The 2010 Writers’ Police Academy was a huge success. Not only did the event exceed my wildest dreams, we raised a ton of cash for the criminal justice foundation! And that’s what this event was all about. Well, that and introducing writers to a taste of real police, fire, and EMS training.
It pleased me greatly to see so many people having fun while learning valuable insider tips that will later serve to enhance their writing. Jeffery Deaver once said, “If I’m going to write about a particular subject or topic, then I must experience it.” And what great advice that is. Only a hands-on or eye-witness experience can bring the proper emotions and prose to page. So, last weekend we offered our WPA recruits a wide variety of realism to stimulate their senses.
Author Samantha Kane trying on turnout gear.
Recruits waited outside the academy for Saturday’s first event. And we sure started off with a bang!
One of the recruits (a real police officer planted in the crowd by us) was shot by a college student who was angry about a failing grade. Several WPA recruits flinched when gunshots (blanks) rang out and echoed throughout the hallways. A few whispered to their partners about how long the strong odor of burnt powder lingered in the air. Blood (blood packs were planted under the officer’s clothing for effect) oozed from the victim’s wound as he gasped for breath.
The shooter (a King N.C. police captain) then made his way down the hall and found a classroom full of students. He took a hostage, fired a few rounds, and began shouting demands.
The Guilford County Sheriff’s Office Rapid Deployment Team was called to handle the dangerous situation. WPA recruits looked on as the team engaged the shooter.
The threat was quickly terminated.
EMS personnel check the wounded shooter for signs of life.
He had expired.
Officers then focused on the remaining hostages, not knowing yet if a potential conspirator remained inside the classroom.
After the scene was declared safe it was time to begin the workshops.
Recruits split up to attend various sessions. The mat room was for defensive tactics, handcuffing, and arrest techniques.
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We’ve been receiving messages almost non-stop since the academy ended at just past 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. Here’s one of the many:
“Still reeling from the amazing experience, Lee. Thank you so much! I knew the weekend would be informative and hoped it would be fun, but I didn’t except to be so blown away and so deflated when the weekend came to an end! Looking forward to next year!” ~ Hannah Schwartz