"All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke
Once you get law enforcement officials talking about their work, it's hard to shut them up! They love what they do and they're glad to share their adventures.
Over the weekend I attended the Ohio Valley Romance Writers of America (http://www.ovrwa.com/) chapter meeting, and enjoyed a program presented by four members of law enforcement. Represented were an Undercover Narcotics Agent, an Arson Investigator, a Private Investigator and a Police Officer.
This was a wonderful program with lots of great information provided to help us shape up those romantic suspense novels more accurately. For two hours, these gracious gentleman answered question after question asked by a curious audience of romance writers. One of my favorites was, "What is the most important character trait in your line of work?"
We were given a variety of answers. If you're writing a romantic suspense novel, I hope you'll find this useful in developing your characters.
Private Investigator: "Compassion toward my clients is the most important thing. We console them, and it's important that we empathize with them."
Police Officer: "Good personal character is the most important thing on the job. It's my job to make someone happy. There are a lot of bad character cops (the ones who hate what they do and only want a paycheck) that give all cops a bad name. The police officers of good character truly want to serve."
Arson Investigator: "Extroverted, aggressive, never bashful. And divorce yourself from family problems on the job. What's going on at home can't interfere with the task at hand."
Undercover Narc: "A thick skin." This officer, with long hair and faded jeans, said he's much grungier looking on the job to fit in with the bad guys he's trying to catch. Because of his appearance, he's not taken seriously by law abiding citizens when he has to inform them he's a cop. "Yeah, right," is the usual response. Although he's often followed by security after walking into a store, he has to let it all roll off his back.
All in all, a great presentation, and this is just a tidbit! Hope it helped you!
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