Friday, September 15, 2017

Writers' Police Academy - Day 2 (Friday) - Part 1

Our Friday morning surprise was a demonstration of how law enforcement approaches an officer down situation. In this scenario, an officer had pulled over a car whose driver opened fire on him, then ran. What we learned:

  • Officers carry a BOB (Bail Out Bag) in case they're in a situation where they may have to remain in place for an extended period of time. The bag includes water, snacks and additional ammunition.
  • There is no such thing as a "bulletproof vest". The vests are "caliber resistant". The vests along with the duty belts add about 25 pounds.
  • In addition to mirror and flashlight sticks to look around corners, police have taken to using selfie sticks with cell phones instead of sticking their heads into attics and rooms. They can also take video and send it to other LEO.

Scumbag is pulled over. He will fire on the officer
 and flee like the coward he is.

Backup arrives to assist the downed officer.

Scumbag passenger is removed from the vehicle.

Instructor Colleen Belangea, beloved by WPA attendees,
handled the Q&A.

I just liked this guy's shirt.

Horsey Cops!!!
No demo, but it was nice just to be up close to horses again. This is how much of a horse-crazy girl I still am: I know the horses' names, but neglected to get the names of the officers.

One of the things I was surprised about was how young both horses are - 7 and 9. For you non-horse people, that makes them comparable to people in their early and late twenties. Horses are what I refer to as "live and learn" animals and tend to mellow out as they age. I expected older horses to be used for police work. One of the officers told me that they have a great trainer who does a terrific job of getting the horses accustomed to things they might come across on duty that could spook them.

Say hello to Officers Cooper and Cole! (and their partners):

Yep, they have badges!

Officer Cooper. Look at that face! The guy
next to him ain't too shabby either.

Officer Cole.

Calm, cool and collected.

Understanding the Link in Animal Abuse
Instructor: Karen Hensen

Hensen's background not only includes working with law enforcement in the field of animal abuse, but she spent three years as an elephant trainer. No joke.

  • Abusers of animals are five times more likely to harm humans than people who don't mistreat animals. 
  • Not all animal abusers become serial killers, but almost all serial killers have abused animals.
  • 80% of abused women who have pets won't leave abusive situations because shelters won't take their pets.
  • Children who witness animal abuse are at greater risk of becoming abusers themselves.

She also played a horrific 911 tape of a little girl identified only as "Lisa" who called because her mother's boyfriend was beating her (the mother). There was also a younger sibling in the house and at one point in the call Lisa screamed, "He's got the baby!" Karen assured us that Lisa and her family were rescued and that she grew up to work with domestic violence victims. We needed to hear that. It's not the first 911 tape I've heard, but it was probably the worst. You see and hear all kinds of crazy stuff at WPA, but this was really traumatic. I don't know how 911 operators handle these calls, but I'm glad they do.

Markers for Fake vs. Genuine Suicide Notes
Instructor: Dr. Katherine Ramsland

  • With a lot of law enforcement if there's a suicide note, as far as they're concerned it's a suicide, but this isn't always so. They want it to be a suicide because they can quickly close the case on move on to the next one.
  • Only 25-30% of suicide victims actually leave notes.
  • She mentioned that she is not a fan of the show 13 Reasons Why - thinks it's harmful to kids.
  • When a suicide note is faked to cover a murder, the killers almost always mention themselves in it, often attempting to deflect blame from themselves.

Wes killed her.

  • Suicide notes can come in strange forms. One person left a suicide note in the form of a six foot tall needlepoint project. You think I'm kidding?

More to come!

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