I don’t spend money on jewelry, fast cars, or lavish restaurant meals. I spend it on mystery conferences and bookselling jaunts. The Writers Police Academy in Wisconsin was expensive, the biggest part of the cost of getting from California to Appleton, Wisconsin.But, oh, was it worth it.
For three days I spun around in a whirlwind of classes and hands-on sessions ranging from Building Searches/Door Breaching to Fingerprint, Fire Fundamentals, Romance behind the Badge to an absorbing lecture on biological crime, i.e. anthrax.
Now you mystery fans know you’d want to glove up in a fully functional crime lab. The Fox Valley Technical College training site provides a simulated training village with a motel, homes, streets, and convenience store. Maybe you’d attend the sessions on Tactics for Handling the Unruly Plane Passenger in the Boeing 727 aircraft, along with full-size train cars for crisis scenarios and investigations. Or to suit up with the SWAT team.
I got to shoot an AR-15 with live rounds at a bad guy target from the 7 yard line. It was loud, heavy, and from that close surprisingly accurate in the hands of a novice shooter. But I don’t think that’s the way it goes down in a for real setting. For one thing, nobody was shooting back at me. Still, my hands were sweaty and I was amped up for an hour afterward.
Looking out the window from my Crime Scene Photography class I saw the graduating class of a real-life police academy stage a hostage rescue situation which they were being graded on.
Next year’s Writers Police Academy will again be at the Fox Valley Technical College, Public Safety Training Center in August. More to follow.
is available as a free download at marpreston.com