I write about a lot of police officers in my stories. There are cops in Hurricane Crimes, 30 Seconds, my unpublished supernatural-thriller series, and the next short story I plan to publish. I just love cops as characters, so it’s about time I create a post dedicated to them!
By the way, 30 SECONDS is now available on Amazon!!! :D
Here are 10 things to keep in mind if you use police officers in a story:
1. Good Name
Men and women in the police force have all kinds of names, but when you’re in control, you get to create a good, strong name for your character, and a name that will sound perfect with “Officer” or “Detective.” In 30 Seconds, my hero is Blake Herror, and in the sequel to Hurricane Crimes there’s a Detective Thorn.
Your character has to be tough both mentally and physically. Police officers see a lot of horrible things, and they hear the most bizarre stories, so your character needs to have a mind and stomach of steel. He/she will also need to be able to run far and defend him/herself in a fight.
If you’re writing about a police officer, he/she will frequently wear a uniform, Kevlar vest and utility belt complete with a sidearm, handcuffs, baton (nightstick), and radio.
Your character will most often be driving a police car. Is it a typical police car or is it an unmarked car used for undercover work?
Where will your story be set? This is the home of your character’s police station. You’ll need to mention the station throughout your story. Some places in the station you can use for scenes are interrogation rooms, holding cells, and locker rooms.
Your character will need people to answer to. Don’t forget to introduce a captain or police chief.
All police officers have a special way of moving, and can sense when something is wrong. Make your character quick on his/her feet, and give him/her a ready-for-action posture when it’s needed.
This should go without saying, but make sure your character is fit.
Give your character these personality traits: determination, intelligence, common-sense, cleverness and even stubbornness, if you’d like.
10. The Job
Follow your character on his/her job as he/she patrols the streets, makes arrests, writes reports, and chases speeding cars. Tie some of this into the actual plot of your story.
TIP #1: Be knowledgeable about guns, police procedures, and cop lingo. Check out this website: How to Become a Police Officer. They created a list of blogs by law enforcement professionals that offer a wealth of information into the police world. And one of our blogging friends, Slam Dunks, made it as #9 on the list!
TIP #2: Read crime books. Also watch movies and TV shows like Chicago PD, Blue Blood, and Rookie Blue.
SHARE: Your tips for writing about police officers.
QUESTION: What are your favorite police books/movies/TV shows?