Police Officer Preparation & Law Enforcement Resource - Archive
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01-20-12, 02:47 AM
This is a wonderful forum. I'm a writer and I'm currently writing a piece that is set in New Orleans. One of my characters is a police detective and I want him to have a partner who he regularly works with - IF that makes sense.
If it does, I'm wondering if this officer would have to be another police detective or if he could be a regular patrol officer.
In either case, if a homicide were reported from dispatch, when would my detective be notified? Would he get a call along with other officers on that beat - or would he be brought in after patrol officers had already been called to the scene?
Thanks so much for your help!
01-20-12, 05:27 AM
While I certainly can't speak for the New Orleans Police Department, I can say things do vary from place to place. I can also say that most agencies that I am familiar with do NOT have investigators working 24/7. Thus, if a call comes in to the communications center, generally patrol will be there first. Many agencies will call in investigators to the scene once it is suspected that the death may be suspicious. As far as who is partnered with whom. I know of an agency near me that actually has three officer teams in homicide. There are others that have two officer teams. It would be uncommon in my area to have a regular patrol officer partnered with an investigator to work a homicide, but I suppose it could happen in some places. For example, some places rotate officers through investigative assignments. Lets say an officer, who had experience working a homicide, just rotated back to patrol. Further, the officers in investigations now might have no experience working a homicide. In that scenario, they may pull a patrol officer back inside to work that case. However, you have specifically mentioned New Orleans. I really doubt that would happen there, but, again, never say never!
Please be sure you post questions in the correct area, writers' questions belong in the Writer's Questions sub-forum. Thanks.
01-20-12, 09:19 AM
Depends. We always work in pairs in homicide. Sometimes detectives who are friends may hang out together and help each other with their cases, but they aren't officially paired.
Although we don't rotate detectives back to patrol, the homicide case is yours forever. I had a partner in homicide who got promoted a couple of times and made it to A/chief. A new lead came up on a homicide we worked together and he came down from Olympus to go with me to do the interviews. The only way you lose a homicide case is to retire, otherwise leave the department or die.
he came down from olympus...
01-21-12, 12:05 AM
Thanks everyone for your input. I appreciate it as a writer just out of school who is learning to write procedurals. I have one more question, which is how police detectives typically receive a call about a homicide. In this scene, a body is found by a passerby on the street and it looks like the shooting took place the night before. I'm assuming detectives aren't part of the call that initially goes out to patrol cars, but would be called in shortly after? Other research I've done, indicates that when the detectives arrive on the scene, the first responding officers will give them a report and -- hopefully -- will have started cordoning off the crime scene.
01-21-12, 12:49 AM
Again, it depends on the place. It could be a call on a cell phone or a call to the office via regular telephone.
01-21-12, 01:06 AM
Thanks, Jim. I want to understand the timing of the call too. How long after someone calls 911 to report a homicide will it take for detectives to typically get the call?
01-21-12, 07:07 AM
Patrol would first respond to the scene and call detectives as soon as they arrive and get the scene secured. Today, they would probably call from their cell phones, but they could also notify dispatch and they would phone detectives. It would be a matter of minutes after arrival regardless.
01-21-12, 01:21 PM
Thanks! You guys rock!
hahahahahahaa he/she just called you guys a pile of
01-23-12, 02:21 AM
At my agency detectives will help each other, but are not officially paired with anyone.