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Help Portraying Law Enforcement

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  • #114492
    Winter Rose
    @winter_rose

    Hi everyone! I’m planning on including the perspective of a young police officer in one of my newest stories, but, I don’t have a lot of experience writing about law enforcement. Has anyone ever written about something like this before? And have you found any resources particuarly helpful? Thanks for any input you may have!

    “…I’m not the same person that I was…”
    “Some folks only grow more beautiful.”

    #114501
    Arindown (Gracie)
    @arindown

    @winter_rose

    I have no idea about writing law enforcement…but I do have a few ideas that might help.

    Maybe you could talk to an officer that you know and ask them questions. Even a retired police officer would be great help. If you don’t know any, that’s fine (I know like 6 😁).

    Ask @wolverinerm if she has any ideas…she writes military stories, and I have a feeling that there are some similarities between police and soldiers.

    Read Courageous by Randy Alcorn, or watch the movie (by the Kendrick Brothers) that the book is based off of (yes, the book is based off the movie😄). It’s a Christian story about police officers.

    Not all those who wander are lost.

    #114504
    Winter Rose
    @winter_rose

    Thanks! Those are definitely some good ideas. I’ll have to look into the book/movie sometime, it sounds interesting…

    “…I’m not the same person that I was…”
    “Some folks only grow more beautiful.”

    #114509
    Arindown (Gracie)
    @arindown

    @winter_rose

    Thanks. I thought of one more thing. If you don’t know any police officers (or you don’t want to drive them nuts😄) you could probably ask any First Responder you know questions. My brothers are on the Volunteer Fire Department, and they regularly work with both the police and the ambulance. Any First Responders could probably give you tips on radio talk, dispatching, how long it takes to arrive at a scene, and stuff like that.

    Hope that helps.

    Not all those who wander are lost.

    #114547
    WolverineRM
    @wolverinerm

    (@arindown Hey, thanks for tagging me! 😉)

    @winter-rose Okay, this is gonna be long. 😆

    So yes, I write Army stories, but I actually have LE characters too, including a POV character. I’ve never specifically sat down to research it, because it’s something I’m pretty well familiar with. 😝 But here’s my thoughts.

    Heads-up, probably needless to say, this is obviously a pretty—sensitive I guess?—subject right now. So it’s more important than ever that you do your homework, make sure you portray him accurately, not to anything to give naysayers any more fodder. LE are some of America’s heroes. Don’t settle for anything less, not ever.

    Something that’ll probably help is this YouTube series—haven’t seen it in forever, so I’m not sure if there’s any content to warn you of, but I know I loved it when I watched it before. 😉

    As she mentioned, Courageous is an amazing movie, just sayin. 💕 Definitely a lot of good inspiration there.

    Something I have always loved that I know is helpful for stories is listening to the scanner. And if you don’t have a scanner or don’t want one just for research, lol, there’s ways you can listen to it online, possibly even specific to your own town.

    It depends on where you live, I guess, but even if you don’t have any ties to LE, chances are someone you know is—maybe a neighbor, someone from church? And remember, just because they’re not your classic city officer doesn’t mean they’re not LE and won’t still be helpful. 😉 And I’ve never met an LE officer that didn’t have some crazy or fun or unusual story they were more than happy to share. ☺️

    Just some basic pointers to get you started…

    – Not every day is big and exciting. Just something to bear in mind. And day to day stuff can be its own kind of exciting.
    – Something small to get right will be your police codes (think “10-4”). You can just look them up, they’re consistent across the board.
    – Just within a city police department, there’s a ton of different jobs. Knowing which one exactly you want your character to do and then researching that in specific will definitely be helpful.
    – If you do have someone LE to ask about it, also ask if they’d be willing to read at least snippets of it. Be willing to listen to their suggestions.

    If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask! Hope that helps for starters…

    I ask where he got these crazy ideas anyway
    He just smiles and says, it’s the way that I was raised

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