4/9/2020 0 Comments
This week on the Writer's Detective Bureau, the Newhall Incident, undercover reasoning and third party justifiable homicide. I'm Adam Richardson and this is the Writer's Detective Bureau.
Welcome to episode number 86 of the Writer's Detective Bureau, the podcast dedicated to helping authors and screenwriters write professional quality crime related fiction. This week I'm talking about how the Writer's Detective Bureau is raising money for those that need help the most during our current COVID-19 pandemic, as well as marking the 50th anniversary of the Newhall Incident and answering your questions about the reasons for a detective to go undercover, as well as whether a homicide can be ruled justifiable if it's committed by a third party.
But first, I need to thank Gold Shield patrons, Debra Dunbar from Debradunbar.com, C.C. Jameson from ccjameson.com, Larry Keeton, Vicky Tharp of vickitharp.com, Chrysann, Larry Darter, Natalie Barelli of Nataliebarelli.com, Craig Kingsman of craigkingsman.com, Lynn Vitale, Marco Carocari of marcocarocari.com and Robert Mendenhall for their support along with my Silver Cufflink and Coffee Club patrons. You can find links to all of the bureau's patrons in the show notes at writersdetective.com/86.
This month's Patreon deposit just hit my account and 100% of that money was donated to Masks for Docs to provide PPE to those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have funds or N95 masks you'd like to donate or you're a first responder or medical professional that is in immediate need of PPE, go to masksfordocs.com to get connected right now. And to learn more about Patronage through Patreon, go to writersdetective.com/Patreon, P-A-T-R-E-O-N.
Speaking of worthy causes, reviewing this podcast on podchaser.com will raise money for the Meals on Wheels COVID-19 response fund. Podchaser has pledged to donate 25 cents for every podcast review left at podchaser.com and they will double that pledge if the podcast owner replies to the review. So let's do this. I created a quick link to make this super easy. Go to writersdetectivebureau.com/review to get to my podcast page on Podchaser and then click on the review tab. And once you've left a review, I will reply. And each time we do this, that's a half dollar towards getting food delivered to homebound seniors that are most at risk for COVID-19. Podchaser is running this pledge campaign through April 15th of 2020 so let's get after it right now, writersdetectivebureau.com/review and then click on the review tab.
As I record this, it is the evening of the 6th of April, 2020 which happens to be the 50th anniversary of a watershed moment in policing. Just after midnight on April 6th, 1970, four California highway patrol officers were murdered by two gunmen in Newhall, California, which is not far from where Magic Mountain amusement park is currently located. All four of those officers were killed in less than five minutes and the two gunmen escaped that night. They were subsequently identified with one killing himself in a hostage standoff with the LA Sheriff's department and then the other spent the rest of his life in a California prison.
But every cop in California has learned about the Newhall Incident because it reframed how we think about tactics and training. You may have heard the saying as you train, so shall you fight. It was through studying the Newhall Incident that law enforcement, especially in California, learned this the hard way. These brave young officers in this moment of crisis relied on their training as we do in these kinds of crisis situations and their training failed them, but their deaths were not in vain as this incident sparked dramatic changes in how law enforcement trains their officers, especially when it comes to the officer safety tactics.
And those changes still remain to this day and they have without a doubt saved the lives of thousands of cops in hundreds of thousands of instances where this post Newhall incident modern understanding of how training translates to real world situations has prevented more cops from being murdered. On this 50th anniversary of the horrific Newhall Incident, we are still honoring the legacy of CHP officers: Frago, Gore, Alleyn and Pence. You have taught us all that as you train, so shall you fight.
This week's first question comes from Rhys Lawrence who asked, do detectives often go undercover and if so, what are usually the reasons? Undercover work is certainly a specialized type of policing, Rhys, but it's usually done as a last resort. The benefits of having a police detective go undercover are that when it's used in court, it's firsthand knowledge and firsthand testimony. And also detectives are trained in understanding the laws about entrapment and coercion so they know how to avoid saying or doing anything that could lead to any crimes they witnessed from being thrown out in court... Continue reading...
This week on the Writer's Detective Bureau, Masks for Docs, Inmate Release after Acquittal and CSI, the TV show. I'm Adam Richardson and this is the Writer's Detective Bureau.
Welcome to episode number 85 of the Writer's Detective Bureau, the podcast dedicated to helping authors and screenwriters write professional quality crime-related fiction. If this is your first time listening to this podcast, this is the part where I'd normally give shout outs to my amazing Patreon patrons for supporting this show. I have a few different support tiers at 20, 10 and $2 per month and I love my patrons, but right now as the COVID-19 pandemic becomes a critical strain on the world's healthcare system. I'm donating 100% of the money I get from my Patreon patrons to an organization called Masks for Docs. I'm sure you've heard the stories of frontline healthcare workers having insufficient PPE supplies. Heck, the N-95 masks I've been using at work were ones I bought a couple of years ago at CVS during the wildfires that we had here in California. But when it comes to personal protection equipment, the situation really is dire, especially because on a global scale we're starting to see countries horde PPE and medical supplies for their own citizens, sometimes blocking exports of those supplies, which I can understand, but it puts us in the United States in a precarious position.
Over the last several decades, the US has been largely unable to compete with overseas manufacturing prices, so American factories have folded and entire cities and towns crumble across the country as a result. And that's true for most physical products, not just medical supplies and PPE, but Masks for Docs is addressing the PPE shortage head on. They have one goal, get protective supplies into the hands of healthcare workers as quickly as possible. If you have supplies, you can donate them. If you are a maker or have a 3D printer, you can fabricate them. Or in my case, if you have the money that can be donated, that always helps to.
Conversely, if you are on the medical front lines and are in need of PPE, Masks for Docs, we'll get you matched with supplies. Masks for Docs are a community of volunteers from around the world, from the tech, business, design and nonprofit community and as it says on their guiding principles page, anything donated is given away, period. You can learn about this initiative by going to masksfordocs.com. Groups like this should give us hope. We are smart, strong, capable and kind. We will get through this by stepping up and doing what we can.
This week's first question comes from Rob Kerns and you can find his work at knightsfall.press and that's knight like knight takes king, checkmate. Rob writes, "Firstly, I want to thank you for all you do, both for the author and writer community as well as people in general as a police officer. I've been an avid subscriber of your podcast since I discovered you through your interview on Joanna Penn's podcast." Thanks, Rob, I appreciate that. "My question relates to the outcome of a trial. Here's the scenario. A person is arrested for a crime for the sake of conversation, let's say murder, and is remanded to custody while awaiting and during trial. During trial, the person is allowed to attend court in regular clothes, not a jail jumpsuit or uniform, and the jury acquits the person of the crime. As the defendant is standing there in the courtroom wearing a suit, will he or she be taken back into custody and returned to the jail to be processed out or will the defendant just have to appear there within a certain amount of time to fill out the paperwork and such? Thanks again regards, Rob."
Excellent question, Rob, and thank you for the kind words. The defendant will have to return to the jail to be processed out, but it would happen in a pretty short amount of time. Usually within just a few hours. When the defendants are in court for trial and they are wearing a suit, they're often wearing some sort of hindrance that will prevent them from escaping easily underneath their suit. So normally during the trial, the defendant is brought into the courtroom before the jury... Continue reading...
his week on the Writer's Detective Bureau, StayHomeWriMo, public health, DEA cases and more counter surveillance. I'm Adam Richardson and this is the Writer's Detective Bureau.
Welcome to episode number 84 of the Writer's Detective Bureau, the podcast dedicated to helping authors and screenwriters write professional quality crime-related fiction. This week I'm answering your questions about the new StayHomeWriMo initiative, how law enforcement works during a public health crisis, whether DEA discloses case info to local cops, and how one might spot surveillance in a restaurant.
I need to thank Gold Shield patrons, Debra Dunbar from debradunbar.com, C.C. Jameson from ccjameson.com, Larry Keeton, Vicki Tharp at vickitharpe.com, Chrysann, Larry Darter, Natalie Barelli of nataliebarelli.com, Craig Kingsman of craigkingsman.com, Lynn Vitale and Marco Carocari of marcocarocari.com for their support. And I also need to send a big thank you to my Silver Cuff-link and Coffee Club patrons as well. You can find links to all of the writers supporting this episode by going to the show notes at writersdetective.com/84. And to learn about setting up your own Patreon account for your author business or to support the show for as little as $2 per month, visit writersdetective.com/patreon. P-A-T-R-E-O-N.
How quickly the world has changed. How are you holding up? I saw a new take on a popular meme recently and it said, "Introverts, check on your extroverted friends. They are not okay." I am definitely an introvert and would probably love to be self-isolating. I say probably because I'm still working as usual, but if I was in self-isolation mode, I'd seriously consider tackling StayHomeWriMo brought to you by the NaNoWriMo folks. They are posting daily self-care checklist of things to do for yourself while you're stuck inside. Each day has four things to do. Number one is for mental wellbeing, number two is for creative wellbeing, three, social wellbeing, and four, physical wellbeing.
So day one's checklist was for mental wellbeing, put your phone in a drawer for half an hour and give yourself a break from the news and social media. For the creative wellbeing, they gave you a writing prompt. Write about a character who's stuck inside. How do they feel about it? Why are they there? For social wellbeing, write and mail a letter to a friend or a family member. And for physical wellbeing, take note of where the tensest points in your body are. Take three deep breaths while relaxing those muscles. So I'll provide a link to the StayHomeWriMo page in the show notes at writersdetective.com/84 if you'd like to get the daily checklists sent to you.
Also, Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income, who I consider a virtual mentor of sorts, has some great content right now geared toward dealing with the quarantine as an online business owner, which as a writer you are. Pat's showing up every morning on YouTube for a Q and A and he just put out a great video on five things you can lean into to make the most of the new time you have and come out better on the other end. So I'll link to that video in the show notes as well. So watch it when you have a chance and think about how this giant timeout can be viewed as a chance for you to do something you wouldn't have been able to do otherwise. This is you time and we're going to get through this and I can't wait to see what you create.
And if you're just looking for a laugh and a little rabbit hole to go down, follow end NCWHM on Twitter. It's the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. Unlike most places, it's closed right now. So the museum left Tim, their head of security, in charge of the museum's social media account while the museum is closed. Tim's a grandpa and he's learning the ropes of how to use Twitter and he is funny. I'm not really into the whole cowboy thing and it doesn't have anything to do with police work, but I am loving this account and I bet you might as well. So check it out on Twitter at NCWHM if you just want a smile for a bit and help him go viral in a good way. All right, let's get into this week's questions... Continue reading...
This week on the Writer's Detective Bureau, Medicolegal Death Investigators and Swatting. I'm Adam Richardson and this is the Writer's Detective Bureau. Welcome to episode 83 of the Writer's Detective Bureau, the podcast dedicated to helping authors and screenwriters write professional quality crime related fiction. And this week I'm answering your questions about Medicolegal Death Investigators and swatting.
But first, I need to thank Gold Shield patrons, Debra Dunbar from debradunbar.com, C.C. Jameson from ccjameson.com, Larry Keeton, Vicki Tharp at vickitharp.com, Chrysann, Larry Darter, Natalie Barelli of nataliebarelli.com, Craig Kingsman of craigkingsman.com, and my latest Gold Shield patron Lynn Vitale for their support. And I'd also like to send a huge thank you to my Silver Cuff-link and Coffee Club patrons as well.
You can find links to all of the writers supporting this episode in the show notes at writersdetective.com/83. To learn about setting up your own Patreon account for your author business or to support the show for as little as $2 per month, visit writersdetective.com/Patreon, P-A-T-R-E-O-N.
So do you have any good recipes for that new cocktail? The Quarantini? You're probably thinking a coronavirus joke. et tu Brute, that's a twofer right there, a coronavirus joke topped with an ides of March reference. Man, oh man, I leave you guys alone for a week, go take a little alcoholaday for my birthday and I come home to this mess? Ah, in all seriousness, I hope you are home and healthy and enjoying a little solitude while COVID-19 runs its course.
And please, seriously do take the recommended precautions seriously, I know you've been bombarded with notices and alerts and instructions and emails from every business you've ever done business with, but now is the time to take a much deserved staycation. If you're in the U S and your workplace has closed or reduced your hours and they aren't paying you, file for temporary unemployment right now then finish all those online courses you paid for, never finished.
Download a new book, reread that page turning you love back in the '90s and it's been collecting dust in that overstuffed bookcase. Finish writing your book, hey pot, I'm kettle. Send me a question to answer on next week's podcast, sleep in, run a bath, just relax, it's time for a mindset shift. Right now, the world is getting a multi-week break just to chill, to learn to be still to enjoy the peace and unplug.
I mean, you guys are writers, just imagine you're on deadline, this should be easy, you've been training for this, I certainly wish I could. Being in law enforcement means that we're going to get busy very soon because all of those closure orders that the state governors and city managers are working on signing right now, well, guess who gets to enforce all of those... Continue reading...
his week on the Writer's Detective Bureau. Interview dialogue, and a cozy missing person turned murder mystery. I'm Adam Richardson and this is the Writer's Detective Bureau.
Welcome to episode 82 of the Writer's Detective Bureau, the podcast dedicated to helping authors and screenwriters write professional quality crime-related fiction. And this week I'm answering your questions about how to make the dialogue in your interview scenes more believable, and how best to tackle a missing person turned murder case as a cozy. But first, I need to thank my Gold Shield patrons, Debra Dunbar, from debradunbar.com, C.C. Jameson, from ccjameson.com, Larry Keeton, Vicki Tharp, at vickitharp.com, Chrysann, Larry Darter, Natalie Barelli of nataliebarelli.com, and Craig Kingsman of craigkingsman.com for their support. I also want to send a huge thank you to my Silver Cuff-link and Coffee Club patrons as well. You can find links to all of the writers supporting this episode in the show notes at writersdetective.com/82. And to learn about setting up your own Patreon account for your author business, or to support the show for as little as $2 per month, visit writersdetective.com/Patreon. P-A-T-R-E-O-N.
And before I get to this week's questions, I want to wish Joan Raymond of joanraymondwritinganddesign.com a very happy birthday. Joan was my very first patron on Patreon, and she was kind enough to invite me to speak at the Writers of Kern Annual Conference later this month. Hopefully the coronavirus doesn't hamper the conference plans, because I've already booked my hotel room and I'm looking forward to the drive up to finally meet Joan in person, on the streets of Bakersfield. Wait, that didn't come out right. So my talk for the conference is titled, Interviewing like a Detective, which, as luck would have it, dovetails nicely into this week's first question.
Craig Kingsman, of craigkingsman.com, who happens to be one of my Gold Shield patrons, asked this in the Facebook group. Craig wrote, "Police interviews are a weak point in my writing. Can anyone recommend any resources to help me learn how to get this right?" Craig, you are not alone. It is a daunting task to try to boil down what is, for us, the detectives, a several-hour round of verbal chess and to do that into just few pages, while also keeping it captivating and believable, that's a very tall order.
But before I go into answering your question, I want to share what Harry Harris, a member of our Facebook group, and also a recently-retired detective from London, England wrote. Harry writes, "Detectives in the UK use a particular model that I will explain. It may help. This model is effective for catching out inconsistencies in a suspect's story.
First phase is where you allow a full recall of events. No questions, unless to clarify something said. Second phase is where you will take their account and split it into subjects to probe, i.e., "You said you were in the Dog and Duck pub. Tell me, who else was in? Who was behind the bar? Who can confirm you were there?" Etc. We're now really committing them to their story. This phase can be lengthy. The final phase is a challenge phase. Now is the time to shoot their story out of the water by putting the evidence to them. "An eye witness puts you at the crime scene." "Your fingerprint was found on the knife." "You are on CCTV." If a suspect has been talking, they will now most likely be going, "no comment". In reality, most suspects maintain no comment throughout, so you would quickly go through the model and get to the challenge quickly. In UK law, we can hold an inference of guilt on a suspect who fails to account for evidence against them. This ultimately is a tool for the jury to help them deliberate. Hope this is of some help."
Well, Harry is spot on with his suggestions, but here in the US... Continue reading...
This week on the Writer's Detective Bureau, recorded in a wire tap, what gets kept as evidence and counter surveillance techniques. I'm Adam Richardson, and this is the Writer's Detective Bureau.
Welcome to episode number 81 of the Writer's Detective Bureau, the podcast dedicated to helping authors and screenwriters write professional quality crime related fiction. And this week I'm answering your questions about whether a wiretap investigation has to target a specific person, and how you find out if you've been recorded as part of a wiretap investigation. I'm also talking about what items get kept as evidence and what property gets returned to a victim. And lastly, I'll be talking about counter surveillance techniques that you, I mean your characters, can use to see if you're, I mean they, are being followed.
But first I need to thank my gold shield patrons, Debra Dunbar from debradunbar.com, C.C. Jameson from ccjameson.com, Larry Keeton, Vicki Tharp at vickitharp.com, Chrysann, Larry Darter, Natalie Barelli of nataliebarelli.com, and Craig Kingsman of craigkingsman.com for their support. And thanks also go to my silver cuff link and coffee club patrons for their support as well. You can find links to all of the writers supporting this episode by going to the show notes at writersdetective.com/81. And to learn about setting up your own Patreon account for your author business or to support the show for as little as $2 per month, visit writersdetective.com/patreon.
This week's first question comes from Joel Shulkin who asks, "The episode on wiretapping was very useful, but I have a couple of questions that relate to a situation in my work in progress. First, do police have to identify someone as a suspect in order to obtain a wire tap warrant, or could it simply be a person of interest or even a witness who has refused to answer questions? Second, what if the subject to be wiretapped is a minor? Do the police have to follow any different procedures or process than they would for an adult? Do they need to notify the parent? Thanks so much." Great questions, Joel. There's a lot that goes into getting a wiretap because the courts have held that it's one of the most invasive types of surveillance that government can do with regard to a person's privacy. So we, the cops, have to exhaust other means of investigation first, and that investigation has to be directed at a known person or persons at least to begin with.
And those targets of the wiretap investigation must be suspects in the crime that you're investigating. So to answer the latter part of your first question, we cannot target the phones of a witness or a victim because they haven't done anything wrong. So there's no reason, legally speaking, for the government to intrude on their privacy. And in fact, there are actually a limited number of crimes that we can even get a wire tap for. So it varies based on whether you're seeking a federal wire tap order or a wire tap order through the state court that you're, within the state that you're in, as to which crimes you can and cannot get a wire order for. But regardless of whether you're going the federal route or the state route, those crimes are specified in the law, and all of them are going to be major cases. So assuming you're investigating one of the crimes that you can get a communications intercept order for, there's more to it than just explaining your probable cause like in an affidavit for a search warrant or an arrest warrant... Continue reading...
2/23/2020 0 Comments
This week on the Writer's Detective Bureau, experience is the greatest teacher prosecuting a serial killer and federal supervised release. I'm Adam Richardson and this is the Writer's Detective Bureau. Welcome to episode number 80 of the Writer's Detective Bureau, the podcast dedicated to helping authors and screenwriters write professional quality crime related fiction. And this week I'm answering your questions about the little things that police work teaches cops about daily life, prosecuting a serial killer when not all of the victims have been found, and how someone on federal supervised release would show up on the radar of the US marshals.
But first, I need to thank gold shield patrons, Debra Dunbar from Debradunbar.com, C.C. Jameson from CCJameson.com, Larry Keaton, Vicki Tharp of Vickitharp.com, Chrysann, Larry Darter, Natalie Barelli of Nataliebarelli.com, and Craig Kingsman of Craigkingsman.com for their support. And I'd also like to send a huge thank you to my coffee club and silver cufflink patrons. You can find links to all of the writers supporting this episode in the show notes at writersdetective.com/80. To learn more about setting up your own Patreon account for your author business or to support the show for as little as $2 per month, visit writersdetective.com/Patreon, P-A-T-R-E-O-N.
Before I get into this week's questions, after last week's podcast episode where I talked about the ethical concepts of utilitarianism and deontology, Rankin Johnson commented in the Facebook group, "Adam, I'm a regular listener of your podcast and I enjoy it, but I just listened to the February 15th podcast and I didn't think you gave a fair interpretation of utilitarianism. You said that a utilitarian might not arrest the police chief's kid for DUI, which would avoid an embarrassing story in the paper. John Stuart Mill would be horrified. A utilitarian might choose not to arrest for DUI because arresting the defendant would cause him to lose his job and thereby his house rendering his children homeless or because if he arrested the chief's kid, the charges would be dismissed and he would be fired and could no longer provide for his family. But in light of the harm caused by drunk driving, I suspect that most utilitarians would want to see the drunk driver arrested.
"Utilitarianism, like any other moral philosophy can be twisted or misused to reach a desired end, but that's not the flaw in the theory. It's user error." To which I replied, "Rankin, you are 100% correct about this and I'll offer a more accurate account of how utilitarianism can be the right thing to do in a practical law enforcement scenario." And then Rankin kindly replied, "Law enforcement looks inherently utilitarian to me because it's filled with choices about where to spend limited resources. By contrast, when I was working as a criminal defense attorney, my arguments were often deontological. The police officer didn't have a lawful reason to search the trunk of the car. So it doesn't matter that he found 17 pounds of cocaine in a dead body, or that hearing had to be held within three days of arrest. It doesn't matter that the arresting officer was in the hospital because my client allegedly shot him."
So first of all, Rankin offered excellent examples of deontology at work right there. So in his examples, the right thing for the police officer to do was to obey the fourth amendment. So the question is whether it's right to search the trunk or not, and whether the officer found the cocaine and the dead body shouldn't factor into the analysis of right version versus wrong. Because in deontology, as we talked about last episode, the outcome is irrelevant. It's whether the act itself is moral. But to get back to Rankin's original point, I did not give utilitarianism a fair shake in my example. Now, if you recall from the last episode, I talked about the decision on whether to arrest a police chief's son for DUI. And I agree with Rankin that my commentary wasn't a fair interpretation of utilitarianism. A more appropriate example might be one where an officer pulls over a woman for speeding. He quickly learns that she's a single mom raising two kids and speeding to get from her day job to her night job because she works two minimum wage jobs to provide for her kids and barely makes ends meet... Continue reading...
2/16/2020 0 Comments
This week, on the Writer's Detective Bureau: privatizing the police, the driving philosophy of law enforcement and sucking chest wounds. I'm Adam Richardson and this is the Writer's Detective Bureau.
Welcome to episode number 79 of the Writer's Detective Bureau, the podcast dedicated to helping authors and screenwriters write professional quality crime related fiction. This week, I'm answering your questions about the perils of privatizing police work, the driving philosophy of law enforcement, and how you can differentiate your characters by how they view their jobs and what happens when a screwdriver is used as a weapon to the chest. But first, I need to thank Gold Shield patrons, Debra Dunbar from debradunbar.com, C.C. Jameson of ccjameson.com, Larry Keeton, Vicky Tharp of vickitharp.com, Chrysann, Larry Darter, Natalie Barelli of nataliebarelli.com, and Craig Kingsman of craigkingsman.com for their support. I also want to send a huge thank you to my Silver Cufflink and Coffee Club patrons for supporting this episode. You can find links to all of the writers supporting this episode in the show notes at writersdetective.com/79. To learn about setting up your own Patreon account for your author business or to support the show for as little as $2 per month. Visit writersdetective.com/patreon.
Jason is back again this week and he writes in asking about the theme of soft localized collapse in law enforcement options. So Jason says, "I'd like to hear about what infrastructure and say, creative legislation may currently exist that allows for privatization of law enforcement. In the absence of such infrastructure, would you mind taking a kick at explaining what that might look like, what national or statewide events might cause it, and maybe best and worst case scenarios as to how traditional law enforcement personnel like yourself might view such things? Sheepdog instincts go haywire? Some of you guys put on masks Batman style where jurisdictions overlap? Feel free to go crazy with the speculation. Let's date ourselves again. Remember "Kuffs?" Christian Slater, I'm going to use a condition like the Police Special idea and run with it. I'd like to make it sound like law enforcement evolution gone awry, but eerie and believable."
Well, just to start as for law enforcement dawning masks like in the, "Watchmen," I don't see that happening when it comes to uniformed patrol. The whole reason we have badge numbers and name tags is because the public believes in accountability from its police. But that said, I have donned to balaclava quite often when I was serving search warrants while working in covert operations. So while there is a balance of overt versus covert, when it comes to operating the field, at least at the investigative level, not the patrol level, we don't get to hide our names in police reports or our faces when taking the stand in court. But yeah, good old Christian Slater as fourth wall breaking, San Francisco Patrol Special Officer Kuffs, circa 1992. I went back and watched a few YouTube clips of Kuffs and I'd actually seen that movie a few times when it first came out. I'd totally forgotten that the actor Troy Evans played police Captain Morino. Now, you might recognize Troy Evans as Detective Johnson, AKA Barrel, half of Crate and Barrel, that detective duo on Amazon's TV show, "Bosch." He's such a great actor.
Yeah, Patrol Specials still exist in San Francisco to this day, but City Hall and modern policing are slowly phasing out that police force. That, as far as I'm aware, is one of a kind. The San Francisco Patrol Special Police force has been around since 1847, which would've been smack in the middle of the San Francisco area's Gold Rush, and it was formed as a type of community policing force that was paid for by the local businesses and other private clients within a Patrol Special's beat. Now, that beat itself was actually a proprietary geographic area that the Patrol Special owns and can ultimately, sell when it comes time to retire to another Patrol Special. Back then, it was a novel way to subsidize extra policing in a big and growing city. But now with policing, in California especially, under continual mandates, requirements, and scrutiny as to their powers and expectations and authority, I fear that the Patrol Specials are losing a battle of attrition.
Although they still wear a police uniform, carry a gun, and a San Francisco PD radio, they no longer have peace officer powers of arrest, which means the ability to arrest based upon probable cause. Rather, their arrests are made under the citizens arrest section of the law, meaning their arrests are ones made solely when they observe a crime being committed... Continue reading...
This week on The Writer's Detective Bureau: Security Clearances, Task Forces, and FBI RAs. I'm Adam Richardson and this is The Writer's Detective Bureau.
Welcome to episode number 78 of The Writer's Detective Bureau. The podcast dedicated to helping authors and screenwriters write professional quality crime-related fiction. And this week I'm talking about security clearances, FBI Resident Agencies, which are their satellite offices, government budgets, and how chain of command works on a task force. So we've got a lot to cover this week. But first I need to thank my Gold Shield patrons, Debra Dunbar from debradunbar.com, CC Jameson from ccjameson.com, Larry Keeton, Vicky Tharp of vickitharp.com, Chrysann, Larry Darter, Natalie Barelli of nataliebarelli.com and Craig Kingsman of craigkingsman.com for their support. And huge thanks to my Silver Cufflink and Coffee Club patrons as well. You can find links to all of the writers supporting this episode in the show notes at writersdetective.com/78. And to learn about setting up your own Patreon account for your author business or to support the show for as little as $2 per month. Visit writersdetective.com/patreon.
A writer named Jason asked a series of questions for me to answer on this week's podcast. Jason writes: My near future domestic US detective is going to be working alongside an agent from a foreign organization whose operating protocols are extravagantly different. This foreign agent will be operating within my detective's own agency's jurisdiction and under his leadership, so we'll be conforming to strange, stricter standards. What I need to know is how, and under what circumstances, might something even similar to this come about? Specifically, this partnership in my book will be officially secret. It's intended to be ended once the problem that caused it to form is dealt with in about three to nine years. And I'd like to hear things like the names of departments, standards of operation or liaison offices. What would the chain of command look like and what conditions would the agency that dispatched them to investigations impose on such a partnership and its own right?
Do law enforcement agencies or even individual task forces "Hide things in the budget?" Were a state-level bureaucracy intending to add extraordinary duties in a secretive department to handle them to a local law enforcement agency, what means might they use to go about transferring the budget, keeping it hidden? And could you tell me who exactly they'd be trying to hide this from? Oversight of some sort I assume, but I've got no details. I guess I most need to know what would confine those two in that sort of position here in now, how they'd be hidden from the public and any tells that might give such a thing away so I can start warping it into something futuristic and wacky.
And then Jason goes on to say, "It's hard to tell what I find most valuable from your podcast, but I find one of the most inspiring things to be the invitation you give for the layman to dig into this sort of thing in the first place Among all the valuable information. I'd like to thank you for that the most. Had I not found your podcast, I don't know that I'd have written this ever... Continue reading...
This week on the Writer's Detective Bureau, quarantine, narcotics case jurisdiction and SAR. I'm Adam Richardson and this is the Writer's Detective Bureau.
Welcome to episode 77 of the Writer's Detective Bureau, the podcast dedicated to helping authors and screenwriters write professional quality crime related fiction. This week, I'm talking about isolation and quarantine by public health, narcotic case jurisdiction, and using SAR to search for missing children.
And real quick, I need to thank Gold Shield patrons, Debra Dunbar from debradunbar.com, C.C. Jameson from ccjameson.com, Larry Keeton, Vicki Tharp of vikitharp.com, Chrysann, Larry Darter, Natalie Barelli of nataliebarelli.com, and Craig Kingsman of craigkingsman.com for their support with this episode. I also want to send a huge thanks to my coffee club patrons. And you can find links to all of the writers supporting this episode in the show notes at writersdetective.com/77. And to learn about setting up your own Patreon account for your author business or to support the show for as little as $2 per month, visit writersdetective.com/patreon, P-A-T-R-E-O-N.
I was intrigued by the news story this week about the quarantine of Americans returning from China where there's obviously, as you know, been an outbreak of the Coronavirus, which led me down a bit of a research rabbit hole about the powers of public health authorities when it comes to quarantine or isolation. Federal law title 42 US code section 264, empowers the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Surgeon General, the power to isolate and quarantine. And that power has been delegated to the CDC, our Center for Disease Control, to handle the actual boots on the ground implementation of isolation or quarantine. Now that's at the federal level. And the states have one as well. So in California, we have a health and safety code that provides authority to the state's department of Health Services to conduct isolations and quarantines.
So according to the CDC website, if a quarantinable disease is suspected or identified, CDC may issue a federal isolation or quarantine order. So public health authorities at the federal, state, and local, and even tribal levels may sometimes seek help from police or other law enforcement officers to enforce a public health order. So according to the CDC, breaking a federal quarantine order is punishable by fines and imprisonment. And it's also a misdemeanor crime in most states for state level violations.
So what's the difference between isolation and quarantine? Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. So if you think back in history to the leper colonies, that would be isolation. Where quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. So the interesting thing and the reason why I'm talking about this, or at least interesting to me, is that the quarantine and isolation orders are issued by a health officer, not usually a judge like in a criminal matter. But it's still a matter of government restricting the movements and freedom of its citizens. So it could be an interesting area in the law to write about.
So if we were to look at detentions of citizens on a spectrum, with one end of the spectrum being public health and the other end of the spectrum, criminal apprehension, the closer we get to the criminal side of things, the more we start to deal with due process, like probable cause and needing warrants and authority from courts to do so. But on that public health end, the government can actually restrict your freedom of movement without any kind of legal due process. And I guess the middle ground of that public health on one end to criminal detention on the other spectrum would be mental health holds, which would be right in the middle. But anyway, check out cdc.gov for more on public health orders for quarantine and isolation, especially if you're considering writing a story about bioterrorism or how to deal with the legalities of dealing with a disease epidemic and preventing it from becoming a pandemic
So this week's first question comes from Marnie Werner. Marnie writes, "I have a jurisdiction question. I have a cabin in the woods where a drug gang is receiving bulk shipments of drugs and repackaging for sale. I haven't decided if it's located on county land, state forest or national forest land, but it's not on private property. Who has jurisdiction? In other words, who would go in and make the bust if it's located on state or national forest land? And what evidence would be needed for a warrant to do so?" And now that I think about it, is a warrant needed to go on the property if it's on public land and is a separate warrant needed to be able to arrest people? Does it make a difference if the cabin is owned by a private party or abandoned and not owned by anyone?"... Continue reading...
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