Saturday, July 16, 2011

My Life of Crime

Two days ago I was arrested six times and handcuffed five times. No, my mystery writing has not led me to a life of crime. I volunteered to be a role player for training new police officers of the Boulder Police Department. We assembled at a local park, and I received my props and took a position in one part of the park. My role was to be a disgruntled employee who had a pipe bomb. When the police officer showed up, I acted erratic and complained that I had been unjustly fired but would get back at them. Several times I had the simulated pipe bomb lying under my pack and others times it was stashed in the pack. The officers interviewed me, kept me away from my pack and once they found the pipe bomb arrested and handcuffed me. I learned several things from the trainers when they debriefed the officers in training. The police can’t open a backpack without the owner’s permission. Once permission is given, if they find something threatening they can take action. If there is an open backpack on the ground, they can look inside but can’t open it further. Once a bomb is found, the best procedure is to take the suspect away from the bomb, preferably at least three hundred feet and to remove anything from the suspect that could be a detonator such as an automobile car door opener, cell phone or even pen. Even though the suspect is unstable, the suspect would be taken to jail first, not to a mental hospital. From jail if a mental evaluation is deemed necessary, that can then be orchestrated. I was impressed with the new officers. They used a firm commanding voice to take charge but did so in a polite manner. I learned a lot and hopefully helped the new officers prepare for a situation when they encounter someone wackier than I am.

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