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Law Enforcement Workshop Preview

51iYGgtQKdLHello all, my name is Margaret and I write under M.A. Taylor. I write both fiction (Romantic Suspense/ Mysteries) and non-fiction (How to . . . for  Writers). I was beyond fortunate to work for nearly twenty-four years in a field that I absolutely loved – Law Enforcement.

I mean seriously, where else can you get paid to:

1.    Be nosy and ask lots of personal questions,
2.    Drive faster than the posted speed limit,
3.    On rare occasion, get to blow stuff up?

It’s no wonder cops shows saturate television and films. Creating believable characters with realistic mannerisms, speech, not to mention navigating the ever important complex emotional reactions is essential to connecting with readers. That’s where I come in. Having worked in various areas of law enforcement throughout my career, I enjoy sharing the reality of law enforcement life.

I’ve worked patrol, narcotics, asset forfeiture, State, Federal and local Task Forces, Wire Intercepts (Taps), California Tribal and Card Club Gaming, Sex Crimes, and a whole lot more. I share many of my law enforcement experiences as a method to teach the nuances of the cop subculture.

One thing I always tell my students, law enforcement officers (LEO’s) work predominately in the grey area, so with proper motivation, just about any action could be viewed as justified or understandable. The key is to know and define what the ‘box’ is. So . . . when you break the rules, it’s done on purpose for a truly compelling reason. I love working with writers because you all keep me on my toes with great scenarios regarding compelling reason.

At the California Dreaming Conference in March 2015, I will be presenting Crime Scene Investigations and How Cops Cope/Cop GMC.

The Crime Scene Investigation class will be unique because I will be presenting the class with a recreated crime scene that students can walk through. The plan is to make it as hands on as time permits.

unnamedWe’ll be covering:

  • Arrival at the scene and set up.
  • What area(s) make up the Crime Scene?
  • Processing the Crime Scene.
  • Objectives while at the scene of the crime.
  • Who does what and why?
  • Myth Busting CSI

In How Cops Cope/Cop GMC we will delve into the dark psyche of the Law Enforcement Officer (LEO). Work in law enforcement is not only dangerous to the physical body, it’s also quite detrimental to the emotional psyche. Cops learn various coping mechanisms, some appropriate others not so much, on how to survive emotional trauma associated with the job.

Some of the mechanisms I’ll be covering will be:

  • Gallows Humor
  • Debriefings
  • Psychologist
  • Disassociation
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Professionalism
  • Promiscuity
  • Alcohol/Drug usage

I will lay out how most LEO’s Goals and Motivations for being ‘On-the-Job’ start long before they ever consider becoming a police officer. Then I’ll tie most of the conflict in any LEO’s life to their chosen coping mechanism, and how it bleeds over into their personal life.

I look forward to seeing you at the conference.


CHP Academy Grad photo

M.A. Taylor spent more than twenty years in law enforcement. After seven years with the California Highway Patrol (CHP), she became a Special Agent for the California Department of Justice (DOJ), spending over a decade in Narcotics…including assignment to a Federal DEA-HIDTA Task Force. Margaret’s areas of expertise range from surveillance to wiretaps to tribal gaming, sexual predators, investigations and more.

You can join M.A. Taylor on Facebook or Twitter.

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