Consultant for writers on crime, police, & court procedures.

Friday, August 16, 2013


I've gotten questions lately about whether all police officers and detectives have partners. Actually, most patrol officers and detectives do not have partners despite what you see on TV. A few very large cities are able to partner some of their officers but most law enforcement agencies simply can not afford to do so. It's terribly expensive to add an additional officer to a patrol car, not to mention a very inefficient usage of available staffing.  

Research shows that a two-officer car is not much safer than one-officer cars.  The thought is that an officer alone realizes he or she has to watch out for danger and operates at a heightened state of vigilance. With two officers, it's possible each thinks the other is watching out and thus drops his or her guard. I don't know if that's true but as a former police chief, I know most agencies can not afford to staff two officers to a car or pair up detectives.  It is not economical and it's not as effective.  Two detectives following one another around aren't going to accomplish as much as each working his or her individual cases.  Two patrol officers in two cars can cover more ground and deter and detect more criminal activity.

That doesn't mean that detectives don't often pair up to go out into the field looking for suspects or witnesses.  But they usually aren't "partners" like you see on TV and in movies (Lethal Weapon, Starsky & Hutch, Cagney & Lacey) where detectives almost always have a constant companion.  Most detective work takes place behind a desk. When detectives need to go out and need backup, they grab whoever is available to be "partner for the day."

Thursday, August 15, 2013


You can't call 911 when you need help with your crime or suspense novel.  But you can call me!  I will respond "Code 3" to provide nearly four decades of police experience to your story.  Whether you need story ideas or a complete manuscript review, I can help you "WriteCrimeRight." Read what others have said about our services:

“Wes Harris has helped me with my upcoming crime/suspense novel. Although I write fiction, I want to accurately portray law enforcement as much as possible. Wes has helped me to do that. I would highly recommend his services to other writers who would like help with the law enforcement aspects of their writing.”—Heidi Glick, author of Dog Tags

Wesley Harris can deliver! Not only did he know the answers to all my questions about Civil War firearms, but he answered them thoroughly, applied his knowledge to my particular characters and scene, and responded in a timely fashion. He is the dream resource for a novelist who needs his brand of expertise. I highly recommend his services, and will be using them again myself.”
~Jocelyn Green, award-winning author of the Heroines Behind the Lines series 

"As a romantic suspense author, I work very hard to get the facts straight, or as close to as humanly possible within 380 pages.  I’ve been blessed to correspond with Chief Wesley Harris, who not only corroborates or corrects my thinking, but goes the extra mile to work around those pesky plot problems. Chief Harris has been invaluable to me in clarifying police procedure. Other authors speak glowingly of him as well."--Donnell Ann Bell, Amazon bestselling author of The Past Came Hunting and Deadly Recall.    

I'm so grateful for the help Officer Harris has supplied me in helping get it right and keeping it real for my fiction detective. With Wes's expertise and broad base of knowledge I feel I have a good shot at writing about law enforcement. I wouldn't attempt to write without his help. He is never too busy and no question is considered foolish. I hope you take advantage of this man's knowledge.”—author Nanci Rubin

"Since my Diana Racine Psychic Suspense series takes place in New Orleans, and I live in South Carolina, I called on Wes Harris to smooth out some basic police procedures pertaining to Louisiana. He always answered my questions quickly and thoroughly. The man knows his stuff. Any mistakes in my books are all mine and fall under the heading of artistic license."--novelist Polly Iver

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Your story has a killer.  Your hero must stop him.  But is your villain a serial killer, a spree killer, or a mass murderer?  Or none of the above.  You must know the difference to understand how to characterize your antagonist.

A serial killer has killed multiple times but always at a different location over a period of time. There is usually a pattern as to location, type of victim, method of murder, etc. with the victim almost always previously unknown to the killer.  The Ted Bundys and John Wayne Gacys fit in this category.
Ted Bundy