Archive | November 2014

Ask Me Anything!

ASK ME ANYTHING!  Pick a date in December and give me something to talk about. Give me a question or topic. I’m going to say anything goes – TV, movies, books, music, fandom, fictional characters, actors, writing – or real life (if you touch something I don’t want to talk about, I’ll tell you and you can pick something else). Whatever comes to mind! First person to sign up can choose my birthday!

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28th Dec (It’s my birthday!):
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This entry was posted on November 26, 2014. 1 Comment

Police Academy – Week 7 and Graduation

Gosh, hard to believe that last night was my final citizens police academy class. Seven weeks have just flown by!

Before graduation we had our final speaker, Detective Burrell, who took us through Interviews and Interrogations.

There are five different categories that a detective can specialize in: Homicide, Burglary, Financial Fraud, Sex Offense and Juvenile.

The interrogation room is completely bare (table, chairs, no windows). The detectives minimize what they put on the table (aka paperwork) because it’s distracting and the suspect wants to read it. They’ve discovered if the suspect doesn’t eat or drink what’s offered they’re most likely guilty. Also, a guilty person will actually fall asleep in the room while they’re waiting. It’s perfectly acceptable to lie to a suspect about what evidence you have against them but they have to be careful about doing that. If the police say they have fingerprints and the suspect knows he was wearing gloves, they’ll call your bluff and you’ve lost the confession.

A “show up” is a physical line up in person where the victim or witness tries to identify the suspect
A “line up” are photographs that are shown to a victim or witness

The good cop/bad cop routine is actually used! Not just something you see on TV. And it works! Also cell phone records and social media are used all the time to catch people. Especially Facebook.

I asked if there was an interview/interrogation he did that stood out in his mind as being memorable. I was expecting a humorous story but instead it was sad. We had a murder in our town of a small child a few years ago. It was horrible. He caught the case and did the interview. Just listening to what this man did to this child was sickening but you cannot show any emotion while in the room with the suspect. And inside he was just so disgusted and torn up. That case really took a toll on him.

Then came our pizza party and graduation. The Chief of Police was back along with several of our instructors. The Chief went to each of us and asked us to say what we enjoyed about the class, if there was anything we would’ve liked to have done. One thing that we all said was that we wished the class was longer! They’re thinking about doing a Police Academy 2 with different topics for those of us who have completed this session. That would be awesome!

We got our certificates then from the Chief and the Watch Commander along with a totally cool pin that looks like a little police badge. We also got a book and a coffee mug. Then we had cake! We had individual photos taken as we got our certificates and then a class group photo. Those are going to be emailed to us soon. I’ll post them when I get them.

Hope all of you enjoyed my posts these last several weeks! And maybe learned a few things about the police department. 🙂

Police Academy cake-small Police Academy certificate-small Police Academy pin-small Police Academy sign-small

A 5-Star review for An Endless Sea of Stars!

Stars cover

Received a wonderful 5-star review on Amazon for An Endless Sea of Stars:

5.0 out of 5 stars Quite simply, I loved it., November 8, 2014
So I’ll admit that when I first started reading AN ENDLESS SEA OF STARS my initial reaction was “I thought this was supposed to be a sci-fi story?”

As Jamie pulled me deeper into her characters and their story line I though “It’s not over the top sci-fi and is turning out to be pretty cool.”

About the middle of the story the genius that is Jamie’s storytelling started to weave two regular guys with big dreams together with a universe full of bigger dreams and a side dish of adventure.

By the end of the book all I could think was “Oh. My. God. I have GOT to read that again! It’s well written, unexpected, subtle and yet packs a punch. Quite simply, I loved it.

Police Academy – Week 6

PoliceAcademy2014

Had a fantastic citizen police academy class last night, the one I’d been waiting for – Crime Scene Processing and Evidence Gathering.

We all laughed when we walked in the room because there on the floor was a tape outline of a “body”. Ha! Then along two walls were all of these cases full of all of their equipment. Holy crap they have a lot of gear! It was like CSI come to life. So cool.

In just one case alone there was: chalk, gloves, compass, drug kits, fingerprint dust and brushes, feather duster, magnifying glass, angle meter (for bullet trajectory), scissors, evidence bags, tape, UV flashlight, screwdriver, zip ties, casting putty (for tool marks) and a super glue fuming wand. There were other things too but I couldn’t write fast enough!

Four things that an evidence tech always has in their own pockets – tape measure, pocket knife, a black Sharpie and an SD card for a camera.

Evidence is: money, drugs, blood and body fluids, spent cartridge casings, weapons, fingerprints, DNA, trace evidence (fibers, etc) and footwear impressions (the most overlooked evidence)

We learned that cast off blood spatter only happens after the second time a person is struck. We also learned that the yellow police tape you see is simply to keep people away. The red tape is what marks off the primary scene closer in. Evidence techs also document use of force – taking photos of a suspects taser wounds or if they have any cuts on them from a struggle, etc. Evidence collected from cases such as homicide, sexual assault, arson and forgery are kept forever. Most other types of cases the evidence is kept for 25 years.

After the presentation we got down to the good stuff – hands on fingerprint collecting! We each had our own collection kit consisting of a pair of gloves, a brush, powder, collection cards and the sticky clear plastic lifts. We had a glass jar that we were to put our own fingerprints on then dust with powder and try and get a useable lift. Holy crap that was HARD! Either the print was smudged or you used too much powder or too little powder. Then trying to lay the sticky film over it without smudging it and using a certain pressure to both push down and then peel it off…this is an art form people. This is most certainly not CSI where they get a perfect lift in a matter of seconds. Or take a picture of the print with their phone!

Needless to say, we were all struggling mightily with this. After about four tries I finally had the most perfect print. You could see everything. I was so happy. And then I tried to lift it off. And only half of it came off. [sigh] Just as I pulled it off and stuck it down on the collection card the one tech stopped next to me to see how I was doing. I lamented I’d only gotten half and held it up to show him. OMG, I kid you not he went ape shit over it! He called the other tech over and she was floored, too. They were both like, “This is the best print we’ve ever seen someone lift in class. This would absolutely go straight to the lab for processing. Fabulous job!” They were seriously gushing over it, and me, and I’m like, it’s really that good? LOL! See for yourself:

Hard to believe but next week is my last class and then graduation. 😦 Seven weeks have flown by! I’m hoping there’s opportunities for us after we graduate to do some volunteer work for the police department because I’d love to continue on in some way.