Monday, June 15, 2015

Writing About: A Police Station + Creative Blogger Award


I am co-hosting Unicorn Bell today: Dear Degree-less Writer

Blog Tour:


SK Anthony - Top 10 Detective Entertainment 

Spunk on a Stick's Tips - 10 Things Witches Do For Fun

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In quite a few of my books and WIPs, police stations are common settings. I may not vividly describe them and you don’t have to either. But if your characters go to a police station or if you’re writing a thriller/mystery with cops/detectives, this post will tell you about a few places in a police station you can write about. 

*Some stations in smaller areas may not have all of this and may need to rely on bigger stations elsewhere for aid.

1. Dispatch Room

This is where dispatchers work with computers and radio consoles to radio police officers. Calls for emergencies and non-emergencies come into this room and dispatchers relay information to officers about situations they need to respond to.

2. Records and Property Room

A records/property room is a secure storage area where old, new, and unsolved case files are kept as well as evidence. A technician is in charge of managing all the submitted property (evidence) by packaging, cataloging, and storing them.

3. Jail Cell

Every police station is equipped with jail cells (holding cells) to house prisoners for a short time before they are sent to larger jails or are bonded out. The jail portion of the station is made up of several barred cells. Typically there’s a bunk bed with a thin mattress, a blanket and pillow, as well as a toilet and sink in the other corner.

Image from Pixabay

4. Crime Lab

Crime labs have a few different parts to them. There’s the biology/trace evidence section that analyzes samplings and swabs such as body fluid (semen, saliva, blood). The drug/chemistry section tests controlled substances, and the firearms section examines bullets and firearms to see if they were involved in specific crimes. The identification/latent print section collects fingerprints, and the photography/imaging section processes photos.

*Crime labs can do more than what I listed here.

5. Interrogation Room

The interrogation room is where persons of interest are questioned. There’s usually a single table and two chairs inside an interrogation room. Most have one-way windows/mirrors with police officers/detectives on the other side who watch the interrogation and the suspect.
See: Writing About: Interrogations

6. Bullpen/Office

A bullpen is a large space of offices or cubicles where detectives and cops work on cases and do paperwork.

7. Waiting Area

This is a big space near the front entrance with chairs were civilians wait to speak to police officers, like hospital waiting rooms.

Image from Pixabay

8. Information Desk

A front/information desk is the first thing you see when you enter a police station. A police officer or other employee will be here to assist anyone with questions.

9. Locker Room

In a locker room you’ll find lockers assigned to police officers where they store their clothing, shoes, and personal hygiene products. There are also showers.

10. Conference Room

This is where all the police officers on shift go if the police commissioner or Chief of Police need to debrief them about something.

FYI: On top of these places, there’s also a garage, a gun range where police officers practice shooting, and booking rooms where prisoners are searched, photographed, and are read their rights before being led to a cell.



QUESTION: Have you ever been in a police station?


And...


The rules for accepting the award are:

1. Thank and post the link of the person who nominated you.
2. Share 5 facts about yourself to your readers.
3. Nominate 10-20 blogs and notify them.
4. Pass on the rules.

Thank you so much, Lori L. MacLaughlin, for nominating me for this award. I think being known as a creative blogger is so far the best title out of all the awards I've received.

I recently shared 20 random facts about myself and I don't want to repeat myself, so how about 5 lies instead?

1. I never sucked my thumb as a child.
2. My shoe size is 9.
3. I love heights.
4. Lizards are awesome!
5. And I am standing right behind you. BOO!


My Nominations:

1. J.H. Moncrieff - Her posts are always spooky and awesome.

2. Pat Hatt - You can't get anymore creative than with his rhymes. Although I don't think he accepted awards. Oh well, he's nominated anyway.

3. Patricia Lynne - The titles of her posts are creative just by themselves!

4. Michael G D'Agostino - His blog is full of shenanigans and fun.

5. Susan Flett Swiderski - She blogs just about anything and includes a thought for the day.

6. Sage at Sage Covered Hills - He shares his paddling adventures with us.

7. Yvonne Lewis - She shares details about her life in the form of poetry.

8. Jeffrey A Scott - Do you like to rant? Than Jeffrey's blog is what you're looking for.

9. Annalisa Crawford - She often shares smart and intriguing flash fiction.

10. Jay Noel - His posts always interest me. Whether he's talking about writing or mythology.


To be fair, I picked people I've never picked before (which was hard because there were a couple of bloggers I thought of for this award who received another from me) and made sure to do half men/half women.

Bye for now! :)


79 comments:

  1. Yes! I have been in a poice station, when my youngest son was injured playing football.
    Most interesting to read and informative to those who have never been "Inside".
    Yvonne.

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    1. Thanks, Yvonne. Did you notice that I nominated you for the Creative Blogger award? :)

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  2. I had to go to the police station to be fingerprinted for the foster parent program, but I don't really remember what it looked like.

    Your guest post is up today. I'm sorry I forgot on Friday.

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    1. Thanks, L. Diane! And that's okay. :)

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  3. Have visited the jail part of a police station, and a prison, as a visitor. But never got to see anything useful beyond that. So this valuable info - thanks Chrys. Have got to find out whether local police (Heddlu) operate from a similar station, here In North Wales, where current mystery is set.

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    1. I image some things would be similar and yet some things would be different in Wales or other parts of the world.

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  4. I don't think I've ever even been inside a real police station. I worked for government for 19 years, though, so I know how pared down everything always is in government!

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    1. I've never been in one either, so a lot of research was needed for this and my stories.

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  5. Congrats on the award, I liked the 5 lies you listed. Oh gosh, sadly, yes inside of a police station for incidents I won't get into, they can be just a bit intimidating.

    betty

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    1. Thank you, Betty! Oh jeez. I hope everything worked out fine in the end.

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  6. Congratulations on the award.
    I've never been in a police station, although I've been in a courthouse to pay for a speeding ticket. More than once I might add...

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    1. Thanks, Alex!

      You little speed demon. haha

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  7. I went inside a police station for cubs way back when. Wrote them in a few times in my books. An award you say, thanks from my bay. Telling 5 things, even one thing, is hard as the cat has already told everything lol

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    1. You're welcome, Pat! I know. It was hard to come up with five thing. That's why I chose lies. They were a lot easier. lol

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  8. Wow, thanks for the nomination. I shall do an acceptance post later this week. As for police station, I don't recall ever being in one, except to buy parking stickers for my car. The closest I've ever spent to spending any reasonable amount of time in a police station is I once had breakfast in a Dunkin' Donuts shop for breakfast and a few cops came in to get donuts and were discussing a case.
    PS - I did post those Anne journal entries. I'd love to hear your thoughts on how odd Jeffrey Scott wrote when he was only 19. Let me know if you can't find them. I gave description in the comments of your Anne post.

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    1. You're very welcome, Jeffery. :) It would've been neat to eavesdrop on those cops' conversation.

      Hmm...I didn't get an email notification for your journal post. I will check them out soon. :)

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    2. You probably didn't get the email because I back dated them to 1989. It seems whenever I do that, an email is never sent out.

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    3. Yes, that's why when I post new chapters to my story, you probably don't get updates either, because I back date those too. And there is specific reasons why I back-date some posts.

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  9. I've never been in a police station os that was cool to read! Way to go with the research :D

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  10. I went to the local police station when I got my identity stolen some years back. It was kind of eerie to see the jail cell so close. I can't remember if I ever visited a police station as part of a field trip.

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    1. I never went as part of a field trip, but I think it would've done good for some students who ended up doing bad things when they got older to see a police station and jail cells.

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  11. The police station in our little town probably doesn't have half those things but I know they share some resources with other municipalities nearby. Where I live we don't have police and have to call the state police if we need them.

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    1. Yes, smaller stations don't have as much as rely on stations in bigger cities for resources. Not having police in your area must be a pain when you do need them.

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  12. I love you five lies. So I will tell you one. No, I have never been in a police station. LOL Great post!
    sherry @ fundinmental

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  13. Hi Chrys, Congrats on the blog award :) This post is great because I may need to reference how a police station operates in my next project (I don't like to say book because I'm not sure where this is going). It might be a short story or a series...but this character popped into my head one day while I was driving. A little old lady who works on contract, undercover for the police. She is an unlikely investigator who has an uncanny way of getting to the suspect. Anyhow, she often visits one of the hunky police officers to get details of her next case. She enjoys flirting with him, too.
    I haven't written any crime so I have to research a little on tips for that.

    I didn't realize the crime lab was right at the station. I picture CSI Miami when I think of crime lab although that is pretty slick and probably not very realistic.I don't think I've ever been inside a police station. That's a good thing, right?

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    1. I understand about not wanting to say book because many of my projects end up being a short story or novella. I LOVE that concept, Lisa! I have a post about undercover operations coming up soon because I have written about that, so stay posted for those tips. :D

      And that is a very good thing. ;)

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    2. Fantastic! I look forwar to that one, Chrys!

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  14. This was useful! I've never actually been in a police station before. I feel like I need to visit one eventually to get a better feel. I figure a small town station might actually be a lot different from a bigger city one though. Funds and all that, they may not have all those features. Hm.

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    1. You're right, this post is more for what a big city station would be like. Smaller stations outside of big cities may have to rely on stations in the city for certain things.

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  15. Well, you seem to know your way around the police station, wanna tell us about it? ;) I think the jail in a police station is normally referred to as a holding cell, where prisoners are only held until transferred to a larger jail (or until they sleep it off). Thanks for the Blogging Award! It's a honor to know that you think I'm creative!

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    1. Haha! Just a lot of research. I've never even been inside a police station before. Yes, they can be called a jail cell or a holding cell.

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  16. Great advice! In one of my books someone has to report a crime, (it's in first person so we won't actually see the suspect getting arrested) so I'll have to keep some of this in mind!
    Congrats on the award!

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    1. Great! I love it when people say something one of their WIPs will benefit from one of my posts. :D

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  17. I've never been in a police station. I wonder if someone wanted to visit for research would they be allowed?

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    1. I think so. If someone had to, they could always call before hand and see if it was okay to get a little tour.

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  18. Thanks for the nomination :-) I agree, it's a very cool award to receive, so congrats!

    I've never been in a police station either - you obviously know a lot of law-abiding bloggers, Chrys :-)

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    1. You're so very welcome, Annalisa! And thank you!

      I am so proud of my law-abiding blogger friends. :D

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  19. Interesting post, Chrys. I've written about police stations before, and I'm sure I will again, so I'll be bookmarking this one. A cop source who will check your facts is always helpful too, and one of my closest friends is an RCMP officer (Mountie).

    Thanks, too, for the blog award! That's A LOT of people to tag, but I'll see what I can do. :)

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    1. A cop source really is the best thing you can have to make sure you're doing it right.

      You're very welcome! The rules initially said 15-20 bloggers but I thought that was too much, so I changed it to 10-20.

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  20. I did research back in January on the whole police/arrest procedure. It stopped my novel for three whole weeks because I became obsessed with every little detail. i did end up taking some creative liberties, but it has to be believable, at least! As always, great info. Thanks for sharing and congrats on the award:)

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    1. Creative liberties are good and needed for fiction but being authentic is important, especially when it comes to police procedures. Thanks, Quanie! :)

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  21. Great info, Chrys. You've hit all the important parts! I use a sheriff's station in one of my wips.

    Congrats on the creative blogger award!

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  22. Great post! I've never been in a police station. I've peeked in a few really small ones, though. Congrats on the award!

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  23. Information desk! OMG I was writing a scene and my MC walked into a police station and I could not remember what to call that area. Great timing with this post. Thanks.
    Thanks for the nomination. =)

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    1. When I was writing my WIP, I called it a front desk a time. :) You're welcome for this bit of information and for the much-deserved nomination. :)

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  24. Chrys, you always give the best advice for writing about certain people and places we are unfamiliar with. I have never been inside a police station other than the entrance to pay for tickets. Never been arrested but have had quite a few tickets, lol.
    Congratulations on the award! I, too, love heights. My goals one of these days is to skydive... Oh my!

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    1. At least you've never been arrested. Now if only you'd get less tickets. ;)

      Thank you! Tehe....the part about me loving heights was a lie...all of those were lies. :P

      Delete
  25. Some interesting stuff about police stations, and yes, I've been in them before .On more than one occasion. To be fingerprinted for an FBI background check before deploying to the G-8 with Georgia Emergency Management. (Quite an experience!) Also to spend the night for Y2K, when the powers that be around here were concerned about a possible disruption in service. Amateur radio operators were set up in vital operations centers all over the country. My hubby and I were chosen for the police station. But the BEST police station story is when I dragged my two sons there to have an officer talk to them. They didn't believe ME when I told them how dangerous throwing stars are. I told them they could NOT have any of those things, and then discovered they bought them, anyway. I chatted with an officer on the phone, and he said he'd be happy to set them straight. Scared the bejeezus out of them when I told them to get in the car, and then drove them to the station. (Trust me, they DID believe what the police officer told them!)

    Congrats on the award! Thanks for thinking of me, but I received it not that long ago, so I'm gonna pass this time around.

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    1. You're the second person to mention that had to go to one to be fingerprinted for something. I wanted to be fingerprinted...but you know, for fun and for research. :P

      That story about your son's is great. That is parenting at it's best! Good for you!

      Thank you, Susan. You're welcome and that's okay. I wasn't sure if you received it or not. :)

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  26. Very helpful. I've set some scenes inside a police station, but I was vague. I did use Google, but this list is way more helpful. Congrats on the award.

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    1. Sometimes being vague is appropriate when the characters don't work there or have to go to all of these different areas. I've been vague in some stories and in other I gave more detail. Thank you! :)

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  27. This post is so helpful for me as I know I'm going to be including a police station several times in my WIP. Going to bookmark this - thanks!

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    1. I'm glad you'll be able to use this post, Julie. :D

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  28. I love the posts that examine an element that can be used in your writing. It's a great idea and you own it! Good job, Chrys!

    Congrats to all the folks on their Creative Blogger Award! I think the badges are fun ways to pat someone on the back and all these bloggers definitely deserve it. Well done!

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    1. THANK YOU, CHERDO! :D

      I love the awards and to recognize great bloggers. It's so much fun and it's nice to give bloggers pats on their backs, as you said. :)

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  29. Great information, as always. I have been in a police station, very weird feeling because as soon as I see a police car - I feel guilty! I had to give my fingerprints for a job, ever since I've lived with this fear that my prints will materialize in a place they shouldn't! LOL

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    1. HAHA! That is an interesting fear and would make a great story...you're great at murder-mysteries...maybe you can turn it into one. ;)

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  30. "Lizards are awesome.." Ha! You are funny! Interesting post, this kind of research sure never hurts and is perfect when writing as a detective. We have a great many retired cops, detectives, EMTs., etc who speak at our Mystery Writer's Luncheons but their stories are never about the station itself ;-)

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    1. I put that little lie in there just for you, Diedre. ;)

      Those luncheons must be really interesting. I wish I could go to them.

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  31. As you know, much of the action in my MS takes place in a police station. This was excellent information. I may do some editing to incorporate the activity in this place more clearly!!!

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    1. Yes, I do know! And I thought you did good with it. :)

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  32. Great information. I'm saving it in case some of my characters get in trouble some day and end up at the police department. :) Our small town, population 6,000, doesn't have all of this, but the nearby larger town does.

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    1. And may your character get into trouble. ;)

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  33. Excellent information, particularly since readers of police procedurals tend to be very picky about details. I have been in a police station. With two cop brothers, and a job where I worked with police to permit events for a city on the West Coast, I had no choice. :-)

    VR Barkowski

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    1. Haha! You can't escape police stations, VR! ;)

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  34. Thanks Chrys. We learn so much about police precincts from our favourite TV shows, but it was great seeing the breakdown here. I'd hate to be in that cell!!

    Denise :-)

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    1. Sometimes, TV shows aren't totally accurate. I've heard that cops actually hate those shows because they aren't accurate or real.

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  35. Our local Sheriff's department used to always give a tour to students in high school. I suppose to learn and to try to dissuade you from ending up there. They ran a few driver's licenses for us and one fellow submitted his and the ticker just kept going, and going and going. He had a whole drawer of tickets at home. To their credit, they didn't hold him.
    I Saw it on Facebook @ Life & Faith in Caneyhead.

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    1. Oh gosh, it was nice of them not to hold him for having that many unpaid tickets.

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  36. You were right, I totally missed this :P I usually get an email when someone comments on my blog but there are some people for whom that doesn't happen (namely you, Robyn Engel and Gorilla Bananas).

    Don't feel like a jerk for the Inspiring Blogger Award - you're right, this is a MUCH better one to win. Thank you :)

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    1. I was wondering why you were silent about this. I didn't think you would be. That is weird that you don't get an email when I comment. I'm using blogger...nothing else. Hmm...

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