Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Writers' Police Academy - a wrap up

I didn't get the names of all the participants of Sunday morning's debriefing panel, plus I had to leave before it was over to catch my shuttle to the airport, but here's some interesting info I picked up while I was there:

  • The Feds coming in and taking over investigations from local law enforcement is largely a myth, at least in the trenches. Might be an issue with higher-ups. In fact, the Feds have money and resources many local municipalities don't have, which makes them welcome.
  • Some mistakes newly-minted detectives often make that can cost them their jobs: So excited, they barge into a scene and can destroy evidence or rushing into an interview unprepared, and getting romantically involved with witnesses. 
  • Can take hours for the medical examiner to arrive on scene.
  • Facial recognition software is easy to beat with makeup, hats and sunglasses.
  • Arrests have been made because idiot criminals like to post pictures of themselves on social media, bragging about their actions. Apparently it happens a lot.
  • Cold cases: Once leads stop coming in, they have to close it down until something new comes in, however cases are never officially closed, but are considered "unsolved", unless the statute of limitations is reached.

This was WPA's first year at this facility, and we were told several times that the local voters had approved a $60 million dollar plan to build it. It's pretty new, so everything is very state of the art. And have I mentioned they have a plane?

Also, I'll be adding more pictures to Flickr (including a truckload of K-9 pics) over the next few days.

Here's a great post about how the new location/facility came about: The Making of the WPA. Kudos to the volunteers - it's amazing that so few people put this amazing event together. And we're going back to Appleton next year! Next WPA is August 11-14, 2016.

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