A “Crash” Course on the PIT Maneuver: 2016 Writers’ Police Academy

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Now that everyone has had the opportunity to catch their breath and decompress from an action-packed and extremely exhausting weekend at the 2016 Writers’ Police Academy, let’s take a brief moment to examine one of the sessions—PIT.

PIT (Pursuit Immobilization Technique or Precision Immobilization Technique, among other titles used) is a method used by police to end pursuits before a fleeing driver causes a crash or escapes custody. The technique is quite simple in theory—a pursuing car (the police) forces a fleeing car (the bad guy) to loose traction, spin, and then come to a stop. Officers are then typically able to take the driver and passengers into custody.

To help bring better realism to fiction, WPA/NWTC instructor Colleen Belongea first explained the technique to writers.

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“There’s a very short window of opportunity here for the “sweet spot.” ~ Colleen Belongea, WPA/NWTC instructor speaking of the location on the target vehicle where contact should be made during the PIT.

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Once the tactic was thoroughly explained, Colleen had the writers take turns behind the wheel on a closed course to test their driving skills. The end result for bestselling author and WPA keynote speaker Tami Hoag was, well, see for yourself …

* Top photo – Tami Hoag about to experience a thrilling ride with instructor Colleen Belongea.

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Sealed Bids: An Extremely Rare and Absolutely Fantastic Opportunity for Writers!

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The Writers’ Police Academy is extremely pleased to announce that we’ve partnered with the renowned Homicide Training Seminar to offer a free registration to their absolutely fabulous and intensive “law enforcement only” 23rd annual conference titled “The Places of Murder.”

You would be the only writer/outsider in attendance. This is actual specialized police training!

This exciting and rare opportunity is available by sealed bid only and the bidding is open to everyone.

Here’s how it works.

Each year at the WPA banquet we feature a super fun raffle and silent auction, but many people who, for whatever reasons, haven’t been able to attend the event and they expressed disappointment because … One – they weren’t able to attend the thrilling WPA. Two – they weren’t able to participate in the raffle and auction.

So … we’re bringing a portion of the fun to you.

This year we’re making available for sealed bid, three fantastic items. They are:

Available for Sealed Bid

1. A Baby Taylor guitar signed by country music superstar Tim McGraw.

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2. Free registration to the absolutely fabulous and intensive “law enforcement only” 23rd annual Homicide Training Seminar – “The Places of Murder.” You would be the only writer/outsider in attendance. This is actual specialized police training!

A rare and unheard of opportunity!!

*Full registration, hotel reservation, and breakfasts and lunches are included in the prize. Travel not included.

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3. A FULL manuscript review and analysis by renowned literary agent Victoria Sanders. Not just a mere 10 or 20 pages. We’re talking a FULL manuscript analysis and review!! Victoria represents internationally and New York Times bestselling thriller writer, Karin Slaughter, who has been translated into thirty-five languages, the long-running New York Times bestselling author Denene Millner, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist/author Nick Chiles, the American Book Award winning journalist/author Jeff Chang, among many superb authors.

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Here’s how it works – Bids on these special items are open to WPA attendees & folks who aren’t able to join us this year. Non-attendees may send confidential bids to 2016wpa@gmail.com and put either Manuscript Bid, Guitar Bid, or Homicide Seminar Bid as the subject heading.

Remember, these opportunities are extremely rare, so reach high and dig deep!!

At the posting of this message, bidding is officially OPEN! Good luck, and thanks for your support!

*Winners will be announced shortly after the conclusion of the August 13th WPA banquet.

2016 WPA attendees may submit their sealed bids at the Saturday night banquet.

Auction proceeds benefit writers by contributing to WPA expenses, academy tools and equipment, supplies, etc.

As always, we thank each of you for your support. And please, please, please share this information with everyone you know!!

 

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Political Correctness and Police Investigations: A Needle in a Haystack

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Law enforcement is changing every day, and a great deal of the changes are in part due to our new politically correct society.

And change, no matter how beneficial, or not, is often difficult to accept and in many cases even more difficult to implement. To add to a difficult transition period, sometimes a particular “next new thing” seems a bit foolish when it comes from people who have no clue about what it is they’re changing.

For example, in many areas of the country, people have been offended when hearing the manner in which officers and dispatchers use to describe offenders, subjects, witnesses, etc. The descriptions, by the way, are a necessary means used to help locate people. You know, terms and phrases such as … “A white male.” A black female.” “A Hispanic couple.” And so on. These mere words greatly help to narrow the suspect pool.

As a result, though, many have demanded that police stop using race and gender in their descriptions, fearing those reports would offend someone. So, as is typical, vote-grubbing political leaders handed down the order to stop the procedure.

Descriptions are, believe it or not, pretty darn helpful for finding people in a hurry, especially when that someone just killed the manager of the local bank or the guy who held up Smilin’ Jack’s Cotton Ball and Liver Pill Emporium.

In the old days, dispatchers answered the 911 call, obtained a description of the suspect(s), and then used the radio to broadcast those descriptions to officers so they’d know exactly who it was they’d be searching for. The radio messages went something like this …

Dispatch to units 444 and 666. Armed robbery at 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Smilin’ Jack’s Cotton Ball and Liver Pill Emporium. Suspects were two males. One approximately 5-feet-tall and bald. Had a light bulb in his mouth that flickered on and off. The second suspect was approximately 9-feet tall, green complexion, the top of his head was flat, and he had a bolt inserted into each side of his neck. The green guy pointed a revolver at the clerk and demanded cash from the register. He referred to the short man as Fester. The pair was last seen driving a black hearse headed northbound on Lividity Lane.

Suspect descriptions such as the one above are a great help to patrol officers. After all, how difficult would it be to spot a tall green guy driving a hearse?

But, in today’s culture of microaggressions, hurt feelings, thin skin, and safe spaces, those radio calls are now more like …

Dispatch to units 444 and 666. Armed robbery at 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Smilin’ Jack’s Cotton Ball and Liver Pill Emporium. Suspects were two males. One is tall and the other is short. They were last seen driving away. The did have a gun but I can’t describe it because doing so may offend the owner of the gun company, and to say “gun” on the airwaves may cause panic among people who don’t like guns. I’d describe the two men but doing so might offend height-challenged people. I can’t say the color of their skin because, well, you know.

I also cannot describe their clothing because doing so may offend nudists. In fact, I shouldn’t have said they were males because they may have been transgendered, or not, and I got in trouble just last week for saying “ma’am” to a person I thought was a woman, actually she was the mayor’s wife, but she’s on the “Stop Saying Ma’am Because it Offends Sirs Who Look Like Ma’ams” committee.

I definitely should NOT have mentioned the car was a hearse because the local car dealerships are deeply offended when they think we’re promoting one over the over. And … it was just two weeks ago when I was again in trouble for mentioning a “person” with bolts in his neck.

I understand that the local hardware stores have organized an angry mob to protest about us using a broad brush to paint all bolts as bad bolts. Actually, I shouldn’t be using this radio made by Billy Buck’s Radio World because doing so offends all other radio manufacturers. I heard we’re about to be sued by Talky Tom’s Transmitters for that very thing.

So good luck at finding the suspects who robbed Smilin’ Jack’s. Wait, is it okay to use the term “robbed?” Maybe that’s offensive to arsonists and rapists. Hmm … I’ll have to check the new rule book.

I’d go out on a limb and say they were two humans, but other humans might be offended and I’m a bit leery that doing so would send aliens straight to a deep space safe space. Anyway, Smilin’s Jack’s is now missing something and it was taken. 10-4?

This is a bit exaggerated, of course, but not having good descriptions, including the race and gender of a suspect is like looking for an invisible needle in a very large haystack. In fact, it’s sort of like a dispatcher saying to the officer …

“The murder suspect is one of the people in the crowd. Good luck. Oh, and he has a gun.”

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Proactive v. Reactive Policing: A Vicious Circle

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Trouble

Kids Die

Gangs High Crime

Rape Cocaine Bloody Murder

Burglary Assault Robbery Carjacking

Increased Patrol Stop and Frisk Illegal Weapons

More Officers Canines Large Police Presence, Crime Reduces

Less Guns on Street Safer for Officers and Public, Businesses Flourish

Neighborhood Secure Residents Happy Fewer Deaths Kids Play

Police are Scary! Protesters and Politicians Complain

Angry Crowds Burning Looting Destruction

Officers Beaten Battered and Killed

Rape Cocaine Bloody Murder

Gangs High Crime

Kids Die

Trouble.

And so it goes …

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