This week on the Writer's Detective Bureau justified shootings, FBI arrests in calling for backup. I'm Adam Richardson, and this is the Writer's detective Bureau. Welcome to episode 69 of the Writer's Detective Bureau, the podcast dedicated to helping authors and screenwriters write professional quality crime related fiction. This week I'm proving I've grown beyond seventh grade humor mostly, and I'm answering your questions about an investigation into a justified shooting, where FBI books there are arrestees, and calling for backup.
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, vickitharp.com, Chrysann, Larry Darter, Natalie Barrelli of nataliebarelli.com, and Craig Kingsman of craigkingsman.com for their support. I also want to send a huge thank you to my Coffee Club patrons. I really do appreciate you. You can find links to all of the writers supporting this episode in the show notes at writersdetective.com/69. 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.
..This week's first question comes from Marco Carocari, who asked this in the Facebook group, "During a shootout, my protagonist who's a regular guy manages to stop the antagonist by shooting him, and saves a detective's life, who's with him at the scene. What happens to my protagonist when the responding team of officers and detectives arrive?" The shooting happens on different turf than the detective whose life he saved is assigned to." And also, "What is the process of detectives getting info from my protagonist, interview him there or at the precinct process for fingerprints, photos, et cetera. What else? How long would all of that take approximately? Since he's a witness, I assume he's free to leave after the interview. The antagonist/perp's shot, as well as the second detective shot by the perp are in critical condition at a nearby hospital, if that makes a difference. If my protagonist fully cooperates, can he have legal representation there? Or would that end any interview if he seeks right to counsel? Thank you for your feedback."
There is a lot to answer here, so I'm going to take Marco's questions one at a time. What happens to my protagonist when the responding team of officers and detectives arrive? The arriving officers are going to treat this like every other shooting scene they respond to. They'll treat everyone as a potential threat until deemed otherwise. Meaning, officer safety is going to be the responding officers primary concern as they arrive. Once they've locked down the scene and deemed it safe, so to speak, they're going to assess and deal with any threats to life they encounter. And by that I mean, medical threat to life. Somebody is about to die out. We just had multiple shootings. So that means getting the evidence destroyers. Sorry. I mean the fire and medics. Kidding. Kind of not really. But getting fire and medics to respond to the scene to treat anyone that's been shot or injured.
Realistically, they would have already staged in the area having been dispatched at approximately the same time as the police officers. So they just wait nearby until it's safe for them to come into the area. From there, the patrol officers will request detectives respond out most likely. And that will most likely be done through an established notification protocol of some sort. Marco, I know you're writing about LAPD, so I'm assuming this scene is happening outside the city limits of Los Angeles based on not being on his turf. So for the sake of answering this, let's just say this happens in the unincorporated area of Los Angeles County, which is the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department. So assuming we're in sheriff's jurisdiction, the patrol supervisor, likely a sergeant that is overseeing the patrol deputies, that initially respond to this call, they would request, or that sergeant would request the sheriff's department's detectives.
Depending on the sheriff's departments notification protocol, That could be handled in one of a few ways. The sergeants on duty supervisor, most likely a patrol lieutenant who might be referred to as a watch commander might be the one to notify the supervisor in detectives. Given that this is Los Angeles, there's a pretty good chance that they have detectives working on a night shift, so it could also be as simple as that patrol sergeant calling the on-duty night detective. Now that only really happens in very large jurisdictions. The majority of the country doesn't have night detectives. And then another alternative might be to make the request over the radio to dispatch, and then dispatch handles the notification to the watch commander or the detective supervisor or even an on duty detective directly. I can't speak to the absolute correct answer here as I don't know what the current protocol or staffing levels are like at the sheriff's department currently, but I'd go with whichever of those options works best for your story... Continue reading...
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