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Ender
06-13-2016, 10:40 PM
Hi, I am writing up a mystery/thriller novel. I am stuck in a scene. There is a serial killer roaming around in the city, and then there is a secret security or emergency briefing or something like that in the Police Department where the authorities vows to catch the bad guy. But I don't know how this kind of briefing is carried out. I would like to write a realistic approach on this kind of briefing step by step.

Who are present in this kind of briefing, besides the detectives? What do they do there?

Many thanks in advance!

Helix
06-14-2016, 02:55 AM
Plenty of knowledgeable people here, but you might need to provide a bit more info for them.

What country? What city?

cornflake
06-14-2016, 03:00 AM
Also, a briefing for whom? The press? An internal briefing? An interagency briefing?

cmhbob
06-14-2016, 03:06 AM
I can give you some general information, assuming a Western police agency.

It wouldn't be "secret." It would involve every patrolling officer.

There will be specific information given, as much as they know: description of the suspect, to include any known vehicle info, even if it's just "dark blue older Chevy sedan;" known areas that they've attacked; known MO (favored locations, tools items, etc.); favored victim; etc. They might be told information that hasn't been released to the public yet, and notified that it's "hold-back," or some similar term. That way, they know to listen/look for this info, but not release it ro discuss it with the press.

If there's a stakeout team, patrol officers will be told where it's working, and any special identifying marks of the team (like they're all wearing something orange).

Ender
06-14-2016, 07:15 AM
Thanks for the replies, guys. My story is set in Detroit, Michigan, USA. I was thinking of internal briefings in the Detroit Police Department. I don't know much about how works a Police Department at internal level.

- What's an interagency briefing? Is it like Police + FBI + another law enforcement agency, right?

- Is there any document about DPD's rules and procedures or something like that? Is it possible?

Thanks in advance.

cornflake
06-14-2016, 07:50 AM
I can give you some general information, assuming a Western police agency.

It wouldn't be "secret." It would involve every patrolling officer.

There will be specific information given, as much as they know: description of the suspect, to include any known vehicle info, even if it's just "dark blue older Chevy sedan;" known areas that they've attacked; known MO (favored locations, tools items, etc.); favored victim; etc. They might be told information that hasn't been released to the public yet, and notified that it's "hold-back," or some similar term. That way, they know to listen/look for this info, but not release it ro discuss it with the press.

If there's a stakeout team, patrol officers will be told where it's working, and any special identifying marks of the team (like they're all wearing something orange).

This is veeeery dependent on size and scope of department, as well as what we're talking about. The above assumes there are identifiers to look for (a vehicle or description of a suspect). A sizeable department is not telling patrol cops unreleased info, or briefing the patrol cops, at all, about the particulars of a high-level, secretive investigation. If they're actively looking for an identifiable suspect, each precinct will have that info, sure, but that's true for any suspect.


Thanks for the replies, guys. My story is set in Detroit, Michigan, USA. I was thinking of internal briefings in the Detroit Police Department. I don't know much about how works a Police Department at internal level.

- What's an interagency briefing? Is it like Police + FBI + another law enforcement agency, right?

- Is there any document about DPD's rules and procedures or something like that? Is it possible?

Thanks in advance.

Internal to whom? Yes, interagency would be like if the Detroit PD became aware of an operating serial killer the FBI would come in and there'd likely be a briefing.

jclarkdawe
06-14-2016, 04:09 PM
What purpose is the briefing expected to accomplish? When you figure out the purpose, you figure out who needs to be invited to the briefing.

Most police departments, prior to the start of every shift, hold a briefing in which the watch officer says what's going on that the patrol officers need to know. Need to know is often the major criteria in what's told to someone, with this changing for politicians.

Jim Clark-Dawe

WeaselFire
06-14-2016, 10:49 PM
These briefings are routine and they're called roll calls. All officers on a shift show up at the start of their shift, assignments and duties are handed out, major trends or things to watch for are discussed and persons of interest or other suspects are often added to the clipboard. They're usually boring, the class clown is always acting out and the sergeant or or whomever is in charge congratulates someone and yells at someone else.

Most agencies have two or three patrols a day (8 hour or 12 hour shifts) and the roll call briefing is updated for each shift. Briefings are posted for review by anyone who was off or who is currently out on detail. Each briefing includes any pertinent details to the cases at hand for that agency's or district's patrol. Detectives and other special investigators may or may not attend, but they get the information.

Jeff