A Review of the Writer’s Police Academy

A few short weeks ago, I attended one of the greatest writer’s conferences ever: The Writer’s Police Academy. If you write about police, fire, or EMS, you seriously need to go. A conference like none other, this one literally puts you behind the steering wheel and the gun.

I’ve wanted to go for a long time, but it was always in North Carolina – a long trip for a Midwest girl. But the event has outgrown its old facility, and it relocated this year to Appleton, Wisconsin. I signed up right away.

By “facility,” I don’t mean a conference center. Most classes are held at an actual emergency services training campus (this year, the Fox Valley Technical College Public Safety Training Center). Men and women heading for a life behind the badge go here to learn the skills they need to save lives. But for one weekend in August, the place was overrun by us writers. (If that doesn’t scare you, it should.)

The following photos should give you a taste of what the weekend was like.

 

A 3D crime scene scanner. This is the tool that makes a three-dimentional virtual image of a crime scene. We scanned the hotel conference room.

A 3D crime scene scanner. This is the tool that makes a three-dimentional virtual image of a crime scene. We scanned the hotel conference room.

 

The Public Safety Training Center has its own mock town out back - complete with a Boeing 727.

The Public Safety Training Center has its own mock town out back – complete with a Boeing 727.

 

Me and my partner learned how to clear a house with rubber guns. We found the bad guy without getting killed!

My partner (left) and I (right) learned how to clear a house with rubber guns. We found the bad guy without getting killed!

 

How to intubate an armless mannequin.

How to intubate an armless mannequin.

 

Taking down an armed robber after a high-speed chase through the fake town.

Taking down an armed robber after a high-speed chase through the fake town.

 

Martial arts class

Martial arts class. The proper way to shake hands with an assailant.

 

SWAT team leader with sniper rifle

SWAT team member with sniper rifle

 

Franz the attack dog. (Seriously couldn't wait to chomp down on this guy.)

Franz the attack dog. (Seriously couldn’t wait to sink his teeth into this guy.)

 

Exciting as all this looks, I wasn’t able to attend even half the classes offered. Ha! Nowhere close to it! There were too many, and too little time. The event will be in Appleton, Wisconsin, again next year, August 11th – 14th, 2016. Space is limited and tickets typically sell out within hours. To get a slot, sign up for email notifications at the Writers’ Police Academy website so you’ll know when registration opens.

You can also view the 2015 schedule here: Writers’ Police Academy 2015 schedule.

For continuing education all year round (as well as a heavy dose of cop humor), I highly recommend the event organizer’s blog, The Graveyard Shift.

Hope to see you at a future Writers’ Police Academy!

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