Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Writers' Police Academy - Day 3 - Debriefing

Writers' Police Academy always wraps up with an entertaining Sunday morning debriefing.

  • Lee Lofland (founder of Writers' Police Academy and retired detective) 
  • Sheriff B.J. Barnes (Sheriff of Guilford County, NC)
  • Andy Russell (former PD and Guilford Community College instructor)
  • Kathy Bradley (Assistant District Attorney)
  • Marco Conelli (retired NYPD detective)
  • Bill Hopkins (retired judge turned author)
  • Dr, Katherine Ramsland (forensic psychologist and author)
  • Mike Rhodes (retired Secret Service Special Agent) 

What we learned at debriefing:
  • Marco Conelli is not a fan of the recent ruling striking down NYPD's Stop & Frisk policy.  He said that taking this right away from police is like blindfolding them.  Feels that chaos will ensue.
  • Regarding the stereotype of Feds vs. local law enforcement - the reality is that they operate more as partners.  Local cops have charges they can file that the Feds can't.
  • When judges or attorneys request a sidebar ("May we approach?") both attorneys are always brought up.  You don't want to keep them up there too long because the jury will gets curious.  If it's going to take awhile the judge will call a recess.
  • Cases are prosecuted in the jurisdiction where the crime occurred, regardless of where the suspect is caught.
  • Repeat offenders are known in law enforcement circles as "frequent flyers".  When suspects are publicly described as "person of interest", it's cop-speak for, "We don't have enough evidence to charge him/her yet."
  • Local law enforcement (Greensboro, NC) buys the local high school yearbook each year so as to have photos of possible future criminals.
  • Social media has become a tool of law enforcement, especially with juveniles.  It makes it easy to get information on suspects.  They have also been successful setting up fake accounts.
  • The Guilford County Sheriff's Department has a policy that officers cannot be on Facebook in uniform.  This came after a prosecutor used an officer's "I love arresting bad guys" post in court. 
  • Cybercrimes are relatively new but increasing.  There are both state and federal laws for internet crimes, so jurisdiction depends on the actual law being broken.  Officers working cybercrimes tend to be younger.

No comments: