Currently viewing the tag: "police"

They entered the observation area looking in on the interrogation room. Inside, a wiry young man sat at an empty table. His fingers entwined with one another in tight knots. His heels bounced on the floor. His nostrils flared. His eyes darted from wall to wall with the tension of a trapped animal. –The Mysterious Mauling by A. C. Spahn

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write an interrogation scene.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you felt like you were being interrogated? What emotions did you feel? 

Art Prompt: Interrogation

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about modern interrogation techniques.

Photo Credit: Shuayb Popat on Flickr

One significant change to police tactics following Columbine is the introduction of the Immediate Action Rapid Deployment tactic, used in situations with an active shooter. Police followed the traditional tactic at Columbine: surround the building, set up a perimeter, contain the damage. That approach has been replaced by a tactic that takes into account the presence of an active shooter whose interest is to kill, not to take hostages. This tactic calls for a four-person team to advance into the site of any ongoing shooting, optimally a diamond-shaped wedge, but even with just a single officer if more are not available. Police officers using this tactic are trained to move toward the sound of gunfire and neutralize the shooter as quickly as possible. Their goal is to stop the shooter at all costs; they are to walk past wounded victims, as the aim is to prevent the shooter from killing or wounding more. David Cullen, author of Columbine, has stated: “The active protocol has proved successful at numerous shootings during the past decade. At Virginia Tech alone, it probably saved dozens of lives.” –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story or scene involving an active shooter.

Journaling Prompt: Write about how you feel when you read the news about active shooters. How do you cope with your feelings?

Art Prompt: Active shooter

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience how police have changed tactics for dealing with active shooters.

Photo Credit: New Jersey National Guard on Flickr

Five hundred yards away from the house, in the deep woods, lies Mr. Mills behind a log. He is dressed in armed forces-issue camouflage, and his face is covered with black and green paint. He holds a pair of binoculars in his right hand and a phone in his left. Behind him is another man wearing all black, his face covered with a black ski mask. This man kneels down next to a small satellite dish that points toward the southeast. –Who Is Malcolm Black? by Marcus T. Naef

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story that begins with a stake out like that described in the quote.

Journaling Prompt: Have you ever been afraid that someone was watching you from the woods? How did you feel? How did you handle it?

Art Prompt: Watching from the deep woods

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience how agencies conduct stakeouts in rural areas. 

Photo Credit: Katie Dalton on Flickr

Wednesday Blood Test

In the 1950s, the Supreme Court of the United States issued two key rulings clarifying the constitutionality of physical intrusions into the human body by police and other government agents. In Rochin v. California, police officers broke into the home of an individual suspected of selling narcotics and observed him place several small objects into his mouth. Officers were unable to force his mouth open, so they transported him to a local hospital where his stomach was pumped against his will. A unanimous Supreme Court held the involuntary stomach pump was an unlawful violation of substantive due process because it “shocked the conscience”, and was so “brutal” and “offensive” that it did not comport with traditional ideas of fair play and decency. In 1957, the Court held in Breithaupt v. Abram that involuntary blood samples “taken by a skilled technician” neither “shocked the conscience” nor violated substantive due process. In Breithaupt, police took a blood sample from a patient suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol while he laid unconscious in a hospital. The Court held that the blood samples were justified, in part, because “modern community living requires modern scientific methods of crime detection.” Additionally, the Court mentioned in dicta that involuntary blood samples may violate the constitution if officers do not provide “every proper medical precaution” to the accused. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about involuntary body searches.

Journaling Prompt: Do you feel that criminals have too many rights? 

Art Prompt: Blood

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the Rochin v California court ruling and how it protects suspects today.

Photo Credit: Graham Beards on Wikimedia

interrogation Wednesday

An interview technique for eliciting intelligence without asking questions has in a series of experiments proven to work very well. The idea dates back to the renowned WWII interrogator Hanns Scharff, but has now — for the first time — been empirically validated…

Instead of an interrogation, Scharff arranged his meeting as a conversation, emphasizing that the most important details were already known, and that all he wanted was help to fill in some minor gaps. This meant that prisoners never knew when they disclosed information that Scharff did not already know, and often ended up revealing much more information than they thought they did…

When interviewers avoid direct questions and instead emphasize what they already know, it becomes difficult for the interviewee to cooperate without contributing with new information, and difficult to assess how much one has revealed. –Refined interview technique can reveal plans of terror: How to get answers without asking questions

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of an investigator going after a terrorist.

Journaling Prompt: Write about the strangest interview you’ve ever done.

Art Prompt: Interview

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the various techniques investigators use to interrogate suspects.
Photo Credit: Chris Tse on Flickr


In 1896, concerned about the influence of American miners and the ongoing liquor trade, the Canadian government sent inspector Charles Constantine to report on conditions in the Yukon. Constantine correctly forecast a coming gold rush and urgently recommended sending a force to secure Canadian sovereignty there and collect customs duties; he returned the following year with a force of 20 men. Under the command of Constantine, and his successor in 1898, the more famous Sam Steele, the NWMP distinguished itself during the Klondike Gold Rush, which started in 1896, making it one of the most peaceful and orderly such affairs in history.[citation needed] The NWMP not only enforced criminal law, but also collected customs duties, established a number of rules such as the “ton of goods” requirement for prospectors to enter the Yukon to avoid another famine, mandatory boat inspections for those wanting to travel the Yukon River, and created the Blue Ticket used to expel undesirables from the Klondike. The Mounties did tolerate certain illegal activities, such as gambling and prostitution, and the force did not succeed in its attempt to establish order and Canadian sovereignty in Skagway, Alaska, at the head of the Lynn Canal, instead creating the customs post at the summit of the Chilkoot Pass. At that same time, the dissolution of the NWMP was being discussed in the House of Commons, but the gold rush prospectors were so impressed by the conduct of the Mounted Police that the force became world famous and its continuation was ensured. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about the Mounted Police

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about police using animals in their duties?

Art Prompt: Mounted police.

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience the history of the mounted police.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia


Consider the practice known as an “operetta:” Police team up with hoodlums for robberies, split the loot, then ambush their partners and claim a victory against crime. During a wave of robberies of upscale nightspots in Buenos Aires in 1998, stick-up men killed a police officer guarding a restaurant. It turned out the killers were serving prison sentences. Guards ran a scheme in which they sneaked inmates out long enough to commit robberies, then return with the perfect alibi: They were officially behind bars. –Sebastian Rotella

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story using the operetta as described above.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel when you hear about sworn officers of the law who are corrupt?

Art Prompt: Operetta.

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience the story involving a perfect alibi that didn’t hold up.

Photo Credit: Matthew Bradley on Flickr

Military gear may harm relations between police forces and citizens not only because they signal violence but because they may, in some sense, cause more violence. The same cues that signal “army” and “conflict” to civilians may affect police officers themselves. When they “dress up” for serious engagements, for example when donning SWAT gear to respond to a riot, they no longer feel like local law enforcement anymore but like part of a broader military machine.
That perception, in turn, may well affect the types of decisions they actually make. In one early study, a take on the famous Milgram paradigm, in which women were asked to deliver electric shocks to another woman whenever she made a mistake, women who wore Ku Klux Klan uniforms delivered more shocks than those who wore nurses’ uniforms. The implication was that uniforms conferred some of their connotations onto the behavior of their wearers. –Maria Konnikova

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a scene or story where the conflict escalates because of the uniform worn by a character.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about police using military gear?

Art Prompt: Military gear, civilian police

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Talk about issues facing police today and how the use of military gear affects those issues.

Photo Credit: Elvert Barnes on Flickr

Svalbard reindeer 4499

Russian authorities have found another use for reindeer: police mounts. According to theGuardian, they’re considering starting a reindeer police force for northern tundra regions.
Parts of the remote Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug area, in northwest Siberia and home to indigenous people, are accessible only on reindeer… The force currently uses snowmobiles, but those can break down and run out of gas. Reindeer are more adept at navigating the frozen land…
Russia has used animals for law enforcement in the past, from mine-hunting dolphins to donkey mountain patrols. The Moscow Times reports that police started asking for reindeer in 2012 and included a plan for police camels. –Outside Magazine

Fiction Writing Prompt: What do the police or security forces use for transportation in your story?

Journaling Prompt: If you worked with an animal every day, what animal would you choose to help you with your job and why?

Art Prompt: Police on reindeer

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about a working animal and their job.

Photo Credit: Amanda Graham on Flickr

Of all the sordid trials a New York City policeman faces every day, you wouldn’t expect the one I loathe most to be paperwork. But it is. I get snakes down my spine just thinking about case files. –The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story, scene, or poem where paperwork creates a complication.

Journaling Prompt: What is your most dreaded paperwork and why do you feel that way about it?

Art Prompt: Paperwork

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience some tricks to make paperwork less dreadful.

Photo Credit: The Conmunity – Pop Culture Geek on Flickr