Thursday, September 27, 2012

Writers' Police Academy 2012

This was my third year working at Writers' Police Academy. Saturday was a full day, but I didn't go to many workshops this time. I was looking forward to the guest speakers (read about Katherine Ramsland's Friday night presentation here).

I did get to see the canine presentation. Joy, a Belgian Malinois, proves the adage that a working girl can be both pretty and smart.

Officer Long had her find objects in the grass, like a suspect might throw out of a car during a traffic stop. She gets a special toy for a reward.

Then she searched a police car where drugs had been pre-hidden, and alerted to the door and the trunk.

Joy is a working police dog, but she goes out in the community for PR, including demonstrations for school children. I was impressed that she can be friendly enough for people to pet her, but when it comes down to it, you'd better not mess with her "daddy"!

Marcia Clark (prosecution for a certain famous murder trial) spoke in the afternoon. She talked to an auditorium full of writers and answered questions about the life of a prosecutor with regard to catching murderers. For example, she goes to the crime scene when the police do, takes her own pictures, talks to everybody. She has to get a picture in her mind of how everything looked and what happened, so she can explain it to a jury so they can picture it.

We take DNA for granted now, but just a couple of decades ago, lawyers and law enforcement didn't have that as evidence.

The banquet was fun, as usual. I didn't get much time to chat with fellow writers at my table this year, but I enjoyed my behind-the-scenes work.

Author Lee Child was the key-note speaker. He said that storytelling goes back to the cavemen — and with tales of hunting and survival around those otherwise boring campfires, the first stories must have been thrillers!

He and the others signed books at the end of the evening.

Here are the posts about Writers' Police Academy 2010, part 1 and part 2 (best pics); and 2011.

Oh, and a special guest made the trip from Mayberry to make us all laugh.  :-)
"Barney Fife" (David Browning) with forensics expert Dave Pauly.

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