Tag Archives: law enforcement

Guest on Inside Thrill Radio

I was recently a guest on Inside Thrill Radio. I was one of three guests on the show, all of whom had background in law enforcement and utilized the experience to write crime fiction. It was a great discussion. Here is the link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/suspensemagazine/2017/10/26/inside-thrill-radio-with-special-guests-micki-browning-jj-hensley-and-isabell

J.J. Hensley is the author of RESOLVE, a Thriller Award finalist which is set against the backdrop of the Pittsburgh Marathon, Measure Twice, Chalk’s Outline, and other works. Hensley is a former police officer and former Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service.

Former Pittsburgh narcotics detective Trevor Galloway has been hired to look into the year-old homicide of a prominent businessman who was gunned down on his estate in Central Pennsylvania. When Galloway arrives, he determines the murder could have only been committed by someone extremely skilled in two areas: Skiing and shooting. He believes the assailant should not be too difficult to identify given the great amount of skill and athleticism needed to pull off the attack. When he discovers the victim’s property is next door to a biathlon training camp, the situation becomes significantly more complicated.

Galloway makes plenty of enemies as he sifts through stories about lucrative land deals, possible drug connections, and uncovers evidence suggesting the homicide may have been elaborate suicide. As he attempts to navigate through an unfamiliar rural landscape, he does his best not to succumb to an old drug addiction, or become confused by one of his occasional hallucinations. Oh, and a Pittsburgh drug gang enforcer known as The Lithuanian—if he’s even real—is tracking Galloway and wants to take his eyes. Galloway would rather keep those.

In Bolt Action Remedy, the typically quiet streets of Washaway Township, Pennsylvania become the epicenter of a mystery involving elite athletes and old grudges. For Galloway, the problems keep piling up and somebody out there believes problems should be dealt with by employing the most permanent of remedies.

AVAILABLE NOW!

image1Cyprus Keller wants a future.
Jackson Channing has a past.
Robert Chalk has a rifle and a mission.  Kill Cyprus Keller and anyone who gets in his way.

 

An addict is killing Pittsburgh city officials, but Homicide Detective Jackson Channing has his own addiction.

cropped-measure-twice-750-x-1200-jpeg.jpg

Also:

In the Pittsburgh Marathon, more than 18,000 people will participate. 4,500 people will attempt to cover the full 26.2 miles. Over 200 of the participants will quit, realizing it just wasn’t their day. More than 100 will get injured and require medical treatment. One man is going to be murdered.  When Dr. Cyprus Keller lines up to start the race, he knows a man is going to die for one simple reason. He’s going to kill him.

resolve-cover art CL (1)

Finalist – 2014 International Thriller Writers Awards – Best First Novel
Named one of the BEST BOOKS of 2013 by Suspense Magazine!
Top Ten Books of the Year – Authors on the Air

 And look for my short story FOUR DAYS FOREVER in the LEGACY anthology

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Zootopia: The Most Realistic Cop Movie Ever

Shootouts:  None
Unlocked doors kicked in:  None
Unrealistic computer hacking:  None
Questionable uses of discretion:  Some – but, what did you expect?  We’re talking about animals here.

20140725_130317

Disney’s Zootopia is the story of Officer Judy Hopps who attempts to unravel a series of disappearances in the metropolis of Zootopia.  In the past, I’ve been highly critical of television police dramas and unrealistic Hollywood productions that do a horrible job of portraying my former profession. Zootopia does a fantastic job of avoiding thed usual pitfalls of the cop drama, while lending realism to policing in movies (you know… other than the fact the characters are cartoon animals).  So, how realistic is this film?  Extremely.

Exhibit 1:  Officer Hopps, the first bunny on the force, uses a criminal informant (a fox named Nick Wilde) who has access to animals and information that cops don’t.  Hopps coerced Wilde into helping her by holding damaging information over his head.  This is the way it works with C.I.’s.  You have to get leverage and then use it wisely.

Exhibit 2:  Hopps has limited access to information.  Her own department has basically cut her out of the loop and limited her ability to use department resources.  Unlike NCIS in which Tim McGee or Abby Sciuto simply hack into restricted databases and violate countless state and federal laws in order to obtain information, Hopps has to get creative in order to run a license plate.  Through Nick Wilde, Hopps develops a contact named Flash at the DMV.  Contacts like this are invaluable in real world law enforcement, although the most helpful ones aren’t incredibly slow sloths that work at the DMV.  Rather, they are incredibly slow humans who work at the DMV.

Exhibit 3:  Hopps mostly stays within the law and even cites the requirement to have probable cause to search property.  In fact, Hopps is frequently careful not to violate rights, search without warrants, and is constantly respectful to the public.  Sure, she colors outside the lines when pushed, but who am I to judge?  I never had a water buffalo as a police chief.

Exhibit 4:  Officer Hopps gets caught up in city and departmental politics.  As in real life, law enforcement gets caught in between society’s problems and those who want to capitalize off of fear.  While a vast majority of the officers in the Zootopia Police Department (ZPD) are honest and hardworking, the department is put in the impossible position of bringing order to society while those with political ambitions stoke the fires of anger and discrimination.  In fact, I’d say the movie Zootopia is a better political commentary than anything I’ve seen this election year.  Contrary to recent political events, the film made my family laugh instead of cry which was a bonus.

So, forget Dirty Harry, Bad Boys, and Lethal Weapon.  Zootopia is policing at it’s best.  It has intrigue, suspense, politics, criminal informants, and the most ingenious and complex popsicle con ever invented.  Seriously, it’s a brilliant operation.  Go see this film and see if you don’t want to put in your application for the ZPD.  I know I do.

Did you see the movie?  Feel free to comment below.

J.J. Hensley is the author of RESOLVE, which is set against the backdrop of the Pittsburgh Marathon, Measure Twice, Chalk’s Outline, and other works. Hensley is a former police officer and former Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service.

image1Cyprus Keller wants a future.
Jackson Channing has a past.
Robert Chalk has a rifle and a mission.  Kill Cyprus Keller and anyone who gets in his way.

2014

An addict is killing Pittsburgh city officials, but Homicide Detective Jackson Channing has his own addiction.

cropped-measure-twice-750-x-1200-jpeg.jpg

Also:

In the Pittsburgh Marathon, more than 18,000 people will participate. 4,500 people will attempt to cover the full 26.2 miles. Over 200 of the participants will quit, realizing it just wasn’t their day. More than 100 will get injured and require medical treatment. One man is going to be murdered.  When Dr. Cyprus Keller lines up to start the race, he knows a man is going to die for one simple reason. He’s going to kill him.

resolve-cover art CL (1)

Finalist – 2014 International Thriller Writers Awards – Best First Novel
Named one of the BEST BOOKS of 2013 by Suspense Magazine!
Top Ten Books of the Year – Authors on the Air

 And look for my short story FOUR DAYS FOREVER in the LEGACY anthology

 

 

Is There Really a “War” Against Law Enforcement?

Throughout the past couple of years, the public perception of law enforcement has become increasingly negative due to several high-profile incidents in which officers or agents either exceeded their authority, or were believed to have done so.  At times, some media outlets have fanned the flames and rushed to judgment and shaped the “facts” to fit a narrative that would help to create outrage and therefore generate ratings.  Some law enforcement officers are not without blame as we have seen most recently in Chicago where not only did an officer improperly apply force, but it appears multiple members of the police department and city government conspired to conceal a homicide.  Although I have been extremely critical of some police actions, I am still sometimes accused of being a police apologist whenever I have emphasized the need for objectivity and calm in the face of controversial acts that understandably generate strong emotions.  Some in law enforcement believe that the negative shift in public perception is part of a “war” against law enforcement that is being played out on our televisions and through social media.  I have a different take.

“War” = Ratings = Attention

The matchup between these two heavyweight boxers is going to be an absolute WAR!

There is a WAR on Christmas!

The WAR on drugs, the WAR on poverty, the WAR on Christian values, etc.., etc., etc.

Philosopher and Theologian James Childress describes the use of the word “war” as a dilemma:  “In debating social policy through the language of war, we often forget the moral reality of war.”

I tend to agree with Childress and would add that not only does the using the language of war while discussing social issues cause us to forget the harsh realities of war, but it polarizes debates and changes the mode of communication from meaningful conversations to relentless battles.  Conversations include ideas whereas battles ultimately result in casualties on both sides.

So why all this talk about war?  It’s simple.  Throughout history, if you want to mobilize the masses then you claim you are at war against a formidable enemy – be it physical or ideological.  Additionally, if you want to rally your followers and generate increased support then you need to control the media.  Major media outlets are controlled by massive corporations and therefore we constantly hear about the WAR against Christmas or the WAR against illegal immigration, but not about the WAR against corporate tax loopholes.  That war does not exist because the media has not declared that social problem to be worthy of inflammatory terminology.

The Treatment of Law Enforcement Officials is Getting Worse

This is absolutely true.  As our society has become more polarized in our beliefs and respect for governmental authority has decreased, the police have become targets of verbal and physical assaults.  As a former law enforcement officer, I admit there are times I have to make sure I don’t get an “us versus them” mentality when discussing the police and those who are heavily critical regardless of the facts.  The best way for me to do this is to keep things in a historical perspective.

In the United States, there is a long history of police forces being used as a tool for oppression.  This is a sad fact that is evidenced by how some organizations were utilized throughout the civil rights movement.  Additionally, police are the most visible symbol of governmental authority which is fine until people become disenchanted with the government and believe the government is responsible for society’s failures.  Therefore, in a polarized society where 24/7 media outlets are quick to assign blame and use terms such as WAR, people lash out at the most visible and accessible symbol of governmental authority.  The hard truth is that most people do not know the name of their Senator, but they sure know what the local police cruiser looks like.

No –  There is No War on the Police

I do not believe there is a WAR on the police any more than I believe there is a WAR against Christmas.  Law enforcement as a profession is going through a difficult time and is suffering from wounds that are sometimes self-inflicted, but often caused by misconceptions, misinformation, and the hunger for ratings.  For decades, departments have tried to remind us that 99 percent of police officer are doing a great job.  However, that claim has become a cliché that is often falling on deaf ears.  Social media outlets are being flooded with videos of law enforcement officers doing the wrong thing, but few remember that it is rare for anyone to find it worth while to post videos of the police doing their jobs with honor.

In response to these difficult times, many law enforcement organizations (such as those where I live in the area of Pittsburgh, PA) are changing their ways, becoming more transparent, and joining forces with the community to improve both operations and perceptions.  These changes result in conversations, rather than battles.  The removal of violent terminology opens the door to reason and accountability and discourages knee jerk reactions.  The challenges police are facing on our streets are real and can be horribly violent.  To ignore this would be naïve and irresponsible.  However, we must be careful not to buy into the WAR mentality that is being pushed on us at every turn.

When a society believes it is at war with its protectors, it’s time for everyone involved to take a big step back from the frontlines.

Maybe it's time to put the pin back in this thing

Maybe it’s time to put the pin back in this thing

If you have any thoughts on the matter, feel free to leave a comment below.

 

 

J.J. Hensley is the author of RESOLVE, which is set against the backdrop of the Pittsburgh Marathon, Measure Twice, and other works. Hensley is a former police officer and former Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service.

https://hensleybooks.wordpress.com
http://www.hensley-books.com
https://www.facebook.com/hensleybooks
https://www.goodreads.com/JJHensley
Twitter @JJHensleyauthor

AVAILABLE NOW!

An addict is killing Pittsburgh city officials, but Homicide Detective Jackson Channing has his own addiction.

cropped-measure-twice-750-x-1200-jpeg.jpg

Also:

In the Pittsburgh Marathon, more than 18,000 people will participate. 4,500 people will attempt to cover the full 26.2 miles. Over 200 of the participants will quit, realizing it just wasn’t their day. More than 100 will get injured and require medical treatment. One man is going to be murdered.  When Dr. Cyprus Keller lines up to start the race, he knows a man is going to die for one simple reason. He’s going to kill him.

Resolve

Finalist – 2014 International Thriller Writers Awards – Best First Novel
Named one of the BEST BOOKS of 2013 by Suspense Magazine!
Top Ten Books of the Year – Authors on the Air

 And look for my short story FOUR DAYS FOREVER in the LEGACY anthology

Legacy cover

February 2016

image1Cyprus Keller wants a future.
Jackson Channing has a past.
Robert Chalk has a rifle and a mission.  Kill Cyprus Keller and anyone who gets in his way.

National Police Week – Remembering the Fallen

It’s National Police Week in the United States, so I decided not to write-up a typical blog post.  Instead I chose to simply list the names of the 126 officers who lost their lives in 2014.  These people were not just officers.  They were husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters.  Their parents remember holding them for the first time, dropping them off for their first day of kindergarten, watching them play little league baseball, and go on their first dates.  They had friends, they joked, they cried, they did great things, and they were as fallible as any of us.  They were people just like you and me.

Working in law enforcement has, and has always had, challenges few can understand. As of late, things have become particularly difficult as specific actions by some officers have come under heavy scrutiny (sometimes with reason). However, the narrative being promoted by many in and around the media has become irrational and the reflexive responses by some involved in policing has only fanned the flames. Let this week be a time to remember the fallen and to advocate rational analyses of individual police actions for everyone’s benefit.

police

Here is the list provide by http://www.policeweek.org/roll_call.html:

Garrett Jeffrey 10/27/14 AL Dothan Police Department
Hart James 11/23/14 AL Elmore County Sheriff’s Office
Kelley William 4/18/14 AL Covington County Sheriff’s Office
Williamson John 10/25/14 AL Butler County Sheriff’s Office
Johnson Patrick 5/1/14 AK Alaska State Troopers
Rich Gabriel 5/1/14 AK Alaska State Troopers
Hobbs John 3/3/14 AZ Phoenix Police Department
Payne David 10/31/14 AZ Chandler Police Department
Stewart Tyler 12/27/14 AZ Flagstaff Police Department
Richardson Allen “Pete” 3/17/14 AE Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office
Corder Jordan 9/30/14 CA Covina Police Department
Cortijo Christopher 4/9/14 CA Los Angeles Police Department
Davis, Jr. Michael 10/24/14 CA Placer County Sheriff’s Department
Del Fiorentino Ricky 3/19/14 CA Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office
Diamond Shaun 10/29/14 CA Pomona Police Department
Gonzalez Juan 2/17/14 CA California Highway Patrol
Hewell Scott 6/11/14 CA Stockton Police Department
Kostiuchenko Yevhen 10/28/14 CA Ventura County Sheriff’s Office
Law Brian 2/17/14 CA California Highway Patrol
Lee Nicholas 3/7/14 CA Los Angeles Police Department
Mitchell Timothy 12/30/14 CA Avalon Harbor Patrol
Oliver Danny 10/24/14 CA Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department
Sanchez Roberto 5/3/14 CA Los Angeles Police Department
Smith, Jr. Tom 1/21/14 CA Bay Area Rapid Transit Police Department
Baldwin David 1/26/14 CO Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office
German Robert 3/22/14 FL Windermere Police Department
Horne Michael 1/27/09 FL Hendry County Sheriff’s Office
Kondek, Jr. Charles 12/21/14 FL Tarpon Springs Police Department
Larson Mark 3/24/14 FL Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office
Pine Jonathan 2/11/14 FL Orange County Sheriff’s Office
Richard Chelsea 5/3/14 FL Florida Highway Patrol
Smith Christopher 11/22/14 FL Leon County Sheriff’s Office
Hawk Noel 5/4/14 GA Eatonton Police Department
Jordan Kevin 5/31/14 GA Griffin Police Department
Norris Michael 9/14/14 GA Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
Thomas Steven 5/21/14 GA Franklin County Sheriff’s Office
Morrissy James 3/17/14 IL Oak Forest Police Department
Calvin Jacob 6/28/14 IN Tipton County Sheriff’s Office
Renn Perry 7/5/14 IN Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department
Schultz Nickolaus 9/7/14 IN Merrillville Police Department
Westerfield Jeffery 7/6/14 IN Gary Police Department
Snider Howard 6/17/12 IA Ames Police Department
Harwood Jason 9/7/14 KA Topeka Police Department
Branham Bobby 5/14/13 KY Louisville Division of Police
Bares, Jr. Allen 6/23/14 LA Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office
Foster, Jr. James 12/30/14 LA Denham Springs Police Department
Papillion, Jr. Carlos 1/28/14 LA St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office
Clagett Jamel 12/21/14 MD Charles County Sheriff’s Office
Maloney Gregory 4/1/14 MA Plymouth Police Department
Simmonds Dennis 4/10/14 MA Boston Police Department
Charles Chad 5/21/14 MI Michigan Department of Corrections
Whitaker Grant 12/7/14 MI Ingham County Sheriff’s Office
Patrick Scott 7/30/14 MN Mendota Heights Police Department
Collum John 5/9/14 MS Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks
Street John 12/16/14 MS George County Sheriff’s Office
Chism Matthew 11/2/14 MO Cedar County Sheriff’s Office
Johnson, Jr. Eddie 10/20/14 MO Alton Police Department
Dunn, I Joseph 8/14/14 MT Cascade County Sheriff’s Office
Baker Amanda 2/16/14 NE Scotts Bluff County Detention Center
Hecker Mark 8/12/14 NE Butler County Sheriff’s Office
Beck Alyn 6/8/14 NV Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
Soldo Igor 6/8/14 NV Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
Arkell Stephen 5/12/14 NH Brentwood Police Department
Arocha, Jr. Reinaldo 9/16/14 NJ Newark Police Department
Goodell Christopher 7/17/14 NJ Waldwick Police Department
Petruzzello Stephen 12/29/14 NJ Cliffside Park Police Department
Santiago Melvin 7/13/14 NJ Jersey City Police Department
Haase Anthony 10/26/14 NM Rio Rancho Police Department
Bordonaro Frank 7/8/14 NY Genesee County Sheriff’s Office
Choi Thomas 12/29/14 NY Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority Police
Guerra Dennis 4/9/14 NY New York City Police Department
Liu Wenjian 12/20/14 NY New York City Police Department
Mayville Douglas 4/9/14 NY Albany Police Department
Pierson Daryl 9/3/14 NY Rochester Police Department
Ramos Rafael 12/20/14 NY New York City Police Department
Skinner Christopher 5/29/14 NY New York State Police
Smith, Jr. David 3/31/14 NY Johnson City Police Department
Williams Michael 9/21/14 NY New York City Police Department
Greene Jeffrey 11/19/14 NC Union County Sheriff’s Office
Klingenschmidt Stanley 6/15/13 NC Southern Pines Police Department
Thalmann Alexander 3/31/14 NC New Bern Police Department
Paris, Sr. Michael 8/1/12 OH Ohio State Highway Patrol
Winebrenner Justin 11/16/14 OH Akron Police Department
Beck Brian 1/23/14 OK Washita County Sheriff’s Office
Chase Kelley 10/13/12 OK Oklahoma City Police Department
Fisher Terry 1/12/14 OK Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office
Weeks Mitchell 1/6/12 OK McAlester Police Department
Willhight Kristian 1/23/14 OK Burns Flat Police Department
Champion Richard 12/14/14 PA Perryopolis Borough Police Department
Dickson, II Bryon 9/12/14 PA Pennsylvania State Police
Kedra David 9/30/14 PA Pennsylvania State Police
Pierce Sheryl 9/14/13 PA South Londonderry Township Police Department
Matuskovic Joseph 9/8/14 SC Charleston County Sheriff’s Office
Smith, Jr. Holmes 11/5/14 SC Clarendon County Sheriff’s Department
Johnson David 1/12/14 TN Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office
Perritt Darrell 11/4/14 TN Maury County Sheriff’s Department
Petrina Michael 5/10/14 TN Metro Nashville Police Department
Buckles Paul 5/30/14 TX Potter County Sheriff’s Office
Dinwiddie Charles 5/11/14 TX Killeen Police Department
Dixon Wayland 6/19/14 TX Little River-Academy Police Department
Hollis Jessica 9/18/14 TX Travis County Sheriff’s Office
Johnson, Jr. Cleveland 8/28/14 TX Titus County Constable’s Office
Kelley Marc 3/14/14 TX Trinity University Police Department
Martinez, Sr. Alejandro 11/21/14 TX Willacy County Sheriff’s Office
Naylor Michael 10/9/14 TX Midland County Sheriff’s Office
Pimentel Michael 8/23/14 TX Elmendorf Police Department
Valdez, III Jesse 10/29/14 TX Harris County Sheriff’s Office
Wride Cory 1/30/14 UT Utah County Sheriff’s Office
Berger Bryan 4/28/14 VA Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office
House, III Percy 1/31/14 VA Greensville County Sheriff’s Office
Jones Brian 5/30/14 VA Norfolk Police Department
Hansen Derek 3/28/14 WA Wapato Police Department
Seversen Michael 4/14/14 WI Polk County Sheriff’s Office
Albarati-Casana Osvaldo 2/26/13 Federal U.S. Dept. of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons
Baskett Michael 11/26/13 Federal U.S. Dept. of Justice – Federal Bureau of Prisons
Cabrera Jair 5/24/14 Federal Salt River Police Department, Tribal Police
Crisp Jason 3/12/14 Federal U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. Forest Service Law Enforcement and Investigations
Feldt Brian 12/23/13 Federal U.S. Dept. of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons
Giannini Alexander 5/28/14 Federal U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Border Patrol
Holtz Clinton 1/17/14 Federal U.S. Capitol Police
Kountz Brandon 3/31/13 Federal U.S. Dept. of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons
Mayo Mark 3/24/14 Federal United States Navy Security Forces
McKnight Frank 5/29/14 Federal U.S. Dept. of Justice, U.S. Marshals Service
Montoya, Sr. Ernest 11/30/14 Federal Navajo Division of Public Safety, Tribal Police
Robledo Tyler 9/12/14 Federal U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Border Patrol
Amaro-Fantauzzi Geniel 8/25/14 PR Puerto Rico Police Department
Correa-Ortega Joaquin 3/10/14 PR Puerto Rico Police Department
Morales-Santiago Marielis 4/10/14 PR Puerto Rico Police Department
Mujica de Leon Francisco 12/20/10 PR Puerto Rico Department of Justice
Rivera-Vega Carlos 1/21/14 PR Puerto Rico Police Department
Torres-Marin Mario 12/20/10 PR Puerto Rico Department of Justice

 

 

J.J. Hensley is the author of RESOLVE, which is set against the backdrop of the Pittsburgh Marathon, Measure Twice, and other works. Hensley is a former police officer and former Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service.

https://hensleybooks.wordpress.com
http://www.hensley-books.com
https://www.facebook.com/hensleybooks
https://www.goodreads.com/JJHensley
Twitter @JJHensleyauthor

AVAILABLE NOW!

An addict is killing Pittsburgh city officials, but Homicide Detective Jackson Channing has his own addiction.

cropped-measure-twice-750-x-1200-jpeg.jpg

Also:

In the Pittsburgh Marathon, more than 18,000 people will participate. 4,500 people will attempt to cover the full 26.2 miles. Over 200 of the participants will quit, realizing it just wasn’t their day. More than 100 will get injured and require medical treatment. One man is going to be murdered.  When Dr. Cyprus Keller lines up to start the race, he knows a man is going to die for one simple reason. He’s going to kill him.

Resolve

Finalist – 2014 International Thriller Writers Awards – Best First Novel
Named one of the BEST BOOKS of 2013 by Suspense Magazine!
Top Ten Books of the Year – Authors on the Air

 

 And look for my short story FOUR DAYS FOREVER in the LEGACY anthology

Legacy cover

 

Moments with the Badge: Pregnant Drunks, Presidents, and Poorly Thought-out Suicide Attempts

I’m frequently asked if I draw upon my experiences in law enforcement for my writing.  I do, but rarely do I use any specific incidents.  The reason I avoid doing this is that I want my work to feel authentic to the reader and sometimes law enforcement is actually stranger than fiction.  I’m often concerned that if I refer to an actual event when writing a novel, the retelling of the real story will end up feeling too unrealistic – even for fiction.  However, I do try to take bits and pieces from my past and integrate those experiences into my books.

Lately, I’ve been thinking of some of these moments and I came up with 10 which I think demonstrate how the profession of law enforcement is unlike any other.  Some of the events were absurd.  Some were enlightening to me at the time.  Some involved coincidences that are difficult to believe.  All of them show why we should never assume what a “normal” day might be for a person carrying the badge.

1.  As a patrol officer, once I was dispatched to drive my patrol car past a spot where someone was shooting at cars that were traveling past that spot.  Think about that for a moment.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

2.  Several years ago, I was part of a major manhunt for an individual believed to be in Washington, D.C.  We had a one hour briefing and a dozen agents were tasked to methodically check various parts of the large city.  We had maps.  We had equipment.  We had detailed plans.  We were prepared for long days of scouring the streets for this needle in a haystack.  At the conclusion of the briefing, I drove out of the office parking garage and immediately spotted the individual who happened to be walking past our building.

3.  I had to write a report about the Vice President shooting his hunting partner in the face.  Oddly, this event only happened once in my career.

4.  The first time I tried to kick in a door, I bounced right off.  The same thing happened the second and third times.  I came to the conclusion that cop shows on TV might be a tad bit unrealistic.

5.  During a foot pursuit through a Virginia shopping mall, a suspect ended up on a ledge and threatened to jump.  I said, “Go ahead.”  He jumped.  He had been 6 feet off the ground.  Shockingly, he lived.

jump

6.  As a rookie agent at the 2000 Democratic Convention in L.A., I was instructed not to let any of the scheduled greeters onto the airport tarmac until the White House staff showed up with a verification list.  The staff member did not show up until Air Force One was landing, so I couldn’t allow the greeters to meet the plane.  President Clinton exited the plane (expecting greeters) and began waiving to an empty runway.  It was an embarrassing moment for the White House and I had to explain to a supervisor that I had followed procedure.  I had followed the rules, but it was an uncomfortable situation for a new agent.  At the time, I thought I might be in big trouble.  Years later, an officer with the Secret Service Uniform Division in D.C. (who had no idea I had been in L.A. for the convention) told me the story of one of the “strangest moments he had seen in his twenty years on the job”.  He then recounted the incident on the tarmac in 2000.  I just nodded and said, “Yeah.  That sounds weird.”

7.  I once worked a case in which I interviewed a counterfeiter in Richmond, VA.  We knew the suspect had been using counterfeit money to buy drugs, but did not have enough evidence for an arrest.  I told the suspect that law enforcement was the least of his worries if he continued to rip-off drug dealers.  He responded with some unkind words.  A few months later he was murdered in a field outside Richmond.  Years later, I was having dinner at a restaurant in Pittsburgh, PA (344 miles from Richmond) when the waiter decided to make small talk.  It turned out he was from Richmond and had been friends with the murdered counterfeiter.  I never went back to that restaurant.

8.  The only time I had to fire my weapon in the line of duty was at a rabid raccoon.  It did not bite me.

9.  I was once assulted in the line of duty by a drunk, pregnant lady.  She bit me.

teeth

10.  I once chased a guy down a busy D.C. street.  He had a shirt hanging off one arm, making it appear that he was wearing a cape.  The radio traffic from one of the other agents came out, “Hensley is chasing some guy with a cape.”  The response from one agent on the radio was, “Why is Hensley wearing a cape?????”

J.J. Hensley is the author of RESOLVE, which is set against the backdrop of the Pittsburgh Marathon, Measure Twice, Chalk’s Outline, and other works. Hensley is a former police officer and former Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service.

image1Cyprus Keller wants a future.
Jackson Channing has a past.
Robert Chalk has a rifle and a mission.  Kill Cyprus Keller and anyone who gets in his way.

 

An addict is killing Pittsburgh city officials, but Homicide Detective Jackson Channing has his own addiction.

cropped-measure-twice-750-x-1200-jpeg.jpg

Also:

In the Pittsburgh Marathon, more than 18,000 people will participate. 4,500 people will attempt to cover the full 26.2 miles. Over 200 of the participants will quit, realizing it just wasn’t their day. More than 100 will get injured and require medical treatment. One man is going to be murdered.  When Dr. Cyprus Keller lines up to start the race, he knows a man is going to die for one simple reason. He’s going to kill him.

resolve-cover art CL (1)

Finalist – 2014 International Thriller Writers Awards – Best First Novel
Named one of the BEST BOOKS of 2013 by Suspense Magazine!
Top Ten Books of the Year – Authors on the Air

 And look for my short story FOUR DAYS FOREVER in the LEGACY anthology