Workshop helps writers make fictional police more factual

GREENVILLE, Wis. (AP) — Writers from across the country who want to make their fictional crime fighters more factual will gather in Wisconsin this week to learn firsthand the techniques police use in making arrests and other nuances of law enforcement.

Almost 300 participants, from novice writers to best-selling authors in genres including thrillers, mysteries and romantic suspense, will attend the four-day Writers’ Police Academy starting Thursday.

Writers will learn fingerprinting, handcuffing and arrest techniques, Post-Crescent Media (http://post.cr/1NAJVb7 ) reported. They also will have interactive opportunities allowing them to witness the handling of an unruly airline passenger, a controlled police chase simulation and a mock crime scene.

The goal is to teach writers how to write stories with accurate crime-fighting details and give them a deeper base of knowledge to use in crafting characters and scenes. Organizers say it can be helpful to any writer in a genre in which crime or law enforcement could become a plot point.

“About the only folks who aren’t here are the folks who write sci-fi,” said Lee Lofland, an author and organizer of the conference being held at Fox Valley Technical College’s Public Safety Training Center, where several federal agencies including the FBI have trained.

Lectures will be given by writers, including best-selling crime thriller author Karin Slaughter, and law enforcement officials, including members of the Wisconsin Crime Lab. The presenters have diverse law enforcement backgrounds, such as forensic psychology and homicide investigation and undercover work in organized crime. Many are also accomplished writers.

“We try to pick the best we can find in their fields,” Lofland said.

This is the conference’s seventh year, but its first in the Fox Cities.

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Information from: Post-Crescent Media, http://www.postcrescent.com

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