I attended the Writers Police Academy in Appleton, Wisconsin. Law enforcement officers from different agencies, firefighters and emergency medical personnel train at the new, state-of-the-art Fox Valley Technical College Public Safety Training Center.
Last Friday, about 300 (mostly) mystery writers descended en masse on the facility. We came armed with notebooks, pens and lots of questions. We attended sessions taught by police academy instructors and special guest lecturers, including a medical expert in bioterrorism, a police sketch artist and a forensic psychologist who has profiled serial killers.
Of course, the hands-on classes were some of the most fun. I learned how to retrieve and develop fingerprints from various surfaces. (Fingerprints can be retrieved from cars that have been submerged in water. I never knew that!) I did a building search with a partner and I handcuffed a perp. (Actually, she seemed like a very nice lady, but I enjoyed slapping those cuffs on her all the same.)
So, take that, Nancy Drew! Although, I still envy her car a little. That blue roadster was pretty sweet.