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Fiction writers talk shop and discuss works in progress. All genres welcome!
Posted: 11/13/2008 1:26 PM PST
Police Departments are slightly different everywhere. It all depends on how big a force you wish to have in your story. A small town might consist of a Chief, a Lieutenant a couple of Sergeants and some patrolmen or just the Chief, a Sergeant for each shift and one or two patrolmen. For larger departments then you get into divisions, patrol, investigative, crime scene, jail and so forth. A Sheriff's Department would be similar to a large city's Police Department. I worked for both a small police department and a County sheriff's department.
You could also try going to your local Police Department and asking them for some information, letting them know that you are writing a story and would like some help on departmental structure. Some will be helpful. Don't forget the ten codes, though they are not used so much anymore, a few still are.
Posted: 11/11/2008 2:02 PM PST
RE: your local police department -- why not just call/visit them, explain your request and solicit their help?
As far as sources, generally it boils down to a laptop and a good library!
Posted: 11/8/2008 4:01 PM PST
you could perhaps try using Wiki:)
Posted: 11/8/2008 5:09 AM PST
It seems I just spent for freaking ever trying to find out what the command structure is within my local police department. I want to be as on-target with the details as I can be, since my project is speculative fiction and I'm already taking enough liberties as regards suspension of disbelief.
What resources do you use for fact-checking? Google was no help to me until I got really creative with my search terms. My bookmarks are full of great investigative procedure websites, as well as detailed courses on guns and so on. But for little things incidental to your writing, what have you found to be a reliable source?