Archive for March, 2017

SDPD Sergeant Wes Albers Authors “Black and White” a police procedural novel.

March 31, 2017

[Ashland, Or] Sergeant Wes Albers of the San Diego Police Department, and author of the novel Black & White, has just signed with CopWorld Press— a new, independent publishing company dedicated to helping authors with a connection to law enforcement tell their stories.

Sergeant Albers has served in a number of different communities throughout San Diego and has extensive field experience as a training officer, evidence technician, border team supervisor and emergency negotiator. He presently serves as Director of the Southern California Writers’ Conferences in San Diego, Los Angeles and Palm Springs where he has spent many years in the writing community helping new and aspiring authors
realize their dreams of publication. When not writing, Wes teaches at Alliant International University.

CopWorld Press, located in Ashland, Or., publishes true crime, mystery fiction, police procedurals, personal memoirs and other genres dealing with cops, crime and/or the “day-to-day experiences of the men and women who so bravely serve our communities and citizens.”

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New Publishing Company for Law Enforcement Authors

March 23, 2017

MEDIA RELEASE
For Immediate Release
Contact: Timothy B. Smith—Email: submissions@copworldpress.com; Phone: 541-887-9421

**New Oregon Publishing House to Feature Law Enforcement Authors**

[Ashland, Or] CopWorld Press is a new, independent publishing company dedicated to helping authors with a connection to law enforcement tell their stories. Its books will feature true crime, mystery fiction, police procedurals, personal memoirs and other genres dealing with cops, crime and/or the “day-to-day experiences of the men and women who so bravely serve our communities and citizens.”

Company founder Tim Smith (who writes under the name of T.B. Smith) is a retired police lieutenant from San Diego, Ca, with 27 years of policing experience. In 1984, Pantheon Press published a non-fiction book by British author James McClure called “Cop World: Inside an American Police Force.” McClure utilized the ride-along format to chronicle the  experiences of the San Diego Police Department’s Central Division officers as
part of a broader look at American policing. Smith was one of the officers chronicled under the pseudonym of Luke Jones. Mr. Smith has since written two police procedural novels (The Sticking Place and A Fellow of Infinite Jest, published by Hellgate Press) that feature a Shakespeare quoting cop who uses the name Luke Jones, the name that James McClure gave Smith.”

“Cop World was a look at stories about police as witnessed by and told to an expert author,” says Smith. “But spend an hour or two at the corner bar with a few cops and you’ll soon find they’re the best story tellers on the planet. With that in mind, I formed CopWorld Press, which will work exclusively with law enforcement authors in partnership with my former publisher at Hellgate Press.”

Joining T.B. Smith in the venture is Harley Patrick, owner of L&R Publishing, an Ashland-based company that published Mr. Smith’s first two books under its Hellgate Press imprint (www.hellgatepress.com). Hellgate Press was founded in 1997 and publishes books on military and regional history, veteran memoirs, travel adventure and
historical/adventure fiction. L&R Publishing also publishes children’s books under its Paloma Books imprint (www.palomabooks.com). After receiving a master’s degree in 2000 from the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism, Patrick went to work as an editor at Hellgate Press. In 2007 he purchased the Medford-based company and moved it to Ashland where it has grown to become one of the leading publishers of military history books in the country.

“Law enforcement professionals have such amazing stories to tell,” says Patrick, “and Tim and I are committed to helping them do just that, as well as assisting them in navigating the sometimes complex world of mainstream publishing and distribution.”
For more information, or to submit an author query, visit the CopWorld Press website at
http://www.copworldpress.com.
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Advice on Writing about Cops

March 22, 2017

Several months ago I spoke to a meeting of Partners In Crime in San Diego and offered to be a resource for any police related questions. Below is a question and answer session with one of the participants.

1) Question: Do police customarily use the 24 hour clock in their verbal discussions of a case, or just say 8:00 pm (as opposed to 20:00)?

1) Answer: Yes, cops use the 24 hour military clock in all things. In my case, it was one of the first things taught in the academy.

2) Question: Is it likely that a police officer, interviewing a witness in their own home, seeing the witness was in distress, would offer to make the witness a warm drink (in the witness’ home)?

2) Answer: It is possible that police officers could offer to make a warm drink. However, it’s much more likely that the officers would ask the victim/witness to make them a drink. This would potentially accomplish several things. It would likely get the witness “out of their head” a little bit as they attended to routine things around the home. It would also establish some rapport as the officers and witness engage in a little domestic ritual that could break down barriers, and it might give the cops an opportunity to casually look around a bit as the witness is busy performing the task. Every bit of information officers can gather about the environment could prove useful.

3) Question: Would a police officer go with a family member (or meet a family member) to the morgue to view their next-of-kin or relative who is deceased? And if the officer needed to question the family member would they do it right then, at the morgue, if the family member was not in too much distress? Or would they go to the police station or another location?

3) Answer: The answer to your question about the morgue requires more clarification. Is this a patrol officer or a homicide investigator? What’s the size of the department? This information is necessary for me to understand the potential resources available. What type of rapport has the officer established with the victim?

It’s highly unlikely that any officer would accompany the victim to the morgue. However, this is your world that you’re creating. Is there a strong connection established that would compel the victim/family member to ask the officer to go with them in a support role. If so, find a way to make it happen through character development and interaction.

As far as the questioning goes, the officer would not engage in any sort of formal interrogation under the circumstances but could certainly utilize the the opportunity for casual and useful conversation. There’s one important point to remember here, there is no need to provide the person with their constitutional rights unless they’re in a custodial situation, meaning that the victim/witness is not free to leave. If the officer ever does develop enough information to lawfully detain that person, that is the time for the admonishment. Open ended conversation that could develop new information or line of inquiry is an open possibility until that time. If the officer wants a more formal discussion, that could happen at the police station, the home of the witness or any other place that would be suitable to the situation. If you want the victim/witness to feel intimidated, the police station is the place. If you want them to feel comfortable or safe, use your imagination for the right place.

4) Question: Is it possible to recover fingerprints from a rope?

4) Answer: Uncovering prints from a rope is problematic. The surface is likely slick and there’s even a good chance that a suspect could clutch the rope with their palm without ever touching it with their fingers. However, if you want the rope to be part of the solution, there are several ways to accomplish this. Are there remnants of the victim’s blood present? If so, have the suspect unwittingly grasp the rope where the blood is. Is the rope stored in a garage or some other place that might cause grease to be present? If so, there’s your solution. Prints could be found in the grease. Depending on the situation, it’s also possible for trace evidence to be present. Has the suspect lost a hair in a struggle that can be recovered? How about a little fleck off of the victim’s shirt or jacket or a button being left behind? This is where the author creates a situation that occurs to their benefit as the creator of their own world. If one of these things occurs, find a way to weave it in and make it part of the case solving narrative.