Monday, April 29, 2013


by Ursula Renée

Thanks to advances in technology, you can find almost any information with a few clicks on the Internet from the comfort of your home. But, there are times when you want to experience how your character would feel when faced with the decision of whether or not to use deadly force.

The Writers’ Police Academy (WPA) gives authors the opportunity to experience the excitement, anxiety, and relief that their characters go through by placing them in situations police, fire, and EMS experience. It is organized by Lee Lofland, a veteran in law enforcement and author of POLICE PROCEDURE AND INVESTIGATION and takes place at the Guilford Technical Community College, a police academy in North Carolina.

Participants of the WPA can experience what it is like to investigate a shallow grave, conduct a building search, work on a patient in the back of a moving ambulance, and more. Personnel from various law enforcement, fire and EMS agencies conduct rescue demonstrations with hydraulic rescue tools (most commonly known as the Jaws of Life), fire equipment and the arrest of a suspect. There are also lectures on interview and interrogation techniques, fire investigation, and hospital emergency procedures.

Authors have a chance to work with FATS (Firearms Training Simulator) and a Driving Simulator, while winners of a lottery have an opportunity to take a jail tour or participate in a ride-along. And, to make sure your heroine (and you) do not become victims, there is a class on self-defense. Besides the hands-on demonstrations and presentations, participants have a chance to speak with police, fire, and EMS personnel, who are happy to explain the use of various equipment and answer questions that will help authors add realism to their scenes.

The 2013 Writers’ Police Academy is in September. For more information, visit them at

Ursula Renée, who is the co-Vice President of the RWA/NYC, writes historical romances and thrillers. When she is not writing, she enjoys drawing, photography, and stone carving. Visit her at

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