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!

Firearms malfunctions: Squibs, stovepipes

Firearm Malfunctions: Squibs, Stovepipes, and Limp-Wristing

Officer Dewey Shootornot found himself in a real pickle when he heard that all too familiar muffled "pop" at the precise moment when a pair of armed robbers chose to send a volley of bullets his way. No matter which way he turned the gun,…

Breonna Taylor: The Search Warrant – Part One

Before I begin with the content of today's article about search warrants, I'd like to take a brief moment to thank everyone for their kind words, well-wishes, support, and generous donations to the fundraiser for our daughter Ellen. She's in…
,

Writers’ Police Academy’s 2020 Golden Donut Short Story Contest: The Winners

The rules were simple---write a story about the photograph above using exactly 200 words, including the title, and the image must be the main subject of the story. Shortly after the contest was announced stories then began arriving from…
Using common sense when writing about cops

Lee Child, and Using Common Sense When Writing About Cops

Today, when your keystrokes guide your police officer/detective/protagonist through the perils that go hand-in-hand with saving the world from total devastation, pause for just a moment and consider the lives of real-life officers. Do your characters…

Shift Change: The Calm Before Calamity

1140 Hours - September 18, 2020 "Slow night?" "Pretty much," Sergeant Collins said, as he leaned to the passenger seat to retrieve his hat and what was probably once a full thermos of coffee. "Same old crap over on Elm Street---" "They…
,

Tami Hoag to Headline Writers’ Police Academy Online Seminar

For over a dozen years the Writers' Police Academy has delivered sensational hands-on training, as well as the extremely popular Virtual MurderCon event that took place in August, 2020. During those twelve-plus years, many writers, fans,…
Mike Roche: The positives of 911

Mike Roche: The Positive Lessons From 9/11 and Ground Zero

I was in high school when I watched the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center, open to the public. I like many others, admired the strength and dominance of the structures. They were the skyline of an eclectic city. Their absence leaves a void…

I Remember 9/11: Standing in a Spot Between Good and Evil

Where were you on September 11, 2001? That's a question I often see and hear on this day, and often in the same breath I'm told to "Never Forget." Honestly, that day is one I'll always remember. Forgetting is not an option. Not for me, anyway. I…

Cops See the Darnedest Things

Cops truly see and experience the odd, weird, and often dark side of society, and this experience is not limited to dealing with criminals and all the lovely things bad guys offer their communities. For example: The preacher who killed…
,

Terms Not So Endearing: The Language of Cops, Attorneys, and Crooks

A&B: Assault and battery AKA: Also known as. Aikido: Police defensive-tactics techniques developed from this particular style of Japanese martial arts.  Abscond: To secretly leave the jurisdiction of a court or to conceal one’s…

Do Children Who Abuse Animals Grow Up To Be Serial Killers?

Let's all imagine, just for a moment, that an animal court exists where dogs and cats have the oppotunity to present evidence against their abusers. What would the Great Dane judge and mostly dachshund and corgi jury hear about the defendants?…

Citizens on Patrol: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Domestic and neighbor disputes, and traffic stops are only three circumstances where officers often face extreme danger and sometimes death. Even seemingly nonviolent situations, such as loud music complaints, serving civil process (summons…

The Day Bugs Bunny Helped Me Crack a Case

1030 hours. Radio transmission - "Theft from jewelry store. Items taken - two diamond rings with value exceeding $10,000." Traffic stop. Weather - Sunny. 84 degrees. Reason for stop - Vehicle matched description provided by jewelry…

Lisa Black: Scambaiting 101

My next book, due out in August, deals with the people we all love to hate—scammers. Phone scammers, email scammers, Facebook message scammers. I’ve been collecting stories and facts about them for years and have tried to become what’s…

12 Reasons Why Cops Do This …

Here are answers to a few of the most often asked questions about police work. How do I become an FBI homicide investigator so I can help solve the murder cases my town? Easy answer. You can't. The FBI doesn't work local homicide cases,…

You Asked For It, and We’re Making It Happen!

The process has begun. A new website is under construction. Courses and classes are in the design stages. The first group of instructors are scheduled and, by the way, the lineup for the first daylong live and interactive seminar is absolutely…

A Writer’s Guide: Step Off the “Edge” and “Waive” Goodbye!

Do you ever find yourself searching for the perfect word(s) to help paint a scene with a bit more color and dazzle? Do your characters mumble and grumble about wanting to appear as if they know what they're doing and saying, instead of sounding…

A Writer’s Guide To Dirt Bags, Crop Dusting, and Bucket Heads

Writers often find themselves stuck, searching for just the right police terminology or phrase. Unfortunately, the answers to their questions aren't always available at a glance. You know the questions ... Are kidnapping and abduction one…