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Sasha_Delaney
11-21-2011, 11:57 AM
Okay, so I'm writing a story about a werewolf who acts as a vigilante.

One of the protagonists is a police officer, (a detective, methinks, maybe a member of the gang squad) who starts catching on to the fact that seemingly unrelated deaths and disappearances are in fact, related.

Now, I know enough about my character's M.O. to know how he'd get away with it. It's pretty slick, actually. The thing is, for story purposes I want to police-officer investigating him (the werewolf) based on his own suspicions, not because he's assigned to the case. (The deaths are few and far between, and the disappearances are pretty infrequent as well, not to mention easily explainable . . . )

But as I am not a police-officer, and I don't know any on a personal level, I'm at a loss. I want my character to be more than just a cop stereotype, and I want to be able to get into his mind. What's more though, is that I want the finished product to be be as close to reality, (barring the supernatural vigilante) as possible. I want to accurately portray his suspicion, his pursuit of the truth, and his interaction with the werewolf. And in order to make this happen, I need to be able to speak with someone who works with the police force, preferable a detective, and/or somebody who is knowledgable about gangs and gang-violence. (The story is set in Tucson, Az, so if anybody is familiar with southern Arizona, or the SouthWest in general, that's a plus.)

I have a lot of questions, so if there is anybody with the right kind of expertise who'd be willing to help, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Stijn Hommes
11-21-2011, 02:07 PM
If he's going on his own suspicions instead of being assigned to the case, then no matter where he works, he's probably going to get in trouble with whoever is on the case (and with his superiors). That is pretty much the case regardless of jurisdiction.

Sasha_Delaney
11-21-2011, 04:46 PM
Ah . . . but see, the thing is, is that by this point in the story, it's not a "case" yet. Or at least, they haven't been put together as one.

The werewolf has been luring victims off the internet, and traveling out of town much more often than he's been hunting at home. One big, flashy mess when he first shows up, and couple disappearance over the course of three years.

And it's okay (in this case) if the policeman character catches heat from his superiors, because while he's one of my protagonists, he's not the focus of the story, the werewolf is.

ironmikezero
11-21-2011, 11:18 PM
I'd suggest making your detective a member of a federally sponsored multi-agency task force focused on internet crimes (fraud, identity theft, child exploitation/kiddie porn, etc.). That would eliminate any jurisdictional issues, and provide your investigator with a plausible rationale for discovering a pattern of clues that may put him/her on the trail of your MC.

The more vague yet enticing the trail, the more heat the investigator is likely to catch from the brass as it would appear to them that the more pedestrian (ground-ball) cases are not receiving adequate attention and arrest stats are consequently low. Good stats are critical, translating into favorable media coverage (political capital) and augmented resources (more manpower and funding).

Sasha_Delaney
11-22-2011, 06:33 AM
@ironmikezero The idea though, is that the werewolf is slick enough to get away with it. The reason that the police officer ties the missing criminals together is because he's already familiar with them and their habits, (if not through personal interaction/investigation than through professionally knowing how they operate), and he doesn't buy that this dealer or that pimp just mysteriously left town and cut all ties to whichever organization they belonged to. Also, I kind of want him pursuing it on his own time, as kind of an obsession. (Where are these guys dissappearing to, he wonders). And the only reason that the police officer thinks it's the werewolf is because he was (briefly) a suspect in a murder investigation. (He did it, but there was no substantial proof.)

The police-officer protagonist exists to contrast the werewolf protagonist, the pivotal scene in the story will be where the cop encounters the lycanthrope in full wolf-man form. There's a confrontation, but nobody dies, or at least that's the idea . . .

My goal, in posting this thread, is to find someone with law-enforcement experience who can answer my questions well enough to help me make the character and situation realistic and believable.

ajkjd01
11-22-2011, 06:37 AM
Go contact your local police department and ask if they have a ride a long program. Spend an evening or two seeing it first hand, and then you can ask questions of the officers you are riding with between calls.

Sasha_Delaney
11-22-2011, 08:27 AM
Theoretically, that's a good idea. In practice . . . not so much. For reasons I'd rather not discuss outside of a private message, that would be very much a last resort.