Skip to main content

Howdunit: Police Procedure & Investigation

Uncover exclusive insights into a cop's world—it's the next best thing to having a police detective personally assigned to your book!
  • Author:
  • Publish date:



Buy book | Amazon | BN.com

Image placeholder title

Howdunit: Police Procedure & Investigation
by Lee Lofland
Writer's Digest Books, 2007
ISBN: 978-158297-455-2
$19.99 paperback, 384 pages
More than 80 B&W illustrations

Praise for Police Procedure & Investigation

"This book is a zinger! It's packed with all-you-need-to-know detail, yet it reads like a best-selling thriller. I know it's a "guide for writers," but I think anyone interested in the world of law enforcement should get a copy. Read it on the beach, read it on the train, read it on your way to a murder scene."

—Jeffrey Deaver

"Police Procedure & Investigation is an invaluable tool for writers of mystery fiction."

—J.A. Jance, New York Times best-selling mystery author

Read an excerpt!
An Insider's Look at the Police: What a Detective Does (from Chapter 4)
Plus, download the table of contents and tips to sharpen your Crime Scene Investigation skills.

Uncover Exclusive Insights Into a Cop's World!
Not everything you see on your favorite crime show is accurate. In fact, a lot of it is flat out wrong. With Police Procedure & Investigation, you can finally get all of your facts straight. Author Lee Lofland draws on his nearly two-decade career in law enforcement to provide you with a true insider's look at fighting crime. This comprehensive resource includes:

  • More than 80 photographs, illustrations, and charts showing everything from the defensive moves used by officers to prison cells and autopsies
  • Detailed information on officer training, tools of the trade, drug busts, con air procedures, crime scene investigation techniques, and more
  • First-person details from the author about his experiences, including accounts of arrests, death penalty executions, and criminal encounters

This guide is the next best thing to having a police detective personally assigned to your book!

About the Author
With a career in law enforcement that spanned nearly two decades, Lee Lofland (www.leelofland.com) is a nationally acclaimed expert on police procedures and crime scene investigations. He consults for many best-selling authors, and is a regular speaker at writers conferences, including the Left Coast Crime Conference, Pennwriters Conference, Deadly Ink, and Willamette Writers Conference. He is also the host and director of the Writers' Police Academy, an event where writers learn realism by attending an actual police academy.


Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface

Chapter 1: Law Enforcement in America

Chapter 2: The Police Academy

Chapter 3: Police Officers: Their Duties and Equipment

Chapter 4: Detectives

Chapter 5: Arrest and Search Procedures

Chapter 6: Homicide, Murder, and Manslaughter

Chapter 7: Crime Scene Investigation

Chapter 8: Fingerprinting

Chapter 9: DNA

Chapter 10: Autopsy

Chapter 11: Drugs, Not Money, Are the Root of All Evil

Chapter 12: Tell It to the Judge: Courts and the Legal Process

Chapter 13: Prisons and Jails

Chapter 14: Con Air: Coffee, Tea, or Handcuff Key?

Chapter 15: The Death Penalty

Chapter 16: C.S. … I Don’t Think So

Epilogue

Appendix A: Glossary of Terms
Appendix B: Police 10-Codes
Appendix C: Drug Quantity Table
Appendix D: Federal Sentencing Table

Your Story Writing Prompts

94 Your Story Writing Prompts

Due to popular demand, we've assembled all the Your Story writing prompts on WritersDigest.com in one post. Click the link to find each prompt, the winners, and more.

How Inspiration and Research Shape a Novel

How Inspiration and Research Shape a Novel

Historical fiction relies on research to help a story’s authenticity—but it can also lead to developments in the story itself. Here, author Lora Davies discusses how inspiration and research helped shape her new novel, The Widow’s Last Secret.

Poetic Forms

Saraband: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the saraband, a septet (or seven-line) form based on a forbidden dance.

Karen Hamilton: On Cause and Effect

Karen Hamilton: On Cause and Effect

International bestselling author Karen Hamilton discusses the “then and now” format of her new domestic thriller, The Ex-Husband.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: The Ultimatum

Plot Twist Story Prompts: The Ultimatum

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character give or face an ultimatum.

6 Things Every Writer Should Know About Sylvia Beach and Shakespeare and Company

6 Things Every Writer Should Know About Sylvia Beach and Shakespeare and Company

Sylvia Beach was friend to many writers who wrote what we consider classics today. Here, author Kerri Maher shares six things everyone should know about her and Shakespeare and Company.

How Writers Can Apply Business Tools to Their Writing

How Writers Can Apply Business Tools to Their Writing

Author Katherine Quevedo takes an analytical look at the creative process in hopes to help other writers find writing success.

Nick Petrie: On Following the Most Compelling Story

Nick Petrie: On Following the Most Compelling Story

Award-winning author Nick Petrie discusses how he listened to the story that wanted to be told in his new Peter Ash thriller novel, The Runaway.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 596

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a punishment poem.