Tag Archives: LAPD

Kona Gold — an interview with author Jess Waid

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By Randy Morse

I recently had an opportunity to quiz author Jess Waid on his latest work, Kona Gold, sixth volume in his Mike Montego series.

 

MORSE: Kona Gold marks the first time in a series that now spans six books that you’ve taken your main character, LAPD cop Mike Montego, out of California (and Vegas). Why Hawaii?

WAID: Mike has a lot of my characteristics, and likewise “relives” some of my past. I had occasion to be in Hawaii in the early Sixties and still have vivid memories of my time there. Several of my experiences on Oahu were fairly close to what Mike experiences in Kona Gold.  The one difference — I was between marriages. I’ve visited Hawaii several times since then, and it has changed greatly, as have Los Angeles and Vegas.

 

MORSE: How long had the plot for KG been percolating in your head before you began writing? Or are you an author who simply sits down at your computer and lets the creative juices flow?

WAID: There was very  little “percolating” for Kona Gold. But having written stories that took place in Las Vegas and also northern Idaho,  I saw another of my “past lives,” this time in Hawaii, fitting rather neatly into a new story. Also, recently divorced back then, I saw a parallel with Mike’s situation.

 

MORSE: What’s your writing routine? Are you disciplined, writing for a set period every day? Or do you write in feverish spurts? Is writing work or play?

WAID: When I’m into a story, I pound on the keys for hours regardless of the time of day, seven days a week. I find it to be enjoyable as I often am reliving past experiences, only modifying them to make for a more enjoyable read.

 

MORSE: Why is it that so many former cops end up writing books? Have you ever chatted with former colleagues about that?

WAID: I’ve been writing since ’92, ten years after having spent 22 years with the LAPD.  My writing started when I sought an outlet to express myself; sort of like needing to justify my life. I was living in northern Idaho, in an area enjoyed by a number of retired LAPD types. Several were employed, most not. I worked with the Bonner County Sheriff’s Department for one year, thanks to a federal grant written by my wife, Barbara. The subject matter was domestic violence. That experience, incidentally, partly triggered my later novel Circle of Yellow. That’s why part of that story originated in the Idaho/Montana area. Back to your question. I recognize that many retired law enforcement officers have experienced events that the “average Joe” has only dreamed about. Officers with a proclivity toward writing will put their experiences to print for personal reasons, as I’ve mentioned, often to relive their past. For me, it’s like getting a shot of adrenaline. I’ve often found my heart rate speeding during the course of writing a scene, usually a tense one, to the point I have to take a break after the scene is written to calm myself!

 

MORSE: Music often pops up in your books. Of course that was front and center in He Blew Blue Jazz. Hawaii has an amazingly rich musical tradition — any of that showing up in KG? And BTW, I understand you’re off for Vegas soon for some sort of reunion, and that your old pal, Art Imbach, will be there. Is Art still making the musical magic happen?

WAID: I was taken by the slack string guitar,  so that comes up in Kona Gold if only briefly, along with a scene involving the hula or hula-hula. And I’ve loved jazz since I can remember. My pal since I was six years old, Alan Imbach, is a brilliant writer of big band scores. As you know he resides in Vegas where I will be attending an LAPD class reunion soon. Al often conducts a large band of retired musicians who all played during the big band era. They perform every Tuesday at a private venue, but it’s also is accessible to the public as I understand it. Barbara and I will be attending along with several friends next Tuesday. By the way, Al hand-writes the charts for each instrument as fast as the new computer programs allow one to do so. He no longer plays the trombone, but he was an excellent player of the instrument. Al is giving me a new compact disc of the band playing his charts. I’m excited about the gift. I truly hope he can get the CD published. The public deserves to hear the great music played by the “old timers.”

 

MORSE: Finally, the inevitable question: what’s next? Another Montego? Or are you finally going to tackle that Mexican historical epic you’ve been scratching at the edges of for years now?

WAID: Ah yes. Barbara rides me about writing the “great epic” taking place south of the border, the land of my natural father. However, the germ of one more novel is gestating in my mind. It, too, will take place in Hawaii. Kona Gold left Mike sort of hanging, with some drug and human trafficking issues unanswered. Besides, there are still some “bad guys” running around the islands. I only have a working title so far: Kona Black.

 

Jess Waid
For more on Jess Waid and his books, visit his website, at www.jesswaid.com

The LAPD’s “Freeway Flyer”

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The LAPD’s ‘Freeway Flyer’ program, cars specially equipped for freeway use,  was disbanded when the Highway Patrol took over the freeways through L.A. in 1969. The cars’  lights were made by S&M Lamp Co. LA (Model 757) until 1964, first used in 1951 & standard by 1953, when S&M Lamp Co. went out of business. In ’64, Trio-Sales Co. started making them for LAPD (renamed Model T-2). The lights were red/red until ’64, when rear ambers were introduced. Each T-2 had a separate flasher installed by MTD so that a ‘shop’ would not go out-of-service for a BO amber. Last cars to have the T-2 lights installed were the ’78 Plymouth Fury models.

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Most sirens were the familiar Federal C5GB, B&M S8B-S, or B&M Super Chief. 2. In those days all units were dispatched using an AM signal-1730 Mhz, just off the end of the AM broadcast dial. A good home console radio could be tuned to it. There would be a 39″ stick antenna just out of frame on the left-rear quarter panel for the receiver. Units transmitted with an FM signal in the 155 Mhz range. Because of this there were no tac (tactical) channels for patrol units and every car in the city heard the same dispatch broadcasts. Obviously, this changed very quickly after the Watts riots. The FM transmit antenna was typically a Motorola TU-316, the same one used in the Belvedere days of Adam-12.

The Ranch House

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By Jim Weaver

 

[West Los Angeles Division – “Bel Air, 1980’s”]

It was a cold Saturday night in November, My partner Larry Gardner and I were enjoying a cup of coffee and donuts at “Arnie’s,” located at Santa Monica Boulevard and Bundy Drive. I was listening to “Walk of Life” coming from the vehicle parked next to us. The blonde driver was flirting with Larry; business as usual for him.

“Eight-Adam-three, thirteen, and twenty-one meet Eight-L-Twenty at Sunset and Bel Air Road, Code two.”

“Larry, listen up, we just got a call.”

We knew it must be serious as two other units were dispatched to Twenty’s location besides us. Without saying a word we emptied our coffees on the pavement.

Kicking over the V8, I accelerated out of the parking lot and sped to the meeting place. A few minutes later we pulled into the parking lot next to 8-L-20 Sergeant Jesse Escobar.

Escobar climbed out of his Black and White, as usual his hair was perfectly styled, his uniform looked like it’d just been pressed, his two-toned badge gleamed, and his black shoes shone like glass, even under the dim overhead light. I’d known Escobar for several years; he was known as a policeman’s sergeant.  We were lucky to have him. as the three-striper was going up the LAPD ladder.

Shortly, we were joined by the two other assigned units.

“Guys we have a real situation. so pay attention.” The sergeant laid out a hand-drawn map of a residence located at 2 Benedict Canyon Drive.

“We recently received information that a possible shooting occurred at that location, we’ve got nothing more. So let’s get over there and have a look.  We’ll park farther down the street and move in on foot.  Turn your radios and headlights off before we get there. Any questions?”

As we followed Sergeant Escobar’s black-and-white station wagon, we were silent, lost in our own thoughts. I wondered what we would run into. I had a real uneasy feeling about this one.

When we parked in tandem and were on foot, Escobar once again pulled out the map. Using his flashlight, he ordered the others to the four corners of the house.

Why did he leave me out?

Escobar then focused on me. “You and I will take the house.”

After the other officers were in position, Escobar said in a low voice, “Let’s do it, Jim.”

We quietly moved to the rear of the house, where a light could be seen. A closer look determined it came from a laundry room hallway.

Sergeant Escobar tried the screen door. Unlocked.

I followed as he crept cautiously down the dimly lit hallway, past the laundry room and toward a room where the light was bright. It was the kitchen.

Escobar peered into the kitchen and then he looked back at me. He held up one finger and then pointed it down.

I knew that meant one down. Escobar stepped into the kitchen. I followed on his heels. I spotted the lifeles,s half-open eyes of a female staring up at me. The dead woman was lying in a huge pool of blood that almost covered the entire tile floor. I could clearly see powder burns on her bare breasts and stomach.

Quickly looking about, I could see blood all over the kitchen walls, ceiling, refrigerator, stove, and cabinets.

I stepped over her and felt my shoe soles picking up a sticky substance. Blood.

I spied Escobar in the living room hand motioning for me to go to the left as he was going to the right.

OK, I signaled back with a head nod.

He disappeared into the darkened next room.

I slowly moved down the partially lit hallway. Almost immediately, I spotted a body lying in the middle of the hallway ahead of me. As I approached I could now see it was another female. One half-open lifeless eye stared into space. A contact wound had blown out her left eye.

I stepped over her body, wondering what the hell was next?

Seeing a lighted room ahead, I crept forward and peeked around the open doorway. I saw a leatherette recliner chair with a human arm hanging over the side facing me.

I eased up to the chair and gave it a swift kick to surprise whoever was seated on it.

The chair swiveled to the left, and a male slumped forward and onto the floor. His clothed body ended up on his knees as if he was praying. A large collection of coagulated blood stained his back. It appeared to be an exit wound from a large caliber firearm.

I was startled when Escobar, in a calm voice said, “The rest of the house is clear. Looks like we will need the detectives for this one,” he continued.

He went outside and released the other two units.

My partner and I secured the scene. Several hours later the detectives arrived and began their investigation.

The coroner’s deputies later drove up. After they scanned the scene, they took the bodies and transported them downtown to the Coroner’s office. They would join other corpses awaiting autopsies.

Released from the scene I turned to Larry. “Hey pard, we still have time for Code Seven before EOW. (End-of-Watch.)”

 

Parker Center — end of an LA era

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After over 60 years of service, on Tuesday, January 15th at 2 PM, the Los Angeles Police Department closed the tinted, large glass doors for the last time to its headquarters in Parker Center, located downtown at 150 North Los Angeles Street.

Originally called the Police Administration Building (PAB), groundbreaking for the Center occurred on December 30, 1952, and construction was completed in 1955. The architect was Welton Becket. The building combined police facilities that had been located throughout the Civic Center area. The location was previously home to the Olympic Hotel.

The PAB was a state of the art facility, and the envy of other police departments across the nation. So great was the demand for public tours that the Department assigned policewomen full-time for the first year to give tours several times a day.

It was later renamed in honor of Chief William H. Parker, who died in office on July 16, 1966 from a heart attack. Chief since 1950, he helped establish the LAPD’s reputation as a world leader in law enforcement.

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Soon after his death, the Los Angeles City Council renamed the building “Parker Center.” The building was one of the sites of unrest during the 1992 Los Angeles riots, following a not-guilty verdict for the four police officers involved in the Rodney King matter.

A MEDIA STAR

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Probably Parker Center’s greatest early notoriety began with the fifth season in 1955 of the television drama by Jack Webb’s Mark VII Productions, Dragnet, and again in the late 1960’s when the show returned to TV, this time in color.

 

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This was only the start. The PAB appeared in several establishing shots for the Perry Mason TV series between 1958 and 1966. This was followed by the popular NBC drama Hunter that also used the building in its sixth and seventh seasons, as did the TNT series The Closer. Parker Center is also featured as one of the main locations in Police Quest: Open Season, the fourth installment of the Police Quest series, a 1993 PC video game by Sierra Entertainment.

Parker Center is often mentioned in the novels of the Harry Bosch series, written by Michael Connelly.

Featured as a backdrop in countless other movie and television features over the decades, Parker Center was a place where the line between art and real-life truly blurred.

At times art imitated life, and at times life imitated art in the fictional and real life dramas that unfolded at Parker Center. High profile investigations took place there, and it was not unusual for occasional big-name celebrities to be booked into the Parker Center Jail—tagged “the glass house” by arrestees because of its large glass-walled holding tanks—on anything from minor charges up to homicide.

It also was the scene of occasional public protests and raucous police commission meetings. If the PAB’s walls were to talk, how much they would have to say!

 

NEW HEADQUARTERS

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With time, the Parker Center became outdated and was in need of expensive seismic retrofits. After considering a number of downtown sites for a new facility, the city council selected a property directly south of City Hall, Caltrans‘ former Los Angeles headquarters. Ground was broken for the new building in January 2007. It was dedicated on October 24, 2009.

Since 2009, Parker Center continued to house portions of the Department’s Scientific Investigations Division (SID). This division has since been transferred to the nearby C. Erwin Piper Technical Building.

Until recently LAPD’s Robbery – Homicide Division operated from a Parker Center annex.

The heliport at the new facility is marked with an ‘H’. The Parker Center’s heliport was marked with a ‘5’.

Inside the LAPD’s elite airborne unit

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(Originally published in the Palisades Post online, January 3, 2013, by staff writer Reza Gostar)

 

Negotiating traffic on Sunset Boulevard and PCH may be challenging for police officers on the ground, but not for officers piloting the airborne units of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Air Support Division (ASD).

These elite helicopter units have become legendary not only in movies like ‘Blue Thunder’ and ‘Terminator 2,’ but also on the streets where they are often referred to as ‘ghetto birds’ by the criminals they chase.

Somewhere over southeast L.A. on December 20, LAPD Pilot David Swanson is flying a AStar B-2 helicopter to the scene of a potential robbery. The victim’s neighbor has spotted the two suspects, Swanson tells a Palisadian-Post reporter who is along for the ride.

Tactical Flight Officer Renee Muro, a veteran LAPD officer and one of only seven women in the ASD, is listening to several police radios simultaneously as she coordinates the response. In less than four minutes, the helicopter arrives at its destination and, down below, neighbors are peeking out of their homes to see what all the commotion is about.

Swanson keeps the helicopter at 600 to 700 feet in elevation as he circles the perimeter. This is standard practice for LAPD helicopter pilots, who avoid hovering in one place. They keep the aircraft moving because in case of an emergency, such as a malfunction, there needs to be enough wind speed built up for the blades so the pilot can attempt to land. News media helicopters fly 500 feet above the police to avoid interfering with any activity.

On the streets below, the scene is chaotic. Curious neighbors have started to come out of their homes, adding to the number of bodies visible by air. Suddenly, Muro, who is not using binoculars, spots two pairs of sneakers underneath one of the home’s overhangs and quickly coordinates with the officers on the ground. Within minutes, the two suspected robbers are placed in custody.

Not three minutes go by before Muro picks up another call over the radio’this time a gunshot victim. The helicopter is again the first to arrive and quickly directs the first responders to the victim.

‘This is a known gang and drug area,’ Swanson says, adding that it is unlikely that any witnesses will come forward. After he and Muro canvas the perimeter, the calls begin to slow and the helicopter sweeps over congested freeways to Venice, and then to Pacific Palisades.

‘I landed there once when I had engine trouble,’ says Swanson, pointing down to the Field of Dreams at the Palisades Recreation Center. He was one of the units that responded to a burglary call at a home on Alma Real Drive last August. (The Post ran a photo of the downed helicopter.)

Established in 1956 by a group of Korean War veterans, the ASD units are in the air 20 hours a day patrolling L.A.’s 470-plus square miles of steel, chaparral and concrete landscapes. ‘We try to be as proactive as we can,’ said Lt. Phillip Smith, assistant commanding officer.

‘The helicopters get up to 140-150 miles per hour,’ Smith said. ‘If I leave the deck here [at the LAPD Hopper heliport near Union Station] and get a call way out in Chatsworth, it’s probably going to take me seven or eight minutes but that can still seem like forever when you have an officer screaming for help.’

Separated by the Santa Monica Mountains, there are two police helicopters patrolling at any given time. One works the San Fernando Valley and the other handles everything south of the Cahuenga Pass, Smith said, noting that rapid response is the reason why the helicopters remain in constant flight.

‘We are a force multiplier’that’s really what we do,’ Smith said. ‘We do the job of between six and eight police cars out there. ‘

Smith said that ASD helicopters are able to quickly determine if indeed there was a crime and whether or not additional units are needed. ‘Our big thing is getting to the scene and offering some security, and painting a visual picture for the officers responding.’

The Air Support Division, which averages more than 300 police car pursuit calls a year, currently operates 19 helicopters, including 14 Eurocopter Astar B-2s, four Bell Jet Rangers, and one recently acquired Bell Uh-1H (Huey) that is replacing an older one that retired about four years ago. The Huey is used by the division’s special flights section for special operations, which involve such missions as rapelling Special Weapons and Tactics officers onto the tops of buildings and other operational activities, Smith said.

The ASD staff and personnel include 35 police officer pilots, 10 sergeants who are pilots, three lieutenant pilots, 28 tactical flight officers, which totals to about 100 staff members, counting civilian employees and support staff. Some officers serve as both tactical flight officers (TFOs) and pilots, Smith said. However, all of the TFO and pilots have to serve as regular patrol officers for at least five years before being considered for a position in the elite division.

How effective is the ASD? Of the 51,000-plus incidents that the ASD responded to last year, ‘probably 16,000 times we were the first on scene,’ said Smith, who moonlights for the security firm ACS in the Palisades once a week.

Many aspects of the ASD’s missions are classified, such as their special radiological equipment (which can be used to detect terrorist activity), monitoring for environmental dangers, and high-altitude surveillance flights, which involve multimillion-dollar cameras and other equipment.”

The helicopters are also equipped with the famous ‘Nightsun’ spotlight, which is linked to the helicopter’s 360-degree infrared camera system that is mounted underneath the aircraft. During night patrols, the spotlight can be activated to track the camera’s position, which is remotely controlled by the tactical flight officer inside the helicopter.

However, the officers themselves are the most valuable aspect of the arsenal. Accumulating thousands of hours of flight time a year (about 18,000 hours in 2011), the ASD pilots are some of the most experienced aviators in the world. Subsequently, the ASD trains multiple other agencies from around the country, including foreign allied military units in their use of special police tactics, especially the ‘Nightsun’ spotlight. The instruction room is located on the aircraft carrier-size heliport on top of the Piper Technical Center in downtown.

Yet, despite all the technical gadgetry and their elite status as one of the largest and most sophisticated airborne law enforcement forces in the nation, the ASD’s humble motto exemplifies their commitment and attitude to the job: ‘The mission is the same, only the vehicle has changed.’

 

Thoughts in rhyme and prose by Robert F. McMeekin

A 2009 photo of LAPD Chief Charlie Beck as he makes his way through rows of officers at the Devonshire Division police station in Northridge in 2009. (Andy Holzman/Staff Photographer, Los Angeles Daily News)

Robert F. McMeekin grew up in Brooklyn, New York and went on to attend Syracuse University and Cal State University, earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Cal State. Now a retired Los Angeles Sergeant of Police, Mr. McMeekin is married with three grown children.

 

THOUGHTS IN RHYME

How proud I am, how proud I be

To be retired from the LAPD

I have fondest memories of the Academy

Most of my classmates still remember me

I learned my craft in a radio car

I thank my partners who took me this far

From a shy wiseass from the streets of Brooklyn

I learned to deal wit crime and sin

The men I worked with thru years of strife

Are now good friends for now and life

There is a terrific bond you do cultivate

From all your partners who shared your fate

For all who read these thoughts in rhyme

I think you’ll agree we had a hell of a thyme

 

 

A NICE WAY TO MEET

I woke up this morning and let my dog out the door

That’s when I saw a pretty lady leave apartment four

“Good morning” sez I, “Hello,” sez she

My dog then trotted over and jumped on her knee

“He thinks you brought him a treat”

“I have no treat, but it’s a nice way to meet”

The next morning I let my dog out at the same time

And there she was—so very pretty—it was a crime

As my dog jumped on her knee, she gave him a treat

“You’re gonna spoil him, now he’ll expect a treat whenever you meet”

“That’s okay,” sez she. “I’ll get even when you take me to dinner.”

“That’s fine with me—I can’t lose, so I’, the winner”

One year later she and my dog were friends for life,

Her and me were also friends but more importantly—man and wife

 

HOW PROUD I WAS

Back in the ’seventies, I was a sergeant of police assigned to Wilshire Division, working the night watch, PMs. One spring night, as a field supervisor, I was cruising along Olympic Boulevard just west of Western Avenue. A radio broadcast came out giving info on a 211 (robbery) that just occurred on Western, not too far away.

The broadcast gave descriptions of two male-black suspects, plus the make of their car and its license number.

As I approached Western Avenue, I turned north, reasoning that it was still early and the suspects would probably head towards Hollywood with their loot.

After about two blocks, I spotted the suspects in their car ahead of me.

I radioed my location with the request for backup, flipped on my overhead red lights and cut the suspects vehicle off at an angle. Using my car as a shield, weapon drawn, I ordered the suspects out of their car one at a time, driver’s side, hands up.

Both suspects complied when they saw me with my shotgun pointing at their heads. At this time, several police units arrived at the scene and took custody of both suspects. Policy dictated that supervisors turn over custody of arrestees to a field unit for arrest booking and reports.

I then continued on my shift as a field supervisor.

At end-of-watch, EOW, I drove to the station, gathered my gear, and headed to the watch commander’s office to go off duty. As I entered the w/c’s office, change of watch was taking place as the morning watch supervisors and w/c relieved the night watch supervisors and w/c.

There were six sergeants, two lieutenants, and several police officers in the office as I entered. Much to my surprise and delight my contemporaries and supervisors soundly applauded me!

I was officially relieved and was the man of the hour. To be truly recognized by my peers and supervisors was the proudest moment of my life.

I never forgot it.

 

LAPD authors…

I would like to plug my fellow retired LAPD authors, so I am listing their works below:

BOOKS, FICTION & NON-FICTION, BY FORMER LAPD OFFICERS

The Oasis Project by Art Adkins  (May 17, 2010)  $14.00

Power Grid by Art Adkins  (Sept 10, 2010) $14.99 – Kindle $2.99

A Dozen Deadly Roses by Kathy Bennett  (Jun 4, 2011) Kindle $2.99

A Deadly Blessing by Kathy Bennett  (Apr 8, 2012) Kindle $2.99

Sand Against Time by Paul Bishop (1990) Hardcover (used) $24.95

Chapel of the Ravens by Paul Bishop (Oct 1992) Hardcover $18.25 Paperback $4.87

Croaker: Grave Sins by Paul Bishop (Jun 28, 2011) – $2.99 Kindle

Bluff City Brawler (Fight Card) by Heath Lowrance, Jack Tunney, Mel Odom and Paul Bishop (Sep 1, 2012) – $2.99 Kindle

Felony Fists (Fight Card) by Jack Tunney, Mel Odom and Paul Bishop (Nov 11, 2011) – $0.00 Kindle

Get Hit, Hit Back (Fight Card) by Jack Tunney, John Kenyon, Paul Bishop and Mel Odom (May 26, 2013) – $2.99 Kindle

Hot Pursuit by Paul Bishop (Jun 19, 2011) – $2.99 Kindle

The Other Side of Truth by Paul Kimball and Greg Bishop (Apr 3, 2013) – $9.39 Kindle

The Cutman (Fight Card) by Jack Tunney, Mel Odom and Paul Bishop (Nov 11, 2011) – $0.99 Kindle

Deep Water by Paul Bishop (Jun 19, 2011) – $2.99 Kindle

Penalty Shot by Paul Bishop (Jun 23, 2011) – $2.99 Kindle

Welcome to the Octagon (Fight Card MMA) by Jack Tunney, Gerard Brennan, Paul Bishop and Mel Odom (Apr 17, 2013) – $0.99 Kindle

Fight Card: Against the Ropes by Jack Tunney, Terrence McCauley, Paul Bishop and Mel Odom (Feb 11, 2013) – $2.99 Kindle

The Knockout (Fight Card) by Jack Tunney, Paul Bishop, Mel Odom and Robert J. Randisi (Dec 1, 2012) – $0.99 Kindle

Golden Gate Gloves (Fight Card) by Jack Tunney, Robert Evans, Mel Odom and Paul Bishop (Oct 21, 2012) – $2.99 Kindle

The Centurions’ Shield by Keith and Jake Bushey

Uniform Decisions by John Caprarelli and Lee Mindham  (Dec 27, 20110 $11.80 – Kindle $7.99

Criminal Justice Administration by Clyde Cronkhite (Oct 15, 2007) $84.28

Law Enforcement and Justice Administration by Clyde Cronkhite (Jan 15, 2012) $126.95/$58.25pb

Fallen Angels by Connie Dial (Apr 20, 2012) $22.04 – Kindle $9.99

Internal Affairs by Connie Dial (Jun 1, 2009) $21.29 – Kindle $15.40

The Broken Blue Line by Connie Dial (Jun 1, 2010) $21.28 – Kindle $15.40

The Buffalo Rock by Bob Faulkner  (Aug 8, 2008) $30.00

The Warrior in Me by David E. Gray (Mar 9, 2010) $19.99 – Kindle $7.69

True to the Blue by David E. Gray

Eclipse of the Blue by David E. Gray (Oct 28, 2012) $29.99 – Kindle $3.99

Images of America – Los Angeles Police Department by Tom Hays and Art Sjoquist (Oct 10, 2005) $19.99

Black Dahlia Avenger by Steve Hodel (Apr 11, 2003) $11.18 – Kindle $0.99

Most Evil by Steve Hodel (Sep 22, 2009) $3.99 – Kindle $7.99

Black Dahlia Avenger II by Steve Hodel (Mar 13, 2012) $19.11 – Kindle $7.99

Thicker’n Thieves by Charles Stoker and Steve Hodel (Mar 13, 2012) $23.00 – Kindle $7.19

Islam and Barack Hussein Obama by Stephen M. Kirby, Ph.D. (Jul 20, 2010) $8.75

Letting Islam Be Islam by Stephen M. Kirby, Ph.D. (Oct 1, 2012) $18.18

Orphan’s Asylum by Mike Krecioch (Feb 20, 2008) $19.99 – Kindle $3.99

“G’d Up” 24/7 – The GHB Addiction Guide by Trinka Porrata (Jun 1, 2007) $34.99

War Stories Lived by a L.A. Cop by Robert E. Reynolds (Aug 1, 2012) $19.95 – Kindle  $19.95

Good Cop Dead Cop by Bob Ruchhoft and Phil Smith (Apr 4, 2011) $13.95 – Kindle $4.99

The BCMC – The Big City Motor Cop by Gary Smith (Jul 29, 2009) $19.99 – Kindle $9.99

Hide and Seek – The Warrant Game by Gary Smith (Apr 6, 2011) $19.99 – Kindle $9.99

Casey Teel by Dale Sprinkle (Sep 29, 2011) $28.95/$17.95pb – Kindle $3.99

The First Crime Scene by Frank Tomlinson  (Oct 17, 2009) $19.99

No One Escapes by Frank Tomlinson  (Nov 24.2011) $18.99

The SWAT Pioneers – A History of the LAPD’s SWAT Program 1965-1972 by Rik Violano (Jan 1, 2006) $30

To Ride a Hurricane by William L. Walker  (Mar 3, 2008) $28.80 – Kindle $15.95

To Ride a Hurricane II The Redemption by William L. Walker (Dec 6, 2011) $29.95 – Kindle $29.95

Gene Roddenberry’s “Earth Final Conflict” (Bk. 1) by Gene Roddenberry (Out of Print)Gene Roddenberry’s “Earth Final Conflict” (Bk. 2) by Gene Roddenberry (Out of Print)

THE MAKING OF STAR TREK : The Book on How to Write for TV! by Stephen E. Whitfield and Gene Roddenberry (Jul 1, 1970) (Currently unavailable)

Star Trek 5, The Rift, Chain of Attack, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Deep Doma by Peter David, Gene DeWeese, Gene Roddenberry, David Dvorkin, Melinda James Blish (Jan 1, 1972) (Currently unavailable)

The Star Trek Reader I by James Blish and Gene Roddenberry (Sep 1976) Hardcover $30.48

Star Trek: The New Voyages by Sondra Marshak, Myrna Culbreath, Gene Roddenberry and Cast of Star Trek (1976) Paperback $39.99

The Star Trek Reader II by James Blish and Gene Roddenberry (Apr 1977) Hardcover $11.65

The Star Trek Reader III by James Blish and Gene Roddenberry (Aug 1977) Hardcover $12.99

The City on the Edge of Forever (Star Trek Fotonovel, No. 1) by Harlan Ellison and Gene Roddenberry (Nov 1977) Paperback $8.30

Where No Man Has Gone Before (Star Trek Fotonovel, No. 2) by Samuel A. Peeples and Gene Roddenberry (Nov 1977) Paperback $47.99

The Star Trek Reader IV by James Blish and Gene Roddenberry (Mar 1978) Hardcover $20.93

The Devil in the Dark (Star Trek Fotonovel, No. 9) by Gene L Coon and Gene Roddenberry (Jul 1978) Paperback $10.00

Day of the Dove (Star Trek Fotonovel No. 10) by Jerome Bixby and Gene Roddenberry (Aug 1978) Paperback $40.56

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Star Trek: the Making of the TV Series by Gene Roddenberry (Sep 12, 1991) Paperback $66.64

GENE RODDENBERRY: The Myth and the Man Behind Star Trek by Gene Roddenberry). Engel, Joel (1994) Hardcover $44.95

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Run for it!

A participant in the LAPD’s Challenge Cup, Baker to Vegas Relay

 

NOTE FROM JESS WAID: Sergeant Alex Shearer, a good friend, now deceased, is the man the character Alex Strait is based on in my Mike Montego novels.

 Alex, who truly liked being called “Uncle Alex,” was a member of the LAPD’s long-distance running team that ran relays across the nation.

 In a letter to me dated March 22, 1994, Alex wrote the following:

 

It was early afternoon and I was getting ready for my leg when a squad car with three local deputies drove up. I soon learned that one of the deputies was going to “run a ways with me.”

         Now you know how I hate these unscheduled running partners, so I walked over to him. Bob Hickey was probably only 15 minutes away.

         The deputy was in full uniform, complete with Sam Brown and Smokey the Bear hat.

         I asked him, “You going to run with me?”

         “Yup.”

         “You going to wear that hat?”

         “Yup.”

         “What about the gun belt and gun?”

         “Yup.”

         My pissed-off point went up a notch or two.

         “You are going to change those cowboy boots, aren’t you?”

         “Nope.”

         That did it. This guy would rue the day he met me. He was about to undergo exquisite punishment.

         As Hickey and I made the baton exchange, I cranked along fast enough to let my fellow runner know that he had made a grievous error, but not fast enough to make him drop out.

         After a few hundred yards, my struggling companion removed his hat and threw it in the following squad car.

         I chuckled.

         A hundred yards farther on, off came the gun and gun belt.

         My floundering companion could not stop long enough to remove his cowboy boots. It must have been pure agony for him.

         I loved it!

         As we approached the town I decided the deputy had learned the folly of his ways and was ready to put it in gear and leave him to his blisters and misery.

         Starting to sprint off, I looked ahead and spied a fairly large number of the population had gathered along the street to watch. I figured they had come out to watch one of their locals run through town with a runner from the Big City.

         I don’t know whether it was because he was a fellow police officer, or I didn’t want to humiliate him in front of his fellow citizens, but I decided to drop back.

         We ran through the town together.

         Upon leaving the town folks behind us, he dropped off.

         I’ll never forget his last words, “Thanks for cutting me some slack.”

         I finished my leg with a good feeling. But I would probably have felt better if I had punished him a bit more.

         What nerve running with me in that outfit!

        

Thinking back…

I’ve drawn on personal experiences as a child in the course of crafting the Mike Montego series. I’ve done so to give the books’ main character a realistic past. But what Mike experienced is not exactly the same as what I experienced. I’ve judiciously added to his background, and given him martial arts abilities that I could only dream of as a kid—not that I haven’t practiced some of it in my later years.

When I began writing off-and-on some twenty years ago, it was a hobby. I like to think it still is, although I spend many more hours at my desk today than I did back then. Writing has kept me young in some ways, at least mentally, as I relive memories of my law enforcement days on the streets of Los Angeles.

Plotting my stories takes me back, so far back that I have to pause and ask myself, was that really the way it happened?! Today’s law enforcement officer has so much more at his/her fingertips than we did back in the ‘60s — things  my partners and I could scarcely have fantasized about. I’m not sure we ever considered Dick Tracy’s 2-way wristwatch would ever become reality, and now, technology has blown by it!

On patrol when making a stop back in the day, we seldom knew what we would be facing. I’m sure that’s still true, but today’s patrol officers have more information at their disposal, and get it quicker, much of it in real time, thanks to on-board computers.

I also know patrol officers don’t wait as long these days for returns on their wants and warrants checks. Boy, do I remember those too-long minutes ticking by as I hovered by the radio receiver, wanting to be within earshot of the radio when the response to my request finally came in.

When a Code Six Charles came over the air, meaning I had stopped a wanted felon, I instantly wondered: am I vulnerable? After cuffing the suspect and breathing more easily, I would run through every step I’d taken from the vehicle stop to the moment of receiving the information.
Too often I second-guessed myself . . . but I obviously survived.

And now I write about it. What a wonderful world.