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Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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Police Procedure & Investigation: A Guide for Writers (Howdunit) Paperback – August 8, 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 80 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Lee Lofland's Police Police Procedure & Investigation reads like a thriller. It's every crime writer's indispensable reference--packed with the kind of information and insider knowledge that make the police procedure in crime fiction feel authentic. -- Hallie Ephron, Edgar-nominated novelist and author of Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel

Police Procedure & Investigation is an invaluable tool for writers of mystery fiction. -- J.A. Jance, New York Times best-selling mystery author

This book is a zinger! Police Procedure & Investigation is packed with all-you-need-to-know detail, yet it reads like a best-selling thriller. I know it's a "Guide for Writers," but I think anyone interested in the world of law enforcement should get a copy. Read it on the beach, read it on the train, read it on your way to a murder scene. -- Jeffery Deaver, author of The Bone Collector and The Sleeping Doll

About the Author

With a career in law enforcement that spanned nearly two decades, Lee Lofland (leelofland.com) is a nationally acclaimed expert on police procedures and crime scene investigations. He consults for many best-selling authors, and is a regular speaker at writers conferences, including the Left Coast Crime Conference, Pennwriters Conference, Deadly Ink, and Willamette Writers Conference. He is also the host and director of the Writers' Police Academy, an event where writers learn realism by attending an actual police academy.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Writer's Digest Books; 1 edition (August 8, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582974551
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582974552
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Joyce Tremel on September 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book should be required reading for anyone writing crime fiction. It is packed full of just about everything a writer needs to make their fictional police characters ring true. Lofland's book dispels many of the myths of police work that are shown in abundance on popular TV shows. The book is well organized and interspersed with stories from Lofland's twenty year career as a law enforcement officer. His narrative of a shootout with a bank robber will touch even the most jaded heart. The tale of the Mountain Man will make you laugh out loud.

Crime writers, if you only buy one book this year, this is the one to get.
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Format: Paperback
I had the pleasure of being in one of Lee's writer's conference lectures. I found his classes to be the most helpful of all the one's I'd attended (no small feat).
On the basis of what I saw in the lectures I later picked up a copy of his book. The ones at the conference sold out before I could get any.
Lee's information is the most thorough of any police procedural book I have come across, and he portrays the information in easy to read format that keeps the readers engaged.
Any failings are small enough to be overlooked (IMHO), though he should probably stay away from writing fictional scenes as samples. ;o) They tended to be a bit overwritten. Luckily, they are few and far between, and do NOTHING to diminish the value of this work.
You won't go wrong if you pick up a copy.
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The subtitle for this book indicates that it was written primarily for the writers of crime books and crime-related short stories. But that is a much-too-narrow focus. This book is for anyone who is interested in police work, criminal investigations, and all of the aspects that fit under those two general categories. And it delves into these areas to a much greater depth than the ever-popular and ever-growing list of television programs that claim to be "reality-based" crime shows.

Nearly everybody is now familiar with terms such as crime scene investigation, autopsy, the exclusionary rule, blood spatter analysis, flash-bangs, DNA evidence, and the Miranda warning. But if you want to know what kind of equipment crime scene investigators need, what kind of training goes on in police academies, how long rigor mortis effects a corpse, what a "sally port" is, what kind of chemicals are used to make meth, or the difference between ASPs and shock sticks, this is the book for you.

Author Lee Lofland is well known to writers of crime novels mainly because of his expertise in the field, but also because of his clear, concise, and jargon-free writing style. He is a writer's writer, but he is also a reader's writer. His prose is clean and direct, his organization logical, and his coverage comprehensive.

I highly recommend this book for anyone--writer or non-writer--who wants to know what REALLY goes on during a criminal investigation, inside a courtroom, or behind prison walls.

Russ Heitz
[...]
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My book shelf is full of books that promise to explain in detail the police procedures careful writers need to understand but this one actually delivers. Not only is Lofland's approach comprehensive, the book is organized and very easy to read. The index allows you to look up specific points but I found myself reading it from cover to cover because it's so well written. I'd highly recommend this great guide to any writer serious about getting the details straight or anyone simply interested in the world of police procedures.
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Format: Paperback
Lee Lofland brings his experience as a veteran police investigator, who worked his way from an officer in Virginia's prison system, then a sheriff's deputy, a patrol officer, and a detective to Police Procedure & Investigation. According to his web site, Lee solved cases dealing with narcotics, homicide, rape, murder-for-hire, robbery, and ritualistic and occult crimes. He was an undercover officer and even a narcotics K-9 handler. He's certified in the U.S. Department of Justice, Virginia State Police Academy, and the DEA, as well as continuing to be certified in Crime Scene Management and Crime Scene Investigations.

One major thing Lee lets readers know is not everything shown on TV and in the movies is correct or accurate. Much is completely wrong. The material in this book, including photographs and illustrations and detailed information, gives a firm basis for mystery/suspense/detective writers to incorporate reality in their stories and books.

Chapters include "Law Enforcement in America," with a breakdown of local, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies; "The Police Academy," with information about the training and courses found in different jurisdictions; "Police Officers: Their Duties and Equipment," including job descriptions and equipment used.

Personally, I found the chapters "Detectives" and "Tell it to the Judge: Courts and the Legal Process" to the most helpful for me in my writing career at this point, but most of the information is useful and enlightening. An index at the back of the book and appendixes helps readers find itemized material.

Lee presents information in such a way that almost everyone can easily understand what he writes.
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