Writing Police Procedure and Investigation involved much more than sitting in front of my computer and banging out memories of my former career. Sure, I’d had my share of experience and plenty of it. As a police officer, I’d seen the best of times and I’d seen the worst that there was to offer. I’ve been to murder scenes that were straight out of the Sopranos, and I’ve helped change tires for stranded motorists. I’ve seen the terror in the eyes of the children whose father took them hostage at gunpoint. And I know what it’s like to shoot and kill someone who was shooting at me.
Still, all that didn’t prepare me for what needed to go into this book. So, I set out on a journey across country with notepads and pens. I visited every expert who was kind enough to answer a few questions. I also contacted many of the police supply companies around the world. The result of my research (nearly three years of it) is the book pictured above. A regular reader of this blog was kind enough to send me the photo.
The research was fun, sort of like living an entire career all over again. I met many new friends and learned many new things. But the thing that stuck with me the most is that cops everywhere are basically the same. They were very helpful, wanting to help writers get their facts straight. And they are very dedicated to their jobs.
By the way, I visited many, many police departments during the journey and never once saw a single doughnut. Bottled water, yogurt, salads, and bagels, yes. However, there were plenty of sweets to go around in each of the morgues I toured.
Here are a few photos taken during the research trip. Some of them made it into the book.
Want to join me on the next research trip? Then please consider attending the 2011 Writers’ Police Academy because these are the sort of things we’ll be doing and learning about. Registration and new website open soon. Contact me for details.
*Due to the overwhelming response to last year’s event we will have limited space this year, so register early!