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Sunday, May 16, 2021

Citizens police academies

cj Sez: Does your city or town have a “Citizens Police Academy?” If so, I recommend you think about applying for membership…when the world re-opens its doors.

   I applied for Class #21 in Mobile in 2017 and was recently asked to write a column for the alumni association’s newsletter about why I took the class. The text of the column follows:

Stating the obvious, there are many reasons why people take the Mobile Citizens Police Academy course. A desire to support Mobile’s police force? Check. Someone invited you to come along? Check. Curiosity? Check. If we’re truthful, curiosity is second, if not first on everyone’s list. The reason at the top of my list is likely not on yours at any level. Let me explain why.

   First, I moved to Mobile after I retired from the auto industry in Detroit. Why would someone who’d spent almost all of her life in the cool weather of the near North move to the hellacious heat and humidity of the Gulf Coast? The age-old answer: I wanted to live closer to grandkids, my born and bred Mobile all-stars.

   Second, my ex-husband was a cop when I worked in the Violation Bureau of a small city. I later became the court clerk for a municipal judge, so being around law enforcement and first responders was not a new thing for me. Knowing what happens in Mobile was a different matter. The procedures and processes of a police force in another city, another state, and essentially another culture were not only unfamiliar, they seemed alien.

   Which brings me to this: The primary reason I signed up for the MCPA was because I had become a published author. I write thriller/suspense novels under the pen name of cj petterson and was planning a new novel set on the Gulf Coast. Because my cop/law experiences dated back to the 1970s, I needed a refresher on police work. I intended the MCPA to be my primary research source.

   That turned out to be a perfect idea. I met marvelous people, had a wonderful time learning and researching, was inspired to keep working on new stories, and opted to join the Alumni Association because it is such a worthwhile organization. It’s my honor to support their wonderful mission:

Promote and enhance the relationship between the Community and the Mobile Police Department.


   Since my graduation from the Mobile Citizens Police Academy, I have participated in community outreach programs offered by the Mobile Fire and Rescue Department and by the local Federal Bureau of Investigation office. They were exciting experiences for this Jane-Q citizen and marvelous research opportunities for this writer.


Writerly quotes: 


My thriller/suspense novel, DEATH ON THE YAMPA, LAUNCHED on May 30! 

Find out where you can grab the eBook copy of your next new adventure here:   


   THE DAWGSTAR, another thriller/suspense novel, is now available as an eBook and in paperback! 

   The story is a Jane Bond-ish read with a touch of romance. Paperback is available on Amazon. 

 (Amazon Buy Now )

 You can buy the eBook from your favorite E-retailer. Find the buy links here:


On the home front: 

   Son Jeff D. Johnston’s photo of an Indigo Bunting on Dauphin Island, Alabama.


  That’s it for today’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.


P.S.  TO ORDER my autographed books or any book of your choice on-line and support an indie bookstore, contact The Haunted Bookshop here:

The store has re-opened to limited hours (and they have an awesome bookstore kitty, Mr. Bingley), so if you’re in the Mobile area, you can stop and shop, too.

Follow me . . .     
on Amazon:    Amazon Central Author Page
on Goodreads: under re-construction 

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree about CPAs. I did the one in Austin TX and had a ball. Wichita Falls did have an academy, but they had rideouts and I did those there. I would do them here if they had them. There's no better education for a mystery writer. OR for a citizen.


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