Writers Police Academy: Day One

WPA, Day One


Entrance to the Writers Police Academy.

The first day of the academy consisted of presentations by canine officers and their dogs, arson investigators, fire crews, tour of a working fire truck, and a hands-on look at fire-fighting equipment. Were also treated to workshops taught by a defense attorney and a prosecuting attorney. The attendees then divided up into three groups and boarded buses for off-site tours of a police department and the local morgue.

Ketcher, a Fairfiled, Ohio police canine, demonstrated his remarkable ability to locate hidden narcotics, and then ended his portion of the show by bringing down a bad guy with his teeth!

Arson investigators detailed techiques of investigating suspicious fires.

Firefighters described their individual roles. They also allowed the participants the opportunity to climb inside the truck, and a chance to touch and hold firefighting equipment.

The next stop was an behind the scenes tour of the Hamilton, Ohio police department, where attendees were allowed to explore the booking rooms, property room, muster room, gym, detective’s offices, patrol offices, AFIS terminal, lock up, vice, training rooms, wet evidence storage rooms, crime labs, and much, much more. They were also allowed to climb behind the wheel of an actual patrol car. Some were even brave enough to have a seat in the rear cage compartment.

Hamilton canine, Taz, demonstrated his biting skills for the tour groups.

Taz’s focus on his target was unwavering. His bite was much worse than his bark.

Coroner’s investigators were on hand to answer questions.

Author Shirley Jump is flanked by Investigator Andy Willis and Butler County, Ohio Coroner Dr. Richard Burkhardt (Dr. B.).

While you’re reading this we’ll be handcuffing people, fingerprinting, and playing with SWAT equipment, weapons, and spy gadgets.

Everyone is having a great time! Wish you were here.

14 replies
  1. jenifer
    jenifer says:

    I also loved everything about the conference and left it totally exhausted. The instructors were fantastic and had so many great stories to tell. Everything made for excellent learning opportunities left and right.

    My only complaint is that I missed the traffic stop action because I was upstairs playing with guns. I would have liked the chance to do all the PA classes, but since two were offered every session we all had to pick and choose. That was not easy!

  2. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Kandy – Thanks for stopping by. It was great meeting you as well. See you at the Columbus conference in the fall.

    Janet – I’m so glad you had a nice time. We’ve heard nothing but positive comments from everyone and that really makes the effort worthwhile.

    I’m siting in the airport typing this, thinking about the intensity of the conference. We really packed a lot of information into a relatively short period of time!

  3. janirvin
    janirvin says:

    This was my first-ever police academy and it was fantastic! Great presenters, tons of valuable info, and the hands-on workshops as well as the tours provided the authentic material I need to make my stories ring true. Being with fellow writers is always a privilege as well as a writing booster. No one understands writers as well as other writers.:) Thanks to the Mad Anthony crew, Miami University, Lee (who did superhuman duty with all his presentations) and all the presenters for the commitment they made to making this an excellent conference. I shall return!:)

  4. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    We did have a great time, and I must say this was the most intensive writers conference I’ve ever attended as a presenter. Workshops ran non-stop throughout the day – several at a time – along with panels, manuscript critiques, and pitch sessions. We also conducted live demos of police procedures and techniques all day long.

    A marked patrol car was on hand for most of the day Saturday. Conference-goers were permitted to sit behind the wheel and operate the emergency equipment.

    Many of the sessions were conducted by two or more instructors, which allowed tons of hands-on experience with the police tools and equipment.

    To the delight of an excited group of conference attendees, we ended the day with a felony traffic stop. Three armed and shady characters (agent Verna Dreisbach, conference attendee Trudy Brandenburg, and me) led a marked patrol unit (full siren and lights) on a brief, but hair-raising, tire-squealing, rubber-burning, high-speed pursuit. The officers soon caught us, but not before we slid around a few turns and curves, and tossed out a packet of drugs and a loaded pistol. Officer Dave Crawford and Lt. Dave Swords ordered us out of the car at gun point and quickly gained control of me and my two partners in crime. A pat down search revealed a hidden 9mm in Verna’s waistband.

    As soon as I can sort through the photos I’ll post more.

    I’ll also keep you posted about the next event as details become available. Judging from the response we received this weekend I fully expect the next police academy to fill quickly.

    Oh, thanks to all the SinC members who attended. You guys really came out in force.

    I’m going to sleep now. You guys nearly killed me!

  5. JHT Writer
    JHT Writer says:

    I am so grateful to have been there. The Police Academy was a great experience. If you don’t have a police or law enforcement background, this will provide enough information to make your writing real. Thanks Lee, and to all the others who gave their time to share. (I was wearing the Writer ball cap.)

  6. Terry
    Terry says:

    I wish I was there too. But at least I’ve taken our local Civilian Police Academy course, so I’ve seen some of these things.

  7. Elena
    Elena says:

    Thanks for sharing with the rest of us – y’all look like you’re having a grand time!

    Carry On!!!!!

  8. queenofmean
    queenofmean says:

    Okay, so you’ve started my day out by making me green with envy. I’m going to have to work this into my schedule next year. Have a good time!

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