Posts

Are you having a bit of trouble with those pesky scenes that involve cops and their wacky shenanigans?

What’s that you say? One of the folks in your writers’ group said he could help because he was once friends with a guy who once dated a girl whose brother worked with a man whose wife went to school with a guy whose son married a woman whose father was a mechanic who worked on police cars and he said he heard cops talking all the time about crooks and raids and guns and stuff.

Don’t Listen to the Mechanic!

Well, that sort of advice may not be the most accurate in the world. Therefore, I suggest—

Ah, you want to experience shooting and driving and dusting for prints and all things associated with police work. I wholeheartedly understand and I have something that will definitely help you take your writing to levels you never imagined. So forget about the auto mechanic someone almost knew a long time ago and take a peek at this video. You’ll be glad you did (try watching in full screen mode with the volume switched on).
 


 

www.writerspoliceacademy.com
 
#2018WPA

Working as a police officer extremely intense. It’s tough. It’s mentally and physically challenging.

During the course of a typical shift, officers meet many people while responding to various calls and while working a variety of assignments

While protecting and serving, well, here are five things they should ALWAYS do when doing what they do.


 

Spots are still available to the 2018 Writers’ Police Academy. Yes, registration is still open and, we have lots more surprises on the way. This is an event you’ll remember for a lifetime so please hurry while slots are available! Oh, be sure to refer a friend and have them sign up as well. You’ll soon see why that could be a very important step.

 

http://www.writerspoliceacademy.com

Police officer academy training is extremely intense. It’s tough. It’s mentally and physically challenging.

During the course of basic training, officers are taught many topics, tactics, and techniques.

Academy instructors advise recruits on the hundreds upon hundreds things they must do right during their careers as law enforcement officers.

Here are five things they should NOT do.


 

Spots are still available to the 2018 Writers’ Police Academy. Yes, registration is still open and, we have lots more surprises on the way. This is an event you’ll remember for a lifetime so please hurry while slots are available! Oh, be sure to refer a friend and have them sign up as well. You’ll soon see why that could be a very important step.

 

http://www.writerspoliceacademy.com

 

Tomorrow at noon (EST). Set your watches, timers, clocks, and all other reminder-type devices because registration to the 10th annual Writers’ Police Academy is scheduled to go live at that precise moment (12 noon EST).

Be ready to sign up because you will not want to miss the thrills and heart-pounding excitement.

Sign up the first day for a chance to win a FREE registration packet worth over $500! The WPA is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.!

#2018WPA

WritersPoliceAcademy.com

Here’s a preview of what to expect at the WPA. Crank up the volume, set the video to full screen, and hang on!
 

 
Just for fun, who can tell me the name of the person who’s eyes appear in the top photo?

Seeing is believing and the hands-on training offered at the 2018 Writers’ Police Academy is second to none. It’s thrilling, heart-pounding, and a ton of fun! Add a mind-blowing new level of realism to your writing. #2018WPA

Registration opens at noon (EST) February 18, 2018. Please be ready to sign up because spots for the 10th anniversary blowout are extremely limited!

Pursuit Driving – High Speed Pursuit! You will drive the pursuit vehicle!

Wound-Packing – Police officers sustain gunshot wounds in the field and it is often up to their partners to perform life-saving first aid techniques. Now you, too, have the unique opportunity to stop an arterial bleed, seal a sucking chest wound, or to stop bleeding from a gaping wound. Never before have writers been offered this behind the scenes, hands-on experience. Bring life to your characters. Realism beyond belief (Caution – graphic images, but this is a simulation. Not a real victim!).

Emergency Driving – Experience the difficulty of multitasking while driving, observing, and communicating, and all while utilizing lights and siren.

http://www.writerspoliceacademy.com

*Above videos were filmed at the Writers’ Police Academy training facility.

2018 marks the 10th anniversary of the Writers’ Police Academy and the event is nothing short of AMAZING! As in OMG A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.! Believe me when I say this is THE year to attend. Registration opens at noon (EST) on February 18, 2018. Please be ready to sign up the moment the clock strikes twelve because space is extremely limited!

WORKSHOP DESCRIPTIONS


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

 

INSTRUCTOR: DR. KATHERINE RAMSLAND
Crime scenes always tell a story, which shows up most clearly in behavioral clues. This can mean anything from signatures that link crimes to indicators of staged crimes to predictors of dangerous future behavior. This session shows writers how to spot and interpret behavioral clues during criminal profiling or psychological autopsy.

 

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

 

This is a HOT session. A vehicle is fully engulfed and it’s up to you and your team to extinguish the flames. *HIT class

 

INSTRUCTOR: CARRIE STUART PARKS
Forensic art – composite drawing, facial reconstruction and unknown remains, cognitive interviewing, signs of deception.

 

Experience the sights, sounds, odors, and emotions associated with rescuing victims trapped in confined spaces. *HIT class

 

INSTRUCTOR: JUDGE KEVIN RATHBURN
Officers must follow the law of the land and this session details the law as it pertains to traffic stops.

 

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

 

INSTRUCTOR: ZAWACKI
Session explores DNA evidence, samples, the testing process, and errors often found in books, TV, and film.

 

INSTRUCTOR: VARIOUS
Police dogs doing what they do best.

 

INSTRUCTOR: HEENAN & JOHNSON
Experience the difficulty of multitasking while driving, observing, and communicating, and all while utilizing lights and siren. *HIT class

 

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. *HIT class

 

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. *HIT class

 

INSTRUCTOR: KNETZGER & NEJEDLO
As police officers, you and your partner respond to an alarm at a local business. It is up to you to search clear the building. Part of “clearing” involves looking for criminal suspects who may or may not be hiding. Of course, the person you encounter could be the janitor. Or is he?? *Participants will be required to wear protective gear during this hands-on exercise.  *HIT class

 

INSTRUCTOR: STOVER & NISHIMOTO
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 class

 

INSTRUCTOR: STAFF
Hit List – the list of HIT workshops

 

INSTRUCTOR: STAFF
Human trafficking – Details TBA

 

INSTRUCTOR: VARIOUS

 

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

 

INSTRUCTOR: ESOMA KUNG FU MASTER INSTRUCTOR HOWARD LEWIS
Learn more intricacies of the martial arts. The basics of getaways, pressure points, holds, locks and bars, multiple opponents. Learn how one defends against various weapons. Believe me there are big differences. Feel free to bring your fight scene (in your mind, not on paper) and we’ll try to work through it. Hands-on workshop.

 

INSTRUCTOR: ESOMA KUNG FU MASTER INSTRUCTOR HOWARD LEWIS
If you’re writing a character who has studied or uses martial arts, pick a discipline that matches his or her personality and physical strengths. It will make your character more credible. We’ll give you information to help you choose wisely. You’ll also learn how martial artists in various disciplines are trained. This determines how they think and react when confronted. See what they see. Hear what they hear. A perfect way to build suspense in your fight scenes.

 

INSTRUCTOR: DR. DENENE LOFLAND
Why carry a gun when you can let a microscopic creature do the job for you? A collection of my most interesting and deadly microbiology cases. This workshop provides an opportunity for audience participation. Download the student version of the Socrative app so you can provide your anonymous (if you want) opinion on these fascinating cases. www.socrative.com/

 

INSTRUCTOR: PAUL BISHOP
Behavioral science is one of law enforcement’s most powerful weapons. Profiling—mindhunting—helps not only capture predators, but can also uncover the key to their motivations. Mindhunting will explore how criminal predators work, ways to prevent them from striking again, and how to protect yourselves and others by knowing your enemy.

 

INSTRUCTOR: DR. KATHERINE RAMSLAND
More people now resort to public acts of extreme violence than in the past. Although it is still difficult to identify individuals who will act out violently, threat evaluation has improved. This session shows specific risk factors associated with the violent mind, understanding prediction limitations, and devising plans of action.

 

Opening Ceremonies by TBA

 

INSTRUCTOR: MIKE BLACK
An examination of basic police procedures and how incidents can get distorted by the media.

 

INSTRUCTOR: SPECIAL AGENT MIKE ROCHE, U.S. SECRET SERVICE
What causes PTSD? The effects on officers and their families. The symptoms of PTSD and treatments. How departments and other officers respond to those suffering the effects of PTSD. How cumulative stress can impact performance and health.

 

INSTRUCTOR: HEENAN/JOHNSON
High Speed Pursuit! You will drive the pursuit vehicle! *HIT class

 

INSTRUCTOR: SPECIAL AGENT MIKE ROCHE, U.S. SECRET SERVICE
Examining the love tendencies of law enforcement officers. From scandalous infidelity, to office romance and the sparks ignited while answering calls. We will rip the sheets off the mattress and expose the inside world of love in the cop world.

 

INSTRUCTOR: JORDAN
More than an Aerosmith song title, “Walk This Way” is a room-clearing tactic used by American Law Enforcement. Session also details how to distinguish whether or not someone is or was a police officer, and if they’re on or off-duty. Say what??

 

INSTRUCTOR: JORDAN
You will never approach or view staircases the same way again, ever! This session details how officers safely approach, explore, and evaluate stairways. Hands-on.

 

INSTRUCTOR: ATF SPECIAL AGENT RICK MCMAHAN
Workshop title and details TBA

 

INSTRUCTOR: MARCO CONELLI
Session with NYPD Detective Marco Conelli – Workshop title and description TBA

 

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.

 

INSTRUCTOR: KNETZGER & JEDI
Ready, Set … Blow Down Those Doors! KABOOM! Yes, you and your fellow SWAT team members will learn to use explosive charges and other methods of gaining entry into “hard-to-reach” places. This is the real deal! *HIT class

 

INSTRUCTOR: GILBERT
Police officers sustain gunshot wounds in the field and it is often up to their partners to perform life-saving first aid techniques. Now you, too, have the unique opportunity to stop an arterial bleed, seal a sucking chest wound, or to stop bleeding from a gaping wound. Never before have writers been offered this behind the scenes, hands-on experience. Bring life to your characters. Realism beyond belief!

 

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

 

INSTRUCTOR: RATHBURN
Actual courtroom testimony. Experience what it’s like to testify as a police officer, recalling incidents, responding to legal questions, etc. Learn how your testimony as a law enforcement officer affects and influences a jury.

 

You conduct the traffic stop. Various scenarios. Be prepared for … well, anything!

 

INSTRUCTOR: PAUL BISHOP
Do you know the truth when you hear it or see it? Join nationally recognized behaviorist, interrogation expert, and experience LAPD detective Paul Bishop as he guides you into the intimate world of interrogation—where success or failure is determined before the first question is asked.

 

INSTRUCTOR: JANDA
Explore gun types to match the personalities of various characters of different eras.

 

INSTRUCTOR: MIKE BLACK
How TV, movies, and fiction distort police work

 
*More workshops to be announced. Check back often to view new additions.
 
http://www.writerspoliceacademy.com

The Writers’ Police Academy is pleased to present our 2018 Guest of Honor, International Best Seller, Jeffery Deaver.

A former journalist, folksinger and attorney, Jeffery Deaver is an international number-one bestselling author. His novels have appeared on bestseller lists around the world, including the New York Times, The Times of London, Italy’s Corriere della Sera, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Los Angeles Times. His books are sold in 150 countries and translated into twenty-five languages.

He has served two terms as the president of the Mystery Writers of America.

The author of forty novels, three collections of short stories and a nonfiction law book, and a lyricist of a country-western album, he’s received or been shortlisted for dozens of awards.

His The Bodies Left Behind was named Novel of the Year by the International Thriller Writers association, and his Lincoln Rhyme thriller The Broken Window and a stand-alone, Edge, were also nominated for that prize, as was a short story published recently. He has been awarded the Steel Dagger and the Short Story Dagger from the British Crime Writers’ Association and the Nero Award, and he is a three-time recipient of the Ellery Queen Readers Award for Best Short Story of the Year and a winner of the British Thumping Good Read Award. Solitude Creek and The Cold Moon were both given the number one ranking by Kono Misurteri Ga Sugoi in Japan. The Cold Moon was also named the Book of the Year by the Mystery Writers Association of Japan. In addition, the Japanese Adventure Fiction Association awarded The Cold Moon and Carte Blanche their annual Grand Prix award. His book The Kill Room was awarded the Political Thriller of the Year by Killer Nashville. And his collection of short stories, Trouble in Mind, was nominated for best anthology by that organization, as well.

Deaver has been honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention and by the Raymond Chandler Lifetime Achievement Award in Italy. The Strand Magazine also has presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Deaver has been nominated for seven Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America, an Anthony, a Shamus and a Gumshoe. He was shortlisted for the ITV3 Crime Thriller Award for Best International Author. Roadside Crosses was on the shortlist for the Prix Polar International 2013. He’s also been shortlisted for a Shamus.

His The Starling Project, staring Alfred Molina and produced by Audible.com, won the Audie award for best original audiobook of the year in 2015. A serial novel he created and contributed to, The Chopin Manuscript, also won this honor.

He contributed to the anthology In the Company of Sherlock and Books to Die For, which won the Anthony. Books to Die For recently won the Agatha, as well.

His most recent novels are The Steel Kiss, a Lincoln Rhyme novel, Solitude Creek, a Kathryn Dance thriller and The October List, a thriller told in reverse. For the Dance novel XO Deaver wrote an album of country-western songs, available on iTunes and as a CD; and before that, he wrote Carte Blanche, a James Bond continuation novel, a number-one international bestseller.

His book A Maiden’s Grave was made into an HBO movie starring James Garner and Marlee Matlin, and his novel The Bone Collector was a feature release from Universal Pictures, starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. Lifetime aired an adaptation of his The Devil’s Teardrop. And, yes, the rumors are true; he did appear as a corrupt reporter on his favorite soap opera, As the World Turns. He was born outside Chicago and has a bachelor of journalism degree from the University of Missouri and a law degree from Fordham University.

Readers can visit his website at www.jefferydeaver.com.


It’s an honor to welcome renowned forensic artist Carrie Stuart Parks as our 2018 Special Guest Speaker/Expert.

Carrie Stuart Parks is an award-winning, internationally known forensic
artist. She travels across the US and Canada teaching courses in forensic
art to law enforcement professionals including the FBI, Secret Service, and RCMP, and is the most widely known instructor of forensic art in the world.

Carrie’s novels in the mystery/suspense/thriller genre have garnered numerous
awards including the Christy, Carol, and Inspys. As a professional fine artist, she has written and illustrated numerous best-selling art books for North Light Publishers.

You can visit her website at carriestuartparks.com


 

This is our 10th anniversary so expect the largest and most thrilling event we’ve produced to date. The lineup is unbelievable!

When:

August 9-12, 2018

Where:

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
International Public Safety Training Academy
Green Bay, Wisconsin

As always, there’s far too much to see and do in a single weekend, so get plenty of rest, wear comfortable shoes, and prepare to be blown away by THE event of a lifetime!

Hotel:

HYATT REGENCY GREEN BAY

333 Main Street

Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA, 54301

Tel: +1 920 432 1234

Shuttle service is provided to and from the hotel and airport.

Reservation code coming this week. Reserve your rooms asap. Space is limited!

Airport:

Austin Straubel International Airport
Airport Code – GRB
Shuttles are provided between the airport and event hotel.

Since the 2018 WPA is our 10th anniversary, we’ve pushed our own limits to take the 2018 WPA to a level of unbelievable excitement and heart-pounding action. You will not believe your eyes.

Each year on the last day of December I travel to a secret location where I meet with my friend Madam Zelda to learn her predictions for the coming year. The mysterious clairvoyant is so good at what she does that she’s rarely, if ever, wrong. The woman is uncanny.

So, in keeping with year-end tradition, Madam Zelda did a reading for us this morning and she’s confident 2018 will be fantastic. Here’s a list of her top twenty predictions which, by the way, contains a few from last year since they also pertain to 2018. Believe me, she’s always right … sometimes.

Here goes …

  1. Someone accidentally plays a Kayne West song in reverse and hears the star say admit, “I can’t sing. Not a word. Not a note. Nope, can’t carry a tune, not even in a bucket.”
  2. Universities rush to create safe spaces for students traumatized by what they’ve seen and heard in other safe spaces (yes, coloring books, Play Dough, and tiny ponies can be extremely scary).
  3. The Dictionary Police meet and officially ban the words, Bigly, Electoral College, Candidate, Fake News, Swamp, Email, Russia, Comey, Hacking, Polling, Weiner, Trump, Hillary, and “War On …” (War on Drugs, War on Christmas, etc.).
  4. The U.S. wisely eliminates all elections. Future spots are to be filled by the winners of Rock, Paper, Scissors competitions. All decisions will be final. No recounts, lawsuits, or hacking attempts allowed. NO campaigning!!
  5. The Electoral College closes its doors and the entire campus is razed to make room for a trendy new Filibuster hamburger joint.
  6. California will do something stupid.
  7. The news media is shocked to learn that news is something that actually happens, not the fantasy or agenda that lives inside the minds of some “reporters.”
  8. Doctors discover a cure for social media.
  9. Rumor has it that someone could/might actually perform a country song at the 2017 Country Music Awards. This one is a stretch and probably will not happen.
  10. Amazon’s Alexa is set to become the first all-electronic mayor of a major U.S. city. She’s definitely qualified because her standard answer to tough questions is, “Hmm, I can’t seem to find the answer to your question.”
  11. A criminal will break the law and someone will be shocked that he did, and that someone will start a movement to ban whatever it was the criminal did even though there are 2 Tatrilliongazillion laws already on the books that … here it comes … already forbid the act.
  12. The Oscars will present an award to someone no one in the entire world has ever heard of.
  13. Airlines will develop a means to tow utility trailers for those who prefer to travel with with even less frills than those afforded to passengers in coach (think hogs in the rear of semi trucks/trailers on their way to market).
  14. Congress debuts a TV comedy show titled “Deaf” Comedy Jam.
  15. Statues across the country begin to shout back at the folks who yell at them.
  16. For the first time ever the Postal Service delivers an un-crushed package.
  17. The North Koreans sweep gold at the 2018 Olympics.
  18. The winner of the Super Bowl depends entirely upon which team has enough standing members to play (It’s difficult to run while on your knees).
  19. HGTV launches series of new shows featuring more people doing the same things as the people who already do those things.
  20. 2018 marks the 10th anniversary of the Writers’ Police Academy. Expect the largest and most thrilling event we’ve ever produced. And, the 2018 Guest of Honor is … well, a secret for now. 🙂 Details coming soon. Very soon!

*This post is ENTIRELY a tongue-in-cheek attempt at humor. Please do not try to read between the lines because there’s absolutely nothing there. Also, please … no comments about race, politics, cops, religion, etc. Let’s end the year with a smile. Goodness knows, I need one.


HAPPY NEW YEAR!

WPA melts the wall between cops

Cops are a unique breed. They dress differently. They speak differently. They’re in a class all to themselves, and it’s a “Members Only” sort of group where those on the outside looking in simply don’t understand what it is that officers do and why they do it.

Unfortunately, law enforcement is an operation that sometimes, to best protect us from harm, must do things out of public view. And that lack of understanding and wondering “what they’re up to” often leads to mistrust.

Some members of society reject any form of authority. Others distrust police officers because they’ve heard friends or family members say they don’t like cops. In some corners of cities, counties, and states, young children, even before they’re taught to read and write, are taught to hate the police. Then there are the bad apples of law enforcement who commit acts that go against the very meaning of their badge and oath.

Over time, and as a result of hatred and violence directed toward cops, police officers metaphorically circled their protective wagons in order to survive in a world populated by people who simply don’t like them. Actually, hate would be a more appropriate term in many cases. Unfortunately, the escalating hatred of police combined with the circling of those wagons transformed what was once a wedge of apprehension between citizens and the officers into a nearly impenetrable wall.

Yes, the wall is there. No doubt about it. But what many people don’t understand about the “wall” is that one of its cornerstones is fear—fear of abuse, fear of beatings, fear of racism, and even fear death. Yes, some people live their entire lives being deathly afraid of the police. And likewise, the police, too, fear injury and death.

As a detective in charge of certain operations I devoted much of my time attempting to tear down the invisible wall. I wanted people to know that police officers are human, that we do good, and that we were there FOR them, not AGAINST them. And I still try to convey that message through this blog and through my writings. I also had the same goal in mind when starting the Writers’ Police Academy several years ago.

I knew the instructors at the WPA were the best in the business at what they do, but when I received the letter below, I also knew the event had achieved far more than helping writers “get it right.”

Finally, after all these years, there was a crack in the wall. And I want to say THANK YOU to everyone involved in the WPA for merely being you. It is because you’re who you are that someone took the time to let me know the WPA had a huge and emotional impact on their life.

Here’s the letter (I’ve omitted names and locations to protect the writer’s identity and, please, if you think you recognize the author of the letter, keep the name to yourself).

Here goes…

Dear Mr. Lofland:

It’s been almost a year since I attended the Writer’s Police Academy in September and I am writing to share my experience during that weekend.

I learned about your Academy from a book on getting one’s book published (I don’t remember the title of the book) that I was skimming through in a Barnes and Noble store in early September of last year. Since I have no law enforcement background, I was looking for a way to verify that the information in the novel that I’ve been working on for some time is correct; that’s when I saw the piece on your Academy. I couldn’t believe it; especially since the Academy was being held in a few weeks. I quickly signed up and prepared to go along with my wife, my little daughter, and my mother-in-law.

The Writer’s Police Academy was a life-changing experience; but not in the way I imagined.

You see, I’ve never had a good relationship or opinion of the Police and I’ll explain why.

I was about 8 years old and it was a summer night in the mid 1970’s when suddenly I had a terrible cough just before going to bed. My mother is a praying woman and she taught us that when we’re sick God can heal us; so that night I asked her to pray for me. Quickly, the cough was gone and just before I dozed off into sleep I remember seeing the reflection of Police car lights on my bedroom wall.

The next day I awoke to find that my 16 year-old brother was missing. As my mother finished praying for me and I fell asleep, my mother saw the Police lights on the wall, too, and quickly ran to the window. Two policemen were surrounding my brother. What happened was that a car was stolen in my neighborhood and my brother was accused of being the person who stole the car.

My mother quickly ran downstairs and stood between my brother and the Police; the two men smelled of alcohol and their eyes were bloodshot. One Police officer pulled his weapon on my mother.

The owner of the car ran up to the officers and told them that his car was found by other officers and that my brother was innocent. One of the officers refused to let my brother go and wanted to take him in. My brother panicked and ran.

You see, we lived in the **** area of the **** and this was in the mid 70’s. Police abuse was rampant and crime and fires in the area were out of control. There was little trust in the Police from the community.

They shot at my brother as he ran down the park stairs and he was captured by other officers from three squad cars that suddenly appeared. They took him to the ******** and beat him to a pulp. My parents went to the precinct and were told he wasn’t there and had been released; it was a lie. Later on, the officers took him to an industrial area called *****, beat him some more and left him there in the middle of the night. My brother showed up at my house at 12 in the afternoon the next day.

Investigating officers reported that no such incident occurred and that one of the officers whom allegedly was present that night, whom my brother remembered his name and badge number, didn’t exist. An officer told my mother that she better get my brother out of the area or he would be killed by the police. She obliged.

Since then, my experiences with the Police haven’t been positive. There have been incidents in which I was treated well so I don’t want to over generalize but the bad has far outweighed the good. During the **** years, it was hell! I am of **** **** descent and although I am fair skinned, college educated and have worked all my life; I felt that I had a target on my back as I walked the streets or drove in the City. ….police brutality cases have only made me less trustful of the police. I have often wondered why I am even writing a novel related to the Police.

So, last year, when I went to your Academy, I was very uneasy. I was entering an actual Police Academy and was going to be surrounded by Police. I was nervous, apprehensive, and at times, felt like a hypocrite for even being there. But then the Academy started.

Friday morning began with a presentation on the Jaws of Life. The dedication and care for the public from the presenting officer just oozed out of him and impressed me. I then attended “Making a Lasting Impression” with Robert Skiff and David Pauly: I was blown away. The commitment from those two gentlemen to find the truth in order to protect the public blew me away. I slowly began to see that the Police weren’t necessarily out to get me but to protect me.

I then went to “Fingerprinting” and it was awesome. Next, I attended “Cold Cases and the Realities of Investigations” by David Pauly and Dr. Ramsland; this is where things really started to change. The openness of the presenters in sharing their knowledge was incredible. I could feel their passion and dedication to getting the truth and solving murders. More importantly, I could see and feel their humanity.

Friday evening after the Night Owl Presentation, I had to go to the Bar and gather myself. My head was spinning. Not only from the information I received in the classes but my emotions were everywhere. Then McMahan sat next to me in the bar and began to talk to me; my heart was racing and my palms were sweating. A law enforcement officer was sitting next to me and talking to me man-to-man. He is truly a gentleman. I found out he’s a dedicated dad and husband and I was humbled by his humility and integrity.

We were joined by David Pauly and Dr. Ramsland; they talked to me like I was a human being. You see, Mr. Lofland, in dealing with the Police in my past, I often felt less than human. David Pauly bought me a beer (please tell him I owe him one) and the four of us talked for a while. It was great. They are great people and their knowledge and dedication just blows me away.

Not long after that, Detective Conelli joined us and we had a brief talk; he was exhausted from his trip and needed rest. I couldn’t wait for his presentation on the following morning “Anatomy of an Undercover Cop”.

Saturday came and I was seated on the floor in Detective Conelli’s classroom (the room was full to capacity). He started out by showing a picture of “His Office” which was a building in the Grand Concourse in the Bronx. My heart stopped, I went cold, and I was almost brought to tears. I had been in many buildings like the one in the picture! He then showed us a picture of him while undercover. He had no weapons and was taking a huge risk in going into those buildings. It was during the Crack epidemic and I witnessed, firsthand, how it devastated neighborhoods.

Hearing Mr. Conelli talk transformed me. I began to see the other side of what it is to be a Police Officer. I began to see them as being on my side, for me, and not against me.

On Sunday, during the debriefing panel, I was struck by the Chief’s words and his assistant. I’m sorry but I don’t remember their names. They urged the writers present to write positively about the Police profession. They said it was very easy to portray cops in a negative light but we were witnesses that weekend to the goodness found among law enforcement professionals. I take that advice to heart.

On the plane on my way home I thought about my experience. I have a coworker whose brother is a **** Captain. I decided I would reach out to him in order to not only get information for my novel but most importantly, bury some painful experiences I had been carrying for many years. I realized that the experience with my brother had colored my view of Cops and I needed to change that.

Captain **** **** so happens to be the Captain of *** homicide. When we texted each other in order to set up a meeting, he told me he worked out of the ****! The same one in which my brother was abused. But the *** **** had since moved so I thought nothing of it. It turns out that the **** has indeed moved but the original building (in which my brother was abused) is used to house Captain **** and other administrative offices.

So, on a cold December night around 11pm I went to meet Captain ****. It was surreal walking into that building. I confessed my feelings about the Police to Captain **** and told him that if he felt uncomfortable with me that it was okay if he didn’t want to share and continue our meeting. He was very gracious and understanding. He confessed that the **** doesn’t have clean hands and didn’t have clean hands during those days in the 70’s in ***** but he shared his side of things.

I made peace with a lot of things that night, Mr. Lofland. It all started with your Academy and your gracious speakers. You have a very special thing going there. My mother would call it a ministry; something God-given.

My wish is that your Academy could be duplicated throughout the country and be used as a tool not only for writers but to bridge the gap between the Police and the communities in which they serve. I would like to see young people attend your Academies and receive healing just as I did.

I would also like to see you guys do a documentary on the Police. My vision is to have several Police recruits from several Police Academies from different parts of the country be followed from just before they enter the Police Academy to about five or more years into their careers. The documentary would show their everyday lives and their struggles and maturing process. I think the public would love it and gain a lot from such a program.

As for me, I don’t know if I will ever finish my novel or have it published. I am currently working on getting a Master’s of Social Work (MSW) so that I could work in the **** Schools helping kids in the inner city; kids much like me when I was younger. I can’t attend this year’s Academy because we can’t afford it and because of my studies.

However, I will forever be grateful to you and to Mr. McMahan, Mr. Skiff, Mr. Pauly, Det. Conelli, Dr. Ramsland, and all the others who were there last fall. I’m a better man for attending and am at peace now.

I am eternally grateful to you and to your partners. May you guys have the best Writers’ Police Academy yet and may God richly bless you and yours.

Thank you,

Name withheld


Details of the 2018 Writers’ Police Academy will soon be available. 2018 marks our 10th anniversary so expect the largest and most exciting event we’ve ever produced. It’s going to be BIG!

*Sisters in Crime is a major sponsor of the WPA.