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!
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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 ( 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


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


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