and feeding the goldfish to watching hummingbirds bathe beneath the fountain spray. This pond (retail value over $500) is absolutely COOL! Ours has provided countless hours of joy for us, especially seeing hummingbirds zip in to drink from the fountain spray and to bathes beneath the shower. It’s perfect for indoors as well. We’ve arranged to have the pond shipped directly to you from the warehouse (Assembly is required – takes approximately one hour and is remarkably simple. Hey, I did it).


Manuscript Critique by Top Harlequin Editor!

Ann Leslie Tuttle, Senior Editor at Harlequin Books is offering a critique of a synopsis and first chapter (up to 25 pages). How exciting, and what a wonderful means to place your work on the desk of a top editor!

ABOUT ANN LESLIE TUTTLE

Ann Leslie is actively acquires for HQN Books, MIRA and Harlequin/Silhouette Books, she is especially interested in finding paranormal romance and commercial literary fiction. Ann Leslie has acquired trade, hardcover and mass market titles with critical and bestselling potential. Edits an diverse author base, including NYT, USA Today and international bestselling authors Sylvia Day, Julia London, Megan Hart, Vanessa Fewings, Lisa Renee Jones and Rachael Johns. She manages lines of contemporary romance and special projects, including e-books. She is a popular speaker at writer conferences, including the Australia and New Zealand conferences in 2015.

**FINE PRINT**

The manuscript will be of standard manuscript formatting.  The names of the winners will be provided by the WPA to Jenna Kernan who will let Ann Leslie Tuttle know to expect your material for critique

*This prize was acquired by author Jenna Kernan for WPA.


When does this cool opportunity begin?

Right NOW! Yes, you are free to begin submitting bids this very moment. So … GOOD LUCK!! And, yes, we still have a few available spots at the Writers’ Police Academy. See you soon.


Special Notice!

To add to the fun, we will also be hosting a live auction of a few special items. Tami Hoag (that’s right, THE Tami Hoag) is the 2017 auctioneer. She is joined by author JD Allen. This is going to be a real hoot! Details coming soon.


Proceeds are combined with overall WPA funds and go toward overall event expenses, the opening ceremonies (featuring the blessing of the WPA by the Oneida Nation dancers, Miss Oneida, tribal elders), and a student scholarship funded by the WPA. Remember, the WPA takes place on the Oneida Indian Reservation (hotel, academy, and college).

*Winners will be notified by email. We will attempt to contact winners three times (one every other day, starting on August15, 2017), so please check your spam folders. If we do not receive a reply with five day after the third message is sent we will move on to the next highest bidder, and so on until the prize is claimed. Funds to secure bids must be made via WPA PayPal. Once we’ve established contact with the winners we will provide payment details. Items will ship/can be claimed once payment is received.

Thursday at the Writers’ Police Academy promises to be an exciting and wildly fun opening day, starting with renowned drone expert Bill Bongle’s fascinating presentation on … all things drones. Bill will discuss (and demonstrate):

  • Drone basics and the fundamentals of unmanned flight
  • Overview of current technology, capabilities, emerging technologies and trends
  • Brief overview of drone laws and regulations
  • Case studies of high profile incidents involving drones and how these cases are shaping the regulatory environment
  • Privacy issues and case law regarding surveillance from the air
  • Practical applications for village/municipal government, police, fire, rescue and emergency government
  • The emergence of civilian Search and Rescue Groups

Next up is the Kooky Cop Carnival, an event that will surely leave attendees with a better knowledge and understanding of the special challenges officers face daily.

Run, don’t walk, to the Kooky Cop Carnival!

You know, things like (we are not explaining this stuff prior to the event because we want you to experience the surprises officers encounter when responding to calls):

–  Setting a live trap

–  Handcuffing Cuff Man (and he really doesn’t want you to apply those pesky cuffs)

–  Using a “Come-a-long around a stuffed K-9

 

–  Interesting “Duty Belt Techniques”

–  Animal Control

–  21-Foot-Drill

–  Drawing (from the holster) and firing the SIRT gun

–  Drug ID (test your knowledge of common street drugs, and more).

–  Animal ID – Identify the types of animals officers often encounter

And much, much more, including lots of surprises. This hands-on Kooky Cop Carnival is going to be a real hoot!

Immediately following the carnival is sign-in/registration (4-5:30 p.m.), and then comes the laugh-fest we call orientation. Sure, we spill details such as classroom numbers, where restrooms are located, what to expect in each session, what time the pool closes, schedule changes and updates (if any), etc., but this is the time when you should be prepared to let down your hair and enjoy the laughs … and the much-needed information, of course.

6:30 p.m. marks the official opening of the event, and this I believe is a first for any writers conference anywhere—the blessing of the Writers’ Police Academy/Opening Ceremonies. This spectacular ceremony is presented by the Oneida Tribal Dancers, elders, Miss Oneida, and more. Please do feel free to photograph and/or record video (this ceremony is only time during the weekend when video recording is permitted). Remember, the WPA takes place on the Oneida Indian Reservation. Our event hotel is also situated on tribal land.

To wrap up day one of the 2017 WPA, the star of the Thursday night festivities … Thomas B. Sawyer,  head writer/showrunner of the hit TV show Murder, She Wrote.

Thomas B. Sawyer


Thursday night at 8:30 p.m., Tom presents …

“How Jessica Fletcher and Murder, She Wrote Made Homicide Fun – Without Science, Crazy People, or Gore.”

In this entertaining and informative session, one of this classic 12-year TV series’ original group of writers, Tom Sawyer, lays out the early history of Murder, She Wrote, from the casting of its star and its subsequent effect on one of Broadway’s megahit Musicals, to Dashiell Hammett’s influence on the show, the show’s influence on Tom’s career both as Showrunner/writer, and – inadvertently – as a lyricist – and much, much more.


Tom also returns to the spotlight twice during the weekend.


Friday at 12:45 p.m.

CINEMATIC WRITING TECHNIQUES THAT WILL MAKE YOU A BETTER STORYTELLER ~ Tom Sawyer

THINK Picture/THINK Action/THINK Dialogue

An Approach to Both Screen-and-Narrative Writing

Techniques I learned in TV & Film. From that Super-Critical Opening Grabber, to creating enigmatic bad guys, to “writing to the money,” and more – stuff every writer should have in the bank.


Saturday at 12:45 p.m.

PACKAGING YOUR BABY FOR HOLLYWOOD

How to write loglines, Movie treatments, synopses and TV series pitches with the Sizzle that’ll convince them they’ve got to seriously consider putting your novel, story or concept on the screen.


Just think, this only the first day, BEFORE the actual event begins!! So, are you ready for an extremely thrilling and fun weekend? Yes, we still have a few spots left open. Hurry!

Writers’ Police Academy

By the way, we’ll soon be announcing details regarding how you can have a chance to get your hands on a Murder, She Wrote script signed by Tom Sawyer!

Are you a storyteller? Do you want to have a lot of fun? Up for a challenge? Do you like to win cool things? Would you like to have superstar author Craig Johnson read your very own writing? Well …

Sponsored by the Writers’ Police Academy,  the Golden Donut Short Story Contest sounds like it’s right up your alley! This fun contest requires authors to write a story that’s EXACTLY 200 words, based on the photo posted above (and at the end of this piece – not the typing pooch image).

Yes, this year’s final judge is Craig Johnson, author of the best-selling Walt Longmire mysteries and 2017 WPA Guest of Honor. The Golden Donut winner earns a free 2018 registration to a Writers’ Police Academy ($395 value) event as well as a nifty trophy and bragging rights (priceless!). You can enter the contest even if you can’t attend the 2017 WPA.

So sharpen those pencils and write your way to those bragging rights and to the most exciting event on the planet for writers, the Writers’ Police Academy.

For details about the Golden Donut Short Story Contest,  please click here – Golden Donut Short Story Contest.

*Submission deadline is July 2, 2017.

As an added bonus, we now have a few available slots for the Writers’ Police Academy. This is an event you do not want to miss! For details and registration information, and to view the exciting schedule and lineup of top instructors and workshops, please visit …

2017 Writers’ Police Academy

Once again, here’s the photo prompt for the Golden Donut Short Story Contest. Good Luck!

2017 Golden Donut Photo Prompt

2017 Writers' Police Academy

The 2017 Writers’ Police Academy is a culmination of thrills, action, learning, and fun. Lots and lots of fun.

When it comes down to quality hands-on police, fire, forensics, and EMS instruction, the WPA stands alone, which is why writers, readers, and fans travel from all around the world to attend this unique event.

Now, for the big news of the day. We are extremely pleased to announce that we have additional space! Yes, you too can attend this one-of-a-kind event and train alongside your friends and/or favorite authors. You might even see a familiar face or two from TV.

But don’t take my word for it. See for yourself.

Here’s a list of just some of the action waiting for YOU at the 2017 Writers’ Police Academy. Don’t forget to check out the exciting HIT classes!

Sign up today at Writers’ Police Academy. Space is limited, so hurry!

Also, you could qualify for a generous $150 discount courtesy of Sisters in Crime! For details, visit the WPA website at the address above.

And now, without further ado and to show that we’re not “horsing around” …

Horsin' Around

2017 Writers’ Police Academy Workshop Descriptions

ANTIQUE FIREARMS

INSTRUCTOR: TROY JANDY
A show and tell of antique firearms and their modifications and functions.

ARMED IN AMERICA

INSTRUCTOR: ATF SENIOR SPECIAL AGENT RICK MCMAHAN
Special Agent Rick McMahan leads a detailed discussion on the historical events that have been impetus to the nation’s guns laws. Also, legal commerce of firearms, and dispelling the typical gun myths so often seen on TV and in books.

ARSON INVESTIGATION

Yes, there will be fire and smoke, and firefighters!

ASIAN AND NATIVE GANGS

INSTRUCTOR: MATT NINHAM & CHEE VANG
Gang culture, signs, symbols, and language

BLOODSTAIN PATTERNS AND SPATTER

INSTRUCTOR: R.J. BEAM
The science behind bloodstain patterns and spatter. Hands-on session that includes time with SPATTER HEAD!

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW

INSTRUCTOR: JUDGE KEVIN RATHBURN
Learn the inner workings of the courts and the roles of the key players—judges, clerks, prosecutors, defense attorney, expert witnesses, Grand Jury, and more. Class takes place in an actual courtroom setting!

CSI: FROM FIRST RESPONDER TO EVIDENCE COLLECTION

INSTRUCTOR: MIKE BLACK
A combination of hands-on and discussion, this detailed workshop covers the reporting of the crime, the responsibilities of the first officers on the scene, preservation of evidence, evidence collection, the basic types of evidence – direct, eye witness testimony, circumstantial evidence, and physical evidence.

DEATH SCENE INVESTIGATIONS

INSTRUCTOR: TBA
Walk through the scene to determine the type and manner of death and where the investigation goes from there. Hands-on investigation.

DOGS, DOGS, AND MORE DOGS!!

See and learn how these remarkable animals perform their duties.

BUG MANIA!

INSTRUCTOR: DR. DENENE LOFLAND
Using insects as murder weapons.

DRONES

INSTRUCTOR: BILL BONGLE
How drones are used in law enforcement. Legal and privacy issues. Features actual drone flights.

DRUG IDENTIFICATION

Observe and discuss various types of drugs and their impact when ingested.

EMERGENCY DRIVING

INSTRUCTOR: COLLEEN BELONGEA
Experience the difficulty of multitasking while driving, observing, and communicating, and all while utilizing lights and siren.

EMS/HEALTH SIMULATOR

INSTRUCTOR: HOLLIE BAUER

Interactive patient’s life depends on YOU! Actual medical training.

FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT: DEALING WITH THE ALPHABET SOUP AGENCIES

INSTRUCTOR: ATF SENIOR SPECIAL AGENT RICK MCMAHAN & SECRET SERVICE SPECIAL AGENT (RET) MIKE ROCHE
Two veteran federal law enforcement agents discuss the realities associated with working as a federal agent. Who has jurisdiction over which crimes? Who’s in charge? What the heck do federal agents do? Bring your questions!

FINGERPRINTING

INSTRUCTOR: R.J. BEAM
Dusting, fuming, and difficult to print surfaces are just a few of the fingerprinting techniques you’ll learn in this detailed hands-on session.

SHOOT/DON’T SHOOT SCENARIO TRAINING

A heart-pounding, eye-opening, and extremely realistic session where you must decide, within a fraction of a second, whether or not to use deadly force.

FUNDAMENTALS OF POLICE PATROL

INSTRUCTOR: MIKE BLACK
Patrol officers, the backbone of all police departments, are often neglected or poorly portrayed in works of fiction. Learn how and why these first responders handle life and death situations, including shoot-don’t shoot situations. Also included are an examination of how cases are scrutinized by the media, Stop and Frisk, review boards, use of deadly force to stop fleeing felons, and more.

HANDGUN: LIVE-FIRE

Learn the fundamentals of a Glock pistol. Become familiar with sight picture, sight alignment, stance, grip, and trigger control. Fire live ammunition on the academy pistol range.

HIT LIST

INSTRUCTOR: STAFF
Hit List – the list of HIT workshops

ILLEGAL ANIMAL FIGHTING

INSTRUCTOR: SHARON HENSEN

Investigations of illegal dog-fighting and cockfighting. Search warrants, warrantless entry, officer safety and more. An inside look at this horrifying and dangerous underground activity.

INCOGNITO! EXPLORE THE UNDERCOVER EXPERIENCE

INSTRUCTOR: DET. MARCO CONELLI

Incognito! Explore the undercover experience, from locked door drug deals to never trusting informants. Listen and learn about this heart-pounding, dangerous assignment from a retired undercover NYPD detective, whose vast experience will help you develop your stories and characters.

INTRODUCTION TO FIREARMS

INSTRUCTOR: ATF SENIOR SPECIAL AGENT RICK MCMAHAN
This class provides an understanding of modern firearms, how they work and how to better use/describe them in your writing.

POLICE K-9’S

Legal requirements for K-9 searches of vehicles. Alerts, kinds of drugs recognized, training, and more.

SPECIAL EVENT!! – HOW TO CREATE, DEVELOP, AND WRITE “BAD GUYS”

INSTRUCTOR: LES EDGERTON
How to write effective “bad guys” in fiction, including why you should eliminate morality from the equation. New ways of viewing characterization and how to open up ways in which to create truly compelling stories.

LES EDGERTON: THE CRIMINAL IN LITERATURE… FROM THE CRIMINAL’S POV

INSTRUCTOR: LES EDGERTON

In this eye-opening session, renowned writing teacher, author, and … former prison “resident,” Les Edgerton, lays it all on the table – how “we” outlaws actually commit a crime. This from the man whose “specialty” was second-degree burglary, and armed and strong-armed robbery. This is learning at it’s finest from one of the best instructors around. Be ready, too, to have your funny bone tickled.

LONG GUN: LIVE-FIRE

INSTRUCTOR: NWTC STAFF/RANGE INSTRUCTORS
Learn the basics of the .223 patrol rifle, nomenclature, field stripping, fundamentals, and live fire on the rifle range.

MARKERS FOR FAKE V. GENUINE SUICIDE NOTES

INSTRUCTOR: DR. KATHERINE RAMSLAND
When suicide is … murder. Learn how suicide notes help investigators find their true authors.

MARTIAL ARTS FOR WRITERS

INSTRUCTOR: ESOMA KUNG FU MASTER INSTRUCTOR HOWARD LEWIS
What is it that writers do that drives martial artists nuts?

MENTAL HEALTH AND LAW ENFORCEMENT

INSTRUCTOR: BARB GERARDIN, GREEN BAY POLICE DEPARTMENT CRISIS INTERVENTION TEAM (CIT)
Learn how police departments handle mental health issues involving both officers and citizens.

MINDSET OF COPS

INSTRUCTOR: SPECIAL AGENT MIKE ROCHE, U.S. SECRET SERVICE
Romance, the Ferguson effect, how cops view the world, and more. Agent Roche spills all the beans!!

MOUNTED PATROL

INSTRUCTOR: GREEN BAY POLICE, MOUNTED PATROL
First it’s time in the classroom to learn details and information about mounted patrols, how and why they’re used, and about the stars of the show, the magnificent horses. Next, participants will head outside to see the horses and officers in action.

OFFICER DOWN!!

INSTRUCTOR: BRIAN KOSTELIC, WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
See, hear, and experience the tools, tactics, and strategies utilized during an “officer-down” situation. Intensive, spine-chilling session.

ONEIDA TRIBAL

INSTRUCTOR: ONEIDA NATION POLICE CHIEF RICH VAN BOXTEL
Experience the unique culture of the Oneida Tribe as well as the history of the Oneida Tribal Police and American Policing—not always cooperative.

OPENING CEREMONIES

INSTRUCTOR: ONEIDA NATION
Opening Ceremonies by Oneida Tribal Police, Oneida Nation Tribal Leaders, color guard, and dancers. The blessing of the WPA!

PRISON GANGS

INSTRUCTOR: WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS – GANG UNIT
Details TBA

PTSD – POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER

INSTRUCTOR: TBA
The effects and consequences on the officer, department, career and family.

PURSUIT IMMOBILIZATION TECHNIQUE (PIT)

INSTRUCTOR: COLLEEN BELONGEA
High Speed Pursuit! You will drive the pursuit vehicle!

SECRETS OF THE SECRET SERVICE

INSTRUCTOR: SPECIAL AGENT MIKE ROCHE, U.S. SECRET SERVICE
Behind the scenes peek at the inner workings of the Secret Service.

STANDARDIZED FIELD SOBRIETY TESTING (SFST)

INSTRUCTOR: TBA
Learn how to conduct actual filled sobriety tests, and then implement them on actual drunk drivers. Yes, volunteers will be consuming alcohol (in a controlled, safe environment).

SURPRISES!!

Each year we incorporate surprise sessions that are designed to excite the senses of WPA attendees. The purpose is to allow you to experience “events” that unfold in real time, just as officers and other first responders experience in the real world.

SWAT: EXPLOSIVE ENTRY

Ready, Set … Blow Down Those Doors! KABOOM! Yes, you and your fellow SWAT team members will learn to use explosive charges to gain entry into “hard-to-reach” places. This is the real deal!

STAY CALM AND APPLY A TOURNIQUET: TACTICAL EMS

INSTRUCTOR: NATHAN RIEHL
This is a HOT one! An exciting hands-on FAVORITE session. Combat medical/officer down/lifesaving techniques – You are the EMS 1st responder!

TALKING TO SERIAL KILLERS

INSTRUCTOR: DR. KATHERINE RAMSLAND
Learn how the experts elicit information from serial killers.

TASERS

Tasers will be deployed. Class participation is encouraged…if you dare.

TERMINAL BALLISTICS

INSTRUCTOR: TROY JANDA
Learn how a projectile behaves when it hits its mark and then transfers its kinetic energy to the target.

THE DICK AND THE DOC

INSTRUCTOR: NYPD DETECTIVE MARCO CONELLI & DR. KATHERINE RAMSLAND
A veteran detective and a renowned forensic psychologist come together to analyze real-life cases and crimes from competing and at times collaborating perspectives. See how these two professionals come together to dissect the criminal mind and uncover clues to ultimately solve major crimes.

TRAFFIC STOPS/DRUNK DRIVERS

You conduct the traffic stop, and yes, drinking is involved, but not by you!!

UNDERSTANDING THE “LINK” IN ANIMAL ABUSE

INSTRUCTOR: SHARON HENSEN
This workshop provides background, knowledge, and understanding relating to the interdisciplinary connection among animal abuse to child, elder. spousal abuse, and domestic violence.

 

Golden Donut Short-Story Contest

golden donut short story contest 2017

The WPA also sponsors a unique short-story contest every year. The fun contest requires authors to write a story that’s EXACTLY 200 words, based on the photo posted above. This year’s final judge will be Craig Johnson, author of the best-selling Walter Longmire mysteries and the 2017 WPA Guest of Honor. The winner of the Golden Donut Short-Story Contest earns a free registration to a 2018 Writers’ Police Academy event as well as a nifty trophy and bragging rights. You can enter the contest even if you aren’t planning to attend this year’s WPA.

For more information on the WPA and the Golden Donut Short Story Contest, visit the WPA website:

2017 Writers' Police Academy

The Writers’ Police Academy is the most thrilling event on the planet for writers.

It IS the adventure of a lifetime!

Over 50 specially designed workshops tailored to the needs of writers.

The four day, three night Writers’ Police Academy is indeed THE place to be for the best hands-on instruction that’s based entirely on suggestions, ideas, and requests from writers. That’s right, you asked for each of these sessions. And, as always, we delivered, and we continue to do so because the WPA is all about YOU!

For example …

You wanted to know what it feels like to drive a patrol car while in pursuit and performing a PIT maneuver. Done. Yes, YOU drive patrol cars while in pursuit of fleeing criminals, and YOU perform the PIT maneuvers!

You wanted to learn how to interpret bloodstain patterns. Done. (By the way, we’ve gone all out on this one. Yes, we’re introducing you to Spatter Head!).

You requested time on the firing range. Done. We offer live-fire with both pistol and rifle.

Tribal police? Done. In fact, the WPA takes place on the Oneida Indian Reservation!

Trace Evidence Collection? Done, in this hands-on session.

SWAT Entry? Done. You participate in SWAT explosive entries into “hard-to-reach places. Again, EXPOLSIVE!!

~

HIT Classes!!!

Here is the list of HIT workshops (over 700 available slots).

Emergency Driving
Shoot/Don’t Shoot Scenario
Handgun: Live Fire Training
Long Gun: Live Fire Training
PIT (Pursuit Immobilization Technique)
EMS Simulator
Taser
Traffic Stop/Drunk Driving
Building Search for Armed Suspect
Defense and Arrest Tactics
SWAT: Explosive Entry
Field Sobriety Testing

~

Wait, there’s MORE! Lots MORE!!

Here are a few of the sessions we have waiting for you in August!

2017 WPA Workshops

(a partial listing)

INSTRUCTOR: TROY JANDY
A show and tell of antique firearms and their modifications and functions.

INSTRUCTOR: ATF SENIOR SPECIAL AGENT RICK MCMAHAN
Special Agent Rick McMahan leads a detailed discussion on the historical events that have been impetus to the nation’s guns laws. Also, legal commerce of firearms, and dispelling the typical gun myths so often seen on TV and in books.

Yes, there will be fire and smoke, and firefighters!

INSTRUCTOR: MATT NINHAM & CHEE VANG
Gang culture, signs, symbols, and language

INSTRUCTOR: R.J. BEAM
The science behind bloodstain patterns and spatter.

An armed robber is hiding out and it’s up to you and your team to go inside to capture him. A real nail-biter!

INSTRUCTOR: JUDGE KEVIN RATHBURN
Learn the inner workings of the courts and the roles of the key players—judges, clerks, prosecutors, defense attorney, expert witnesses, Grand Jury, and more. Class takes place in an actual courtroom setting!

INSTRUCTOR: MIKE BLACK
A combination of hands-on and discussion, this detailed workshop covers the reporting of the crime, the responsibilities of the first officers on the scene, preservation of evidence, evidence collection, the basic types of evidence – direct, eye witness testimony, circumstantial evidence, and physical evidence.

INSTRUCTOR: TBA
Walk through the scene to determine the type and manner of death and where the investigation goes from there. Hands-on investigation.

INSTRUCTOR: KNETZGER
Techniques used to control behavior of cooperative and uncooperative suspects.

See and learn how these remarkable animals perform their duties.

INSTRUCTOR: DR. DENENE LOFLAND
Using insects as murder weapons.

INSTRUCTOR: BILL BONGLE
How drones are used in law enforcement. Legal and privacy issues. Features actual drone flights.

INSTRUCTOR: WINDORFF
Observe and discuss various types of drugs and their impact when ingested.

INSTRUCTOR: COLLEEN BELONGEA
Experience the difficulty of multitasking while driving, observing, and communicating, and all while utilizing lights and siren.

INSTRUCTOR: HOLLIE BAUER
Interactive patient’s life depends on YOU! Actual medical training.

INSTRUCTOR: ATF SENIOR SPECIAL AGENT RICK MCMAHAN & SECRET SERVICE SPECIAL AGENT (RET) MIKE ROCHE
Two veteran federal law enforcement agents discuss the realities associated with working as a federal agent. Who has jurisdiction over which crimes? Who’s in charge? What the heck do federal agents do? Bring your questions!

INSTRUCTOR: R.J. BEAM
Dusting, fuming, and difficult to print surfaces are just a few of the fingerprinting techniques you’ll learn in this detailed hands-on session.

A heart-pounding, eye-opening, and extremely realistic session where you must decide, within a fraction of a second, whether or not to use deadly force.

INSTRUCTOR: MIKE BLACK
Patrol officers, the backbone of all police departments, are often neglected or poorly portrayed in works of fiction. Learn how and why these first responders handle life and death situations, including shoot-don’t shoot situations. Also included are an examination of how cases are scrutinized by the media, Stop and Frisk, review boards, use of deadly force to stop fleeing felons, and more.

Learn the fundamentals of a Glock pistol. Become familiar with sight picture, sight alignment, stance, grip, and trigger control. Fire live ammunition on the academy pistol range.

INSTRUCTOR: STAFF
Hit List – the list of HIT workshops

INSTRUCTOR: SHARON HENSEN
Investigations of illegal dog-fighting and cockfighting. Search warrants, warrantless entry, officer safety and more. An inside look at this horrifying and dangerous underground activity.

INSTRUCTOR: DET. MARCO CONELLI
Incognito! Explore the undercover experience, from locked door drug deals to never trusting informants. Listen and learn about this heart-pounding, dangerous assignment from a retired undercover NYPD detective, whose vast experience will help you develop your stories and characters.

INSTRUCTOR: ATF SENIOR SPECIAL AGENT RICK MCMAHAN
This class will give you an understanding of modern firearms, how they work and how to better use/describe them in your writing.

Legal requirements for K-9 searches of vehicles. Alerts, kinds of drugs recognized, training, and more.

INSTRUCTOR: LES EDGERTON
How to write effective “bad guys” in fiction, including why you should eliminate morality from the equation. New ways of viewing characterization and how to open up ways in which to create truly compelling stories.

INSTRUCTOR: LES EDGERTON
In this eye-opening session, renowned writing teacher, author, and … former prison “resident,” Les Edgerton, lays it all on the table – how “we” outlaws actually commit a crime. This from the man whose “specialty” was second-degree burglary, and armed and strong-armed robbery. This is learning at it’s finest from one of the best instructors around. Be ready, too, to have your funny bone tickled.

INSTRUCTOR: NWTC STAFF/RANGE INSTRUCTORS
Learn the basics of the .223 patrol rifle, nomenclature, field stripping, fundamentals, and live fire on the rifle range.

INSTRUCTOR: DR. KATHERINE RAMSLAND
When suicide is … murder. Learn how suicide notes help investigators find their true authors.

INSTRUCTOR: ESOMA KUNG FU MASTER INSTRUCTOR HOWARD LEWIS
What is it that writers do that drives martial artists nuts?

INSTRUCTOR: GREEN BAY POLICE DEPARTMENT CRISIS INTERVENTION TEAM (CIT)
Learn how police departments handle mental health issues involving both officers and citizens.

INSTRUCTOR: SPECIAL AGENT MIKE ROCHE, U.S. SECRET SERVICE
Romance, the Ferguson effect, how cops view the world, and more. Agent Roche spills all the beans!!

INSTRUCTOR: GREEN BAY POLICE, MOUNTED PATROL
First it’s time in the classroom to learn details and information about mounted patrols, how and why they’re used, and about the stars of the show, the magnificent horses. Next, participants will head outside to see the horses and officers in action.

INSTRUCTOR: ONEIDA NATION POLICE CHIEF RICH VAN BOXTEL
Experience the unique culture of the Oneida Tribe as well as the history of the Oneida Tribal Police and American Policing—not always cooperative.

INSTRUCTOR: ONEIDA NATION
Opening Ceremonies by Oneida Tribal Police, Oneida Nation Tribal Leaders, color guard, and dancers. The blessing of the WPA!

INSTRUCTOR: WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS – GANG UNIT
Details TBA

INSTRUCTOR: TBA
The effects and consequences on the officer, department, career and family.

INSTRUCTOR: COLLEEN BELONGEA
High Speed Pursuit! You will drive the pursuit vehicle!

INSTRUCTOR: SPECIAL AGENT MIKE ROCHE, U.S. SECRET SERVICE
Behind the scenes peek at the inner workings of the Secret Service.

INSTRUCTOR: TBA
Learn how to conduct actual filled sobriety tests, and then implement them on actual drunk drivers. Yes, volunteers will be consuming alcohol (in a controlled, safe environment).

Each year we incorporate surprise sessions that are designed to excite the senses of WPA attendees. The purpose is to allow you to experience “events” that unfold in real time, just as officers and other first responders experience in the real world.

Ready, Set … Blow Down Those Doors! KABOOM! Yes, you and your fellow SWAT team members will learn to use explosive charges to gain entry into “hard-to-reach” places. This is the real deal!

INSTRUCTOR: NATHAN RIEHL
This is a HOT one! An exciting hands-on FAVORITE session. Combat medical/officer down/lifesaving techniques – You are the EMS 1st responder!

INSTRUCTOR: DR. KATHERINE RAMSLAND
Learn how the experts elicit information from serial killers.

Tasers will be deployed. Class participation is encouraged…if you dare.

INSTRUCTOR: TROY JANDA
Learn how a projectile behaves when it hits its mark and then transfers its kinetic energy to the target.

INSTRUCTOR: NYPD DETECTIVE MARCO CONELLI & DR. KATHERINE RAMSLAND
A veteran detective and a renowned forensic psychologist come together to analyze real-life cases and crimes from competing and at times collaborating perspectives. See how these two professionals come together to dissect the criminal mind and uncover clues to ultimately solve major crimes.

You conduct the traffic stop, and yes, drinking is involved, but not by you!!

INSTRUCTOR: SHARON HENSEN
This workshop provides background, knowledge, and understanding relating to the interdisciplinary connection among animal abuse to child, elder. spousal abuse, and domestic violence.
~
Crash-with-helicopter-1
See you in August.
Sign up today at:

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Writers Police Academy HIT Classes

Registration Opens

It’s almost here! That’s right, registration for the 2017 Writers’ Police Academy is scheduled to open at NOON EST on February 19, 2017. That’s TOMORROW!!!

You can expect BIG things this year. Over the moon excitement, thrills, and action. Lots of BOOMS, BANGS, sirens, and flashing lights. New workshops include a ton of … well, surprises, as you’ll soon see!

2017 is our 9th annual event and, as always, we’ve outdone ourselves with another stellar lineup, starting with Craig Johnson, Mr. Longmire himself, as Guest of Honor!

The WPA is open to all!

IMG_0825The vast majority of WPA workshops are hands-on. However, we do feature a few lecture-based sessions that take place in nice, modern classroom settings, such as our lecture hall pictured above ~ WPA 2016.

Described as “an exciting vacation experience for writers,” this conference often sells out within hours of opening its online registration.  Mark your calendar (you might also want to subscribe to the WPA newsletter so you don’t miss any announcements or changes), and be ready to register.

Registration for the 9th annual WPA opens on Sunday, Feb. 19, at noon EST! and is on the WPA’s site: www.writerspoliceacademy.com. Your registration is not complete until you make a payment via PayPal (you don’t need a PayPal account to pay registration fees as a major credit cards are also just fine).

Before You Register

The 2017 Writers’ Police Academy schedule is online (we’re adding more and more workshops each day!). Visit www.writerspoliceacademy.com to read about all of the classes offered. All classes are open to everyone. You can decide which to attend after you arrive.

However, High Intensity Training (HIT Training) workshops require advance sign-ups on the online registration form, and these spots are filled by lottery. We have almost 700 spots in HIT training sessions!

HIT IS HIGH-INTENSITY, LIVE-ACTION TRAINING DESIGNED TO PROVIDE ONE-ON-ONE ATTENTION. HIT IS ACTUAL POLICE TRAINING AT ITS FINEST!

Mark the dates of the WPA on your calendar and let everyone who might make other plans for you (family members, employers, etc.) know you have a commitment to attend the WPA on these dates. This will minimize the possibility of later conflicts.

Gather all the information you’ll need to register, including your credit card. Decide in advance your preference for name badges, etc.

FIRST-DAY ONLY! You’re Automatically Entered To Win a Free WPA Registration!
Everyone who registers on Feb. 19—the first day registration opens—will automatically be put in a drawing for a Free Registration donated by the WPA. Zero cost to enter. (The winner can elect to have her/his WPA registration fee refunded or give the WPA registration to a friend.)

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FIRST-DAY ONLY! Enter Author Kendra Elliot’s $1000 WPA Bonanza Drawing!

Kendra Elliot is donating a fantastic WPA package that includes free WPA registration, banquet ticket, T-shirt, additional swag, and $500 cash the winner can use for travel or accommodations. This opportunity is available only to those who register on Feb. 19, 2017. Fee to enter is $20. Proceeds will be used to help fund a student scholarship at NWTC, our host college/academy.

The HIT Parade

When you register, all HIT Training options will be shown in a numbered list. To indicate your preferences, list the numbers of the six HIT options you most want to attend. The list should be in priority order with the numbers separated by commas (e.g. 5,3,6,12,7,4).

HIT Training options that require BACKGROUND CHECKS are shown on the registration form. Please do not indicate you wish to take part in one of these workshops if you are unwilling to submit the necessary information required for a “soft” background check that verifies you are approved to handle/possess firearms. The background checks are handled by the same firm our host academy uses to conduct background checks for its police academy recruits. This information will not be stored, and WPA staff does not see the results of the background checks, only approvals.

If you have questions prior to registration, feel free to email WPA directly at [email protected].

Visit the Writers’ Police Academy website to read about all about the classes offered. The schedule is fantastic. All classes are open to everyone.

Some of the workshops you can expect to attend are (this is only a very few):

  • Antique Firearms
  • Arson Investigations
  • Asian and Native Gangs
  • Building Searches/Room Clearing
  • Evidence Collection
  • Bug Mania – using insects as murder weapons.
  • Drones
  • Emergency Driving
  • Shoot/Don’t Shoot (Live-action)
  • Handgun and Rifle fire – Hands-on/live fire.
  • K-9s
  • Mental Health and Law Enforcement
  • Mounted Patrol (yes, there will be horses!).
  • Tribal Police
  • Pursuit Immobilization Technique (PIT) Hands on driving.
  • Secrets of the Secret Service
  • SWAT: Explosive Entry – Hands-on!
  • Talking to Serial Killers
  • Traffic Stops/Drunk Driving – Yes, drinking is involved, but not by you 🙂

And much, much more!!

Please, please, please be ready to register Sunday February 19th at noon EST. Spots are limited and the free giveaways are available only on the first day of registration. Please do keep in mind that sometimes there’s NOT a second day.

You do not want to miss this one-of-a-kind, thrilling event! After all, we offer you workshops such as …

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Also, please remember to reserve your hotel rooms. They are currently accepting phone reservations and, believe it or not, our block is already starting to fill.

Radisson Hotel and Conference Center Green Bay
2040 Airport Drive, Green Bay, WI 54313
920-494-7300

*The hotel is conveniently situated near Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers, and features several restaurants, AND, the famous Oneida Casino!

So … see you on Sunday! Watch my Facebook page for updates as they occur!

https://www.facebook.com/lee.lofland.7

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Sisters in Crime, a major sponsor of the Writers’ Police Academy, offers a generous $150 discount to their members attending the WPA for the first time. Not a member? No problem. Simply join SinC today to receive your discount.

*You must be a SinC member at the time of WPA registration to receive the discount. Click here to join SinC today!

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SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES!

Registration fees alone do not cover the expense of this massive event, so we rely on you to help out by supporting this extremely beneficial aspect of the program. We keep the registration costs to a bare minimum, hoping that doing so encourages and helps more writers to attend.

Therefore …

The WPA is actively seeking sponsors and items for the raffle and silent auction. It is because of your generosity that we’re able to do what we do!

Please contact me at [email protected] if you’d like to join our family of sponsors. We need you, and a sponsorship is a great means to advertise you and your work to a worldwide audience!

We are also seeking volunteers to help out at the event. Raffle and silent auction experience not necessary, but big smiles and the ability to sell tickets like your life depends on it are, well, a big plus. ????

To learn more about sponsorships and how you can join our family of sponsors, please visit the Become a sponsor page of the WPA website, here.

Thanks so much, and we’ll see you Sunday at noon. Don’t forget!!

 

 

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