Happy Birthday To The Graveyard Shift!

Happy Birthday to the graveyard shift

Happy Birthday to The Graveyard Shift!

It was seven years ago this month when I decided to begin posting answers to writers’ questions. The first post received only 68 visits. Ironically, that number was the same amount of rounds exchanged in a shootout I was in with a bank robber.

Amazingly, since that lonely first post, the blog has been viewed by millions of people from all over the world. It’s translated into several languages and the content is often used as research material in classrooms in more cities and states than I could count.

Writers have connected with agents and editors through this site. Book deals originated here. And many friends first met on these pages.

It was my book on police procedure that prompted the idea for this blog and, of course, the original thought has now transformed into the Writers’ Police Academy. Who knows what’s next? Well, I know and you’ll soon find out. More exciting news.

By the way, I’d like offer a special thanks to Pat Marinelli. She’s been a loyal follower of this blog since the first day, and I can count on Pat to post a comment when I’m often left wondering if there’s anyone out there among the chirping crickets. When no one comments, well, I sometimes have to wonder if I’m wasting my time doing this every single day. So thanks, Pat.

Also, I’d like to offer another big thank you to Becky Levine, the writing teacher, author, and mentor who convinced me to start writing. Becky, I blame you for most of this.

And, of course, I thank each of you for your continued support!

*I still do not edit my posts. What you see each day is a first draft, which often results in a chuckle or two…or three. This bad habit is definitely not something Becky would endorse.

Anyway, here’s the very first post ever to appear on The Graveyard Shift.


Each day I receive many interesting questions and comments about police procedure, CSI, and forensics. I thought it would be fun to share my answers and experience on a Q&A blog.  I welcome your questions and comments.

Question: Do all cops use the same type of handcuffs?

The two main types of handcuffs used by law enforcement are pictured above. The top image is of a pair of chain-linked handcuffs. Most police officers prefer to carry and use chain-linked cuffs because the chain between the bracelets swivels, making the cuffs flexible and easier to apply to the wrists of combative suspects.

The lower image is of a pair of hinged cuffs. These are more commonly used when transporting prison or jail inmates. Hinged cuffs are not flexible (the hinge between the two bracelets does not swivel) which greatly reduces wrist and hand movement. This type cuff is sometimes difficult to apply to the wrists during a scuffle.

Both style cuffs operate using a ratchet and pawl locking system. Both are equipped with a second lock (double-locking) to prevent any further tightening of the ratchet which can injure the wrists of the cuffed suspect.  The second lock also prevents prisoners from picking the lock.