Forget The Cold and Snow, Let’s Go Sand Sculpting!

We’re currently digging out from the results of a major snowstorm here in the suburbs of Mayberry and Mt. Pilot. So, instead of shivering and blowing our noses, let’s go to the beach!

Each year, Hampton Beach, New Hampshire hosts a sand sculpting championship that attracts master sand artists from all the world. Over 300 tons of special sand is trucked to the beach for the event. Each contestant is given ten tons of sand and just twenty-one hours to complete their masterpieces. Denene and I were on hand for the 2008 action.

Forrest Gump by Merideth Corson took the fourth place honors.

Michele Lepire’s Tropical Paradise placed third in the overall contest, but took home the most prize money, winning both the People’s Choice award and the Sculptor’s Choice award.

Salvador Dali Lama by Fred Mallet won the fifth place honors.

Steve Topazio of Rhode Island created this angry sun blowing down a sand castle.

Tim Russert remembered in sand.

Morning Bath by Carl Jara took the second place spot.

The winner of the 2008 Hampton Beach Sand Sculpting contest was titled Japanese Garden by Karen Fralich of Ontario, Canada.

Karen adds a few finishing touches to her masterpiece.

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We’ve received several emails asking us to extend the early registration date for the Writers’ Police Academy. Most people would like to see the period extended until after tax time, and after royalty checks arrive. Please drop me a note at if this extension would help you. We want to make this one of a kind event possible for everyone.

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Attention active-duty police officers. I need assistance with a bit of research. Sorry, I can’t divulge the subject matter in an open forum. Please contact me at


Lee Lofland

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Friday’s Heroes: Remembering The Fallen

Chief of Police Carl Worley, 57

Ross Township Ohio Police Department

Chief Carl Worley suffered a fatal heart attack on January 26, 2010, while assisting in the pursuit of a robbery suspect in Butler County near Hamilton, Ohio. Chief Worley is survived by his wife, Kathy.

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Attention active-duty police officers. I need assistance with a bit of research. Sorry, I can’t divulge the subject matter in an open forum. Please contact me at


Lee Lofland

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Pistol Cleaning and Safeties

There’s been much ado about safeties on pistols, and I’m often asked which have them and which don’t? Is it safe to carry a pistol with the safety off? And, we’ve already addressed the question, “Do police officers carry their pistols with a round in the chamber, or not?” In case you missed that post, the answer is, without question, YES. However, our Canadian friends tell us officers in their country do not.

The image above is of a Sig Sauer P229, a pistol favored by many police agencies. I, in fact, carried a Sig Sauer P228 when I was still an active police investigator. To me, there is no better weapon for police duty. Beretta is also another fine pistol. I carried a Beretta 92F when I worked as a patrol deputy in Virginia. Actually, the Beretta was the first pistol I’d carried. We made the switch from Ruger .357’s to the Italian pistols in the early 80’s, when a generous citizen feared for our safety and purchased pistols for the entire department, as a donation. That citizen was a farmer who knew that a sheriff’s office sometimes operates on a limited budget. He also knew that local gangs and street thugs were much more heavily armed than the police who were charged with protecting his life and property.

So, to answer the question regarding safeties on Sigs. No, the Sig Sauer does not have a safety. And, police officers who do carry pistols with safeties, such as the Beretta, the weapon is normally carried with the safety off. Carrying a pistol with the safety in the off position and a round in the chamber is no different than carrying a loaded revolver. Exactly the same.

Here’s a photo of a Sig Sauer complete with the bells and whistles labeled for easy identification.

Beretta Nomenclature

Officers must completely disassemble their pistols on a regular basis to perform thorough cleanings and oiling.

Cleaning disassembled Sig Sauer

Disassembled Beretta

Pistol grips are easily changed by removing a couple screws. Shooters must find a grip that fits the shape of their hands.

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The Eyes Have It: Surveillance Tools For Your Favorite Detective

To get the job done with maximum efficiency and safety, carpenters and plumbers always use the right tool for the task at hand. Police officers should do the same. Here are a few to make the job just a bit easier.

The covert bullet camera is about the size of a tube of lipstick, which makes concealment quite easy. It’s wide angle lens and color capability work perfectly with pocket DVR’s.

This high resolution, color DVR is a great companion for the bullet cam pictured above. It features a time and date stamp as well as tamper proof video.

This pinhole camera kit comes equipped with lens covers designed to look like phillips screw heads, suit buttons, hex screws, and shirt and cuff buttons.

This sunglass camera is capable of connection to pocket DVR’s, which allows the covert operator to record what he/she sees as it happens. Great for that undercover narcotics officer in your life!

The climbing robot can scale vertical surfaces, and can even crawl across ceilings if placed there first. Perfect for searching hard to reach hazardous places, such as shipping containers and nuclear containment domes.

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