Crime Division: Jack of All Trades—The Life of a Patrol Officer by Laurel Heidtman


Check out this fascinating post from Laurel Heidtman on the real-life job of a police patrol office.

Mystery Thriller Week

From 1977 to 1988, I was a police officer in an Ohio city with a population of approximately
60,000. Our department had a hundred or so sworn officers when I started, but by the time I left, that number had been reduced due to budget constraints. We operated our own
communications center and our own jail, including holding federal prisoners under a contract with the U.S. government. During my time there, I primarily worked patrol but also did stints as a communications desk officer, a corrections officer, and few short-term assignments in partnership with agents from the FBI and AT&F, as well as a few short-term undercover assignments for my own department.
However, I never worked as a detective, and therefore, I’d make a lousy fictional protagonist.
All fiction, even the most epic, is like a microscope. Alfred Hitchcock said that “…drama is life with the dull bits cut out,” but too many unrelated exciting bits doesn’t…

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