Saturday, April 25, 2009

Police Academy III...No, Still Not the Movie

Last post of pictures from my trip last week to the Mad Anthony Writers' Conference and Writers' Police Academy in Hamilton, OH. These are all from the second day, which included a number of courses on various aspects of police procedure, and included some hands-on show-and-tell sessions.

Assorted handcuffs and leg-irons. Quote of the day: "Yeah, you can try them on. Did anyone bring a key?" Note the three-hinge model on the left.

I was taking pictures of all the various objects in the show-and-tell session, most of which were being held by police officer and novelist Mike Black, who probably went home with spotted vision and a feeling of being stalked.

And it's Tazer time. Bright yellow to clearly show that it is not a gun, it is often holstered on the side opposite to the more lethal firearm. And yes, apparently cops have pulled their guns when they had meant to pull their Tazers. The firing mechanism has been removed for safety reasons. A tazer is a less-lethal weapon, but it is not non-lethal. People have died, but primarily people with other health reasons, especially drug users. A Tazer differs from a stun gun in that a tazer fires its electrodes from a distance, and a stun gun must make direct contact.

Another less-lethal weapon is the sock-round. I guess the term "non-lethal" is no longer used, since just about anything can kill or do serious damage if it hits the right place, or a person is just sensitive to it. These look like tiny little beanbags made out of a sock-like material. They seemed pretty innocuous sitting on the desk, but I can imagine they pack a quite a punch when projected at high speeds from a gun.

And these are definitely NOT non-lethal weapons, except for the orange one on the far right. Assorted revolvers and semi-automatics. One oft-repeated piece of info, "Revolvers do not eject cartridges." Police for many years carried revolvers, often with speed-loaders, so they could load all the chambers at once. But now most carry semi-automatics, with pre-loaded clips. These unloaded guns were available for us to handle after class. It made me wish I had not sat in front. The cops were great about only pointing weapons in safe directions. Some of the writer types, not so much. I don't care if it's been checked seventeen times and it's not loaded. Looking into the barrel of a gun is scary.


  1. Barb: You've done an excellent job on these posts-- makes me want to be a mystery writer!

    I linked to you on my blog post scheduled for this Wednesday the 29th, so others can see this fascinating journey of yours!
    Blessings, Jeanette

  2. Thanks, Jeanette. It really was a fun conference and a great learning experience for me.