View Full Version : Another police procedural question

03-30-2011, 06:09 AM
I think I may have written myself into a corner.

Veronica is dating a homicide detective. For reasons won't go into, she knows that two people have been abducted and are being held in the back storage room of a grocery store. She's also a possible target of the people who did this. She informs Daniel, the detective, of the situation from her home, by phone. I had Daniel sent a patrol car over to her house, with two uniformed officers.

First of all, is that realistic?

Secondly, now I don't know what to do, because I need Veronica to go over to the store and get involved in the showdown. I'm betting the uniforms wouldn't let that happen. Is there any way she could convince them to take her there? Could she get rid of them somehow? Am I going to have to have her sneak out of her window? How long would they hang around, anyway?

03-30-2011, 06:19 AM
Well, I think it's reasonably realistic, if a little conveniently coincidental. Just make sure the connection IS realistic.

My first thought about the second question is just to have her leave before the uniformed officers get there. Daniel tells her he's sending someone over to make sure she's okay, she protests, he insists; after they hang up she decides to leave before they get there.

You could even add a scene if you'd like. Veronica is spotted by the patrol car as she's speeding away. They "chase" her, but because they know she's Detective Daniel's girlfriend they don't push the chase. Will Veronica manage to get there in time or not. They all arrive at the grocery store at about the same time.

03-30-2011, 06:19 AM
1. Detectives do not dispatch patrol officers, central dispatch does. He would have to contact the dispatchers and request that a patrol officer be sent to a location. Procedurally, she should call 911.

2. They probably would not have come to her house, though, because that's not where the emergency is. If they did come, they would take a report from her and leave. They would not hang around and "protect her". Police officers are not bodyguards.

3. Patrol officers do not give rides to civilians, except in the case of a "ride-along" which requires it be scheduled in advance, a background check be done, a waiver be signed and (at least here in this town) you have to wear a bullet-proof vest. Worth it!

4. They are patrol officers, not uniforms.

5. If she wants to be involved, she should go there on her own.


03-30-2011, 07:11 AM
Thank you both, you've both given me what I needed! And Focus, I apologize if "uniforms" is inappropriate. My knowledge of police comes directly from tv. That's why I need you guys!

03-30-2011, 07:52 PM
Why make your story more complicated than it has to be? have your FMC go to the scene and call her BF detective on her cell phone.

He would notify dispatch. They would send patrol officers and supervision to the scene. After assessing what they have, they may call in hostage negotiators, or swat. The BF detective would come to the scene for two reasons, personal and professional.

03-30-2011, 09:08 PM
Well, I think in this case it *is* more complicated, as Veronica got her info psychically, and Daniel can't be sure it's reliable... so I'm thinking he's going to go investigate it himself, but maybe ask some patrol officers to accompany him...? Does that sound reasonable?

03-30-2011, 09:29 PM
Not in law enforcement, but I haven't heard you mention a reason for her to go. I hope you have a good one. I hope it isn't she's curious or she has to see for herself. That's awfully close to the TSTL file for me.

03-31-2011, 02:58 AM
No, she has other reasons. And while the reader may stress out about it, I'm hoping I bring it home that it's a good thing she went. But we'll see. This is a first draft.

ETA: what are you referring to when you say "Not in law enforcement"? Are you saying it's unreasonable for him to ask patrol officers to come along?

03-31-2011, 05:10 AM
I'm just saying that I'm not a cop, so I can't legitimately answer the police procedural questions. I have no idea what he can or can't ask the patrol officers to do. I would imagine, though, that the rules aren't uniform from city to city and town to town. Certainly local laws vary dramatically. I can't imagine that certain procedures wouldn't also.