This week during our Sheriff’s Department Civilian Police Academy class, we heard from the Warrant Division, the Civil Process Division, and the Crime Lab, or Crime Scene Unit. A big brutish guy gave the talk on warrants, and told us stories about dragging people out of crack houses with lots of backup. Looking at him, I was surprised he needed it. I learned so much in a short period of time, about warrants, indictments, serving them, and the like. Important procedural tidbits I will definitely use in my books.
Civil Process is just that. It doesn’t involve any criminal activity. They handle writs of garnishment, writs of assistance, serving divorce and child custody papers, lunacy writs, and so on. The lieutenant who talked to us about this had stories, too, about running down a man who bought a car for 14K from a local dealership and managed to do it without giving them any personal information…just a counter check from a bank. Bet that car salesman caught hell! Anyway, he finally ran the man down after three weeks…and after he’d sold the car to a woman who gave it to her daughter in Texas. He paid for the car–with a cashier’s check this time–and all was forgiven.
The crime scene investigation guy described his approach to a crime scene and gave us details pertinent to our local area. Our capital city is in this county, but they have their own police force and CSI unit, so the county isn’t responsible for investigating crimes taking place there. Although deputies can perform their duties within the city if necessary.
My current work in progress is set here in my neck of the woods, so all of this information is invaluable. Next week we’ll tour the detention center and the county farm. We have a meal before each class, too; food cooked by some of the inmates–and it’s delicious. Tonight, we had chili.
If you write suspense, I highly recommend attending your local CPA if one is offered. It’s awesome!