Last March, I learned about a wonderful event called the Writers’ Police Academy. Even more exciting was that it was going to be held in Appleton, the city I’d be moving to in June. Luckily for me, they had a few drop outs, so I was able to register. (This event sells out fast!)
Since it was my first time doing a workshop like this, I didn’t know what to expect. I write romance and my work in progress features a heroine who is a police officer. I had some doubts about the realism of my police action scenes. Another reason for going is that I’m interested in learning more about our police and fire men and women.
You never know when a nugget of information will grow into a full blown plot!
First off, let me say how impressed I was with the Fox Valley Tech College Public Safety Training Center. They have a freakin’ Boeing 727 parked in the back lot! I am very proud of this top notch facility that’s right in my back yard. The staff and instructors were great. Special shout out to the food service staff for accommodating my gluten free diet. During each class, the instructor’s passion for his or her career shone through (even Franz, the police dog). They were all happy to answer questions and engage with the writers (except for Franz, he just barked).
The K-9 demonstration was impressive. I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of Franz’s mouth! Note to self – Never threaten a K-9 handler.
I learned handcuffing and arresting techniques. Proud to say that was the first time I’ve ever been cuffed.
Four members of the Neenah SWAT team gave a great presentation about their duties. Also, learned that they don’t have a sniper dog (inside joke).
Let’s not forget the Fire Department! The Fire Training Center was wonderful. After trying to drag around the 160lb dummy and wearing some of the gear, I have a new appreciation for the physical demands of their training and job. The ride in the fire truck made me feel as excited as a little kid!
The entire experience of WPA was great! I can’t thank Lee, his staff of volunteers, and Dr. Joe LeFevre enough for their time in putting this together. I made some good contacts with local law enforcement that I hope will help me with the accuracy of my writing.
Oh…and in case you were wondering…the hotel pool closes at 11:00.
Can’t wait til next year!!