The Graveyard Shift Blog

Since 2008, Lee Lofland has written over 2000 articles on his blog, The Graveyard Shift. Topics such as police procedure, forensics, criminal behavior, and what it’s like to be a cop has helped countless numbers of popular and aspiring writers.

His life’s mission – to remind writers that cordite is dead and gone. Just say no to cordite in your books!

Booking Station

Booking Stations

    The days of the ten print fingerprint card are almost over. No longer will police officers have to smear ink on a suspect's fingertips  to transfer his prints to a paper card. Many departments have switched to computerized…
Chicago Typewriter

Thompson Sub-Machine Gun

  This is what it looks like to peer down-range from behind a Thompson fully-automatic submachine gun. You can actually see a spent cartridge ejecting at the lower right-hand side of the picture, just above the major's right elbow. The…
Traffic stop: check your knowledge

Traffic Stops

  During a traffic stop, officers go through almost every emotion imaginable, from the moment they activate their blue lights until the stop has reached its end. They never know what to expect. Is the driver wanted for a crime? Is he…
Police Dogs and How they Operate

Police Dogs

Dogs used by police agencies are trained for specific purposes, and the breed of the dog normally determines the duty assigned to it. Strong, aggressive breeds such as German Shepherds and Rottweilers are normally chosen as patrol dogs.…
Jail Cell

Holding cell

  Yesterday, the handcuff topic led to some new questions. Beth asked, "How do you safely remove the handcuffs?" My answer to her was, "Officers have the suspect step inside a holding cell and then close and lock the door behind…


  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:…