View Full Version : Police position

12-29-2013, 06:52 AM
I have a main character that I'd like to be part of the state police. He needs to:

A: Be involved in a trying to get back a kidnapped child;

B: Keeps involved when a county deputy switches out as the hostage in place of the child;

C: He remains involved through the rescue.

Is it possible that someone would be involved through the entire process? What would their position/title be?

T Robinson
12-29-2013, 07:19 AM
It is possible, but it depends on how you write it. First priority is determining jurisdiction. If he is state police, he would probably have police powers through the entire state, but it would take a special scenario for him to be involved in the first place.

County sheriffs are jealous people, for the most part, in the sense that if it happens in their county, they want to be in charge in front of the voters. They are the highest elected police position in their individual county.

Next, I am sure a deputy would swap places with a kidnapped child, but what possible incentive could the kidnapper have with agreeing with this? Trading a relatively weak, inexperienced child for a trained adult? Not logical without a tremendous reason.

To answer your specific question, he could be a member of something like we have here. A CART team (Child Abduction Response Team) consisting of State probation, State parole, Local county deputies and assorted others. We have a detailed plan of steps involved and procedures and policies to follow whenever we have an Amber Alert in our area. That would be an idea that would keep him involved through the entire incident, if he was a team member.

12-30-2013, 01:30 AM
Make the character an assigned detective (State Police, Criminal Investigations Division) with a collateral duty as an ad hoc hostage negotiator. He'll stay involved throughout the case.

12-30-2013, 02:06 AM
Excellent! That's just what I needed.

12-30-2013, 08:09 PM
Police "turf wars" are really something of a fictional element. No agency works alone and any agency routinely uses outsiders who have special training. If the State guy has started the job, he likely won't be replaced without a good reason and then he'll be kept close by.

The big issue is your switching of hostages. That never happens. No agency will knowingly place anyone additional at harm. If a hostage taker is willing to swap hostages, they are willing to let one go and don't need a replacement. The mentality of hostage situations doesn't work out that way.

The way to write around it is for the child to make a run for it and a deputy to run to intercept the hostage taker and keep him from recovering her. Only the hostage taker gets a loaded weapon pointed at the officer's head and takes him hostage as a replacement. Also adds to the tension of the situation and makes for some cool writing. :)


12-30-2013, 08:43 PM
I worked out the plotline this morning and did change it so it isn't a hostage swap. The depute finds them by accident while working on a routine hit and run. He stays voluntarily because the kid is diabetic and he administer the insulin shots. The kidnaper is the kid's father and going through cocaine withdrawal so isn't very rational. In the opening scene he killed his estranged wife who was threatening to take away visitation because he wasn't paying child support.

The other MC gets to save the day, but not in a gun battle. He negotiates with the father.