More Street Stories Tales from the Barking Muse

Police Academy Redux, part 2

By Gerry Goldshine

Petaluma Police Department, retired



Part 2 (part one appeared April 2, 2015)
Beside myself, there were two other recruits from the Sheriff’s Office attending the Academy with me. The largest contingent of recruits was from a Silicon Valley Department of Public Safety. I found it a bit startling when I learned that there were several people in the class who had not been hired by any particular department; in essence, they were “civilians” putting themselves through the training in the hopes that successful completion would make them a more attractive employment prospect. I was also surprised at how small our class was; while I don’t recall the exact number of people who started training, I do know that 24 of us graduated and there was not an especially high attrition rate. Contrary to my fearful expectations, SRJC did indeed run a low stress, twelve-week-long training program whose atmosphere was almost collegial. Having a small class was not necessarily a bad thing because it meant much more one to one interaction with the various instructors. For me, the relaxed training environment took some getting used to and as I was the only recruit with any military training, I often found the lack of discipline and decorum disconcerting.

In 1979, women moving from administrative and non-sworn positions to becoming street officers were still somewhat of a “novelty”. In my class, they numbered less than a half dozen, one of whom was a fellow SCSO recruit. I didn’t find it particularly unsettling to have women among my classmates; they had been moving into “non-traditional” occupational specialties in the Army for some time, so I was quite used to training alongside and working with women. Some of the less enlightened male recruits felt differently and made no effort to hide their opinion that women did not belong, behaving like stereotypical misogynists. One of these “gentlemen” was almost a match to the “Police Academy” character “Mahoney” but with all the negative traits and none of the positive. Like Mahoney, somehow this person managed to make it all the way through training and graduated with the other recruits from his department.

Police Academy 3-Officer Hooks
Police Academy 3-Officer Hooks

Nearly every training course I’ve taken has had a cast of characters very much like those in the Police Academy movies. There always seemed to be a “Tackleberry” type; the borderline super-macho personality disorder who carried a virtual arsenal in the trunk of his car, always wore camouflage fatigues, often reckless and overeager. In most of the coed classes I been in, there was usually someone very much like the character “Hooks”; a female trainee soft of voice, uncertain of her abilities, and often deferring to men. Invariably there was someone like “Hightower”, the huge muscular guy who was smarter that he appeared, gentler than he seemed and loyal as a puppy dog to his friends. Finally there invariably seemed to be someone like the characters “Sweetchuck” and “Fackler”; this was the guy who tripped over his own feet, walked into closed doors, had a voice that cracked when under stress, lacked a scintilla of common sense and invariably either shot himself in the foot or a fellow classmate in the arse. Looking back, each in their own way, made the training far more interesting as well as more memorable, though at the time I sure many of us considered them with less kindly thoughts.

Having just come out of the Army where highly strenuous physical fitness standards were de rigueur, I found the “PT” at the Academy less than challenging. Unlike the other subject areas, such as criminal law, criminalistics, and firearms, our class did not have an instructor dedicated to physical conditioning. To be sure, we had someone to teach weaponless or hand to hand tactics but no one was assigned for every day physical training or “PT,” something which I had practically lived by over the prior four years in the Army. More often than not, our PT consisted of volleyball or disorganized workouts in the weight room. We did do some running, usually no more than two miles and generally less, during which time nearly everyone complained. For me at that time, a mile run was a warm up as I had been used to running up to five miles in full combat gear in under 40 minutes. I cannot recall if we had to pass a PT test to graduate beyond completing an obstacle course within a specified time frame. I thought then as I do now that we rendered a disservice with such lackadaisical physical conditioning. Aside from the obvious health benefits, maintaining a high state of physical conditioning is essential in surviving street encounters from fist fights to foot pursuits to the use of deadly force. I wasn’t the only recruit that was disconcerted by this and I do know it eventually changed for the better.

Contrary to Zed’s bit of wisdom, my academy class spent a great deal of time in the classroom receiving instruction on subjects ranging from the obvious, such as criminal law to less considered but critical report writing. However, looking back over 35 years later, the very first place to which my Field Training Officer took me, when I was with the Sheriff’s Office, was a Winchell’s Donut shop. Much as I hate to admit it, even to this day many a cop visits the local donut eatery because it’s fast and the coffee is always hot; I guess there was a bit of truth to what Zed had to say.

Police Cadets
Police Cadets

Donuts aside, we were about to get a great deal of information distilled and condensed into a 12 week time frame. Hours were spent on learning the fundamentals of California Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure. Things that now still seem so basic were new to many of us back then, such as the differences between statutory and case law–both of which we needed to know. What were felony, misdemeanor and infraction type of crimes? We committed to memory the elements of the more commonly used sections of the Penal Code, such as 211 P.C. which is robbery or 459 P.C. which is burglary. We had to know the applicable sections of the Business and Professions Code, particularly those parts dealing with alcoholic beverages. There were the parts of the Health and Safety Code that dealt with drugs, legal and illicit. We had to know the parts of the Welfare and Institutions Code some of which dealt with children and psychiatric cases. Then there was the California Vehicle Code, which covered everything from driving while intoxicated to what color the front turn signals on a particular year car have to be.

All those various codes and laws were just really a foundation and a starting point. Knowing what constituted a violation of a particular law was just part of the process. There followed training on the complex laws governing arrest, probable cause to detain versus probable cause to arrest. We had to know the most up to date court decisions and laws governing arrest, search and seizure. Then there were the courts; traffic, municipal and superior. As a peace officer, you had to know the differences between them and what type of case went to what court. Beyond that, we had to have a working knowledge of how the criminal justice system functioned, from the filing of a criminal complaint to an arraignment to a court or jury trial. If that wasn’t complex enough, there were separate systems for adult and juveniles.
I was not the only one with a college background in Criminal Justice and though we were familiar with much of the material, there was still much that was new in some manner. It was all coming at us fast and furious. Fortunately, there was plenty of practical, hands-on training that got us out of the classroom to stretch our legs and shake out the cobwebs that inevitably formed in our minds. Naturally, we all looked forward to firearms training. Levels of experience with firearms varied greatly among us. Many grew up around guns through hunting and other sporting activities. As a result of my Army training, I had a familiarity with a very wide assortment of weapons, though it seemed highly unlikely I would have need of an anti-tank missile system as a Deputy Sheriff. As a deputy, my duty weapon was going to be a Smith and Wesson Model 66, .357 magnum revolver, which took some adjustment, as my sidearm while in the Military Police was the classic military Model 1911, .45 semi-automatic pistol. In the late seventies and early eighties, firearm training was on the cusp of a revolution, both in technology and theory. I was fortunate to have been exposed to some of it while in the Army. There was interactive training with lasers giving immediate feedback under simulated combat conditions; automated targets made to look like human silhouettes; and shooting in a variety of conditions both in lighting and weather. Our instructors were some of the best, most knowledgeable military people in the world when it came to firearms. Gone were the days of plinking away at a circular stationary target some hundred yards away.


Witchita, Kansas Police Recruit shooting training
Witchita, Kansas Police Recruit shooting training

Back to my Academy firearms training, I wasn’t expecting our instructor to be someone who split his time between firefighting and police work in the South Bay. Understand that I’m not saying he was a poor instructor; it just was not what I was expecting. While I had qualified “Expert” with nearly every Infantry weapon in the Army, I was only shooting just slightly above average with that .357 pistol. It wasn’t until several years later, when I was a Petaluma Police Officer, a range master discovered while right-handed, I was left eye dominant, which had a great effect on my pistol shooting accuracy. In addition to the live fire range, we also received instruction in what was called “Shoot-Don’t Shoot”, the idea being to develop situational awareness and judgment when employing deadly force. In 1979, our “state of the art” technology for the practical portion of this training consisted of a video projector which showed a scenario on a butcher paper screen and a pistol that fired wax bullets. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one that felt a bit foolish yelling “Freeze!” at that butcher paper.

Read the conclusion of Police Academy Redux on April 9, 2015

Traffic Officer Gerry Goldshine aka T-36  Petaluma Police Department mid-1980's
Traffic Officer Gerry Goldshine
aka T-36
Petaluma Police Department mid-1980’s
More Street Stories

Why I still like my job

Dan Peccor june 26 2011
Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy Dan Peccorini performing a boat inspection on Lake Sonoma June 2011.


By Dan Peccorini (taken with permission from a Facebook post)

Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department, Sonoma Valley area

Today I was sent to check on a person who used her life alert necklace to see if worked during / after earthquakes. Well after explaining to her it did work because I was sent to check on her, this took a lot of explaining because she was elderly. After a long time, she thanked me and I was exhausted from trying to explain technology. .

Well as I talked with her, I was contacted by her older neighbor. The neighbor asked me to come to her home next to help her. She did not tell me the problem and I was afraid to ask. I was in a retirement area and I began to think I would never get out.

As I walked to her door, I reminded myself this person is some ones loved one.

She was very frail and dressed in her robe. She told me how upset she was, but how happy she was to now see me outside her home because she did not know what to do. I asked how could I help her and she pointed to her microwave oven. She uses it to cook/heat most of her meals.Because of the earthquake she lost power and could not get it to work.

She asked me if I owned a microwave oven and if I could help. I told her I had the same model. (not really) I found her microwave would not allow her to operate it until the time was set. I set the time and it began to work.

Her eyes began to tear and she hugged me like I found the cure for cancer. We made small talk for a few minutes as I fixed another oven clock.

Before I left, she told me how thankful she was to have me show up outside her home She hugged me again and told me to stop by if I ever needed something from her.

It not very often someone is happy to see me but it makes my day when it does happen.

Thank you unknown women


Kevin Young, a retired Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy added his thoughts:

Great story!!! I remember when the Anthrax scare was going on after 9/11. I was sent to an elderly lady’s house to check on a suspicious piece of mail she had received from Florida. Whatever was inside the envelope made a funny noise when she shook it and she was sure she didn’t know anyone in Florida. Knowing it wasn’t Anthrax, I told her it would be safe for us to open it under running water. I opened the envelope to find a Saint Christopher medallion and chain. She took the medallion and placed it around my neck… I still wear it today.

Writer's Notes

A Tease

This bus was the model for the Sayulita to Bucerias bus used in my story.
This bus was the model for the Sayulita to Bucerias bus used in my story.

I have a soft target of mid to late November to publish my next book, INTENT TO HOLD. The title refers to a criminal element in the California Penal Code 207PC Kidnapping.

Here’s the story: Nick’s estranged wife calls him from her parents’ home in Mexico, asking for help negotiating the ransom for her kidnapped brother. When his partner, Meredith, volunteers to help, the criminals don’t stand a chance. The two Sonoma County Sheriff’s Detectives operate outside of Mexican law and their own law enforcement code of ethics to rescue Nick’s brother-in-law. Chased by crooked cops, federales and two cartel armies, this story has wall-to-wall action, suspense and a touch of romance.

To whet the reader’s appetite, I have photos of items I used in the story. The first is a bus that Nick and Meredith used to escape from cartel goons, from the fictional area in the jungle between Sayulita and Bucerias on the west coast of Mexico. Here’s a description from the book:

With a squeal of brakes the bus pulled to a stop. Relatively new, the one side was decorated with a vibrantly painted mural of the Virgin Mary, her peaceful face and outstretched arms rested under a film of dust as thick as a finger. Above the tailpipe, graffiti in red and black showed the Norteno star.

Kelty Bender backpack
Kelty Bender backpack

Our intrepid travelers use back packs for their personal items. Meredith Ryan’s is similar to my own: a Kelty Bender Day Pack.

Keen sandals
Keen sandals

She wears Keen shoes in addition to her usual jeans and tee-shirt. These workhorse shoes make it easier to travel from the ocean to the beach to the mountains.

Thule crossover backpack-Nick's pack
Thule Crossover Backpack-Nick’s pack

Nick has a duffel/backpack modeled after one my husband had years ago. I found an updated version that is the model for our


1959 Chevy Impala-imagine a smudge of gray primer and you've got our gangster's car
1959 Chevy Impala-imagine a smudge of gray primer and you’ve got our gangster’s car

One of the more tasteful gangsters drives a blue and gray primered 59 Chevy Impala with tuck and roll upholstery.

More teases to come!

Tales from the Barking Muse

The Fairer Sex? A Lesson Learned

The Fairer Sex? A Lesson Learned

By Gerry Goldshine


As a Baby Boomer, I came of age in the late nineteen-sixties and early seventies, fully cognizant of the upheaval in traditional roles, as women fought anew for equal rights. All too often, I found myself disgusted at the misogynistic response by members of my gender. Though in full agreement with feminist ideals and equality for women, my thinking was none-the-less colored by a touch of traditional male chivalry. By that I mean, I stood when a woman entered a room, I held the car door open for my dates and above all, I firmly abided by the coda that a man never physically assaults or harms a woman. However, I was rather quickly and quite pointedly disabused of that last notion during my first month of field training as a Deputy with the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office that.

My FTO (Field Training Officer) and I were working Swing Shift and assigned to the Roseland beat area. Roseland is an unincorporated part of Sonoma County, southwest of the City of Santa Rosa. It is considered an “active” beat, just the sort of locale for a rookie to gain a wealth of experience. On a lovely spring night, while driving by a school, we spotted a disheveled woman, staggering haphazardly along on the sidewalk. She was clearly under the influence of some type of intoxicating substance. As I was in the very early part of the Field Training program, my FTO was handling most of the tasks and my job was to learn from his example. By the time we notified dispatch that we were going to contact this person and stopped our patrol car, the fair maiden had fallen upon her fundament, spilling the contents of her threadbare purse in the process. There, amongst her wallet, empty pill bottles, used Kleenex, miscellaneous feminine hygiene products and keys were several hypodermic syringes, a dirty blackened spoon and a wad of cotton. That partially explained the reason for her inebriated condition. Above the mix of “quaint” odors emanating from her person, I could easily smell the odor of many consumed alcoholic beverages. Drugs AND alcohol; swell. Then, much to my surprise, my FTO gestured to her and told me, “Go hook her up.”

Drunk woman
Drunk woman

This would be my first arrest as a Deputy. I dutifully explained to her that she was under arrest for public intoxication and illegal possession of hypodermic syringes. I told her to put her hands behind her, moved in smartly and took one of her arms to place her in a control hold. Though quite pickled, she quickly made it obvious that she had other ideas; none of them included complying with a rookie sheriff’s deputy and going to jail. Responding to me with a hail and hearty, “Fuck you, asshole!” she swung her free arm in a wide arc, just missing my head. From that point, as they say, the fight was on. So, with my FTO looking on rather bemusedly, I went through a repertoire of control holds, none of which worked as they did in the academy – big surprise there, right? Then I tried bringing her down to the ground. Considering her indelicate state of balance, that shouldn’t have been a problem, except when she realized what I was trying to do, she became possessed of stability rivaling that of the Flying Wallendas. After about five of these fun filled minutes had passed, I grew weary of this dance; after dodging loads of wildly swung haymakers, well aimed furious kicks towards my groin and the occasional attempt at a bite, I looked at my FTO, expecting some type of help or suggestions.

He merely cocked an eyebrow and said, “You know, we do have other things to do tonight. Stop playing around and arrest her.”

I can’t imagine why that response would tend piss me off but anger led to one of those defining moments of clarity; I suddenly focused in on the knot of her pony-tail. With little tactical forethought, I quickly grabbed it and holding it tightly, I pulled her down to the ground. Once there, I immediately put a knee in her back to hold her still and quickly completed handcuffing her. Well before Kevin Costner said it to Al Pacino in the “Untouchables”, my FTO reacted to my triumph by slowly clapping his hands and saying, “Here endeth the lesson.” Now deigning to help me, my FTO and I “delicately” placed her squirming, struggling form into the backseat of our car; as we headed to the jail, I considered what I had learned.

Rather stupidly, on some now unfathomable level, I had expected this drug-addled, intoxicated flower of feminity to behave in a genteel, lady-like manner when faced with the prospect of going to jail rather than reacting like one of the mythical Furies. The most extreme hazardous point of any police-suspect encounter are those very first few seconds when an officer is effecting an arrest and moving in to handcuff a suspect. No one wants to be denied their freedom. Fear brings out adrenaline which brings about unpredictable responses. The meek can explode like hellions possessed while brawny behemoths fold like a house of cards. In not taking decisive, forthright action the moment I went to handcuff this woman, I placed myself into serious jeopardy.

While there may still be a time and place for chivalry, arresting a drunk drug addled woman is inarguably not one of them.  Had she been an obnoxious, slovenly drunken man, I would not have hesitated in applying escalating force, resorting to perhaps CS spray (a tearing agent) or if necessary, my baton the second I met physical resistance and other less “forceful” tactics were not working. Equal opportunity applies to arrest situations. Over the ensuing years, I have been kicked, slapped and spat upon during the course of arresting combative members of the so-called “fairer sex”. One demure, 54 year old grandmother, drunk and resisting arrest while squabbling with another patron on the floor of a local tavern, grabbed one of my legs and sank her teeth into my calf. It took three other officers assisting me to pry her loose.

At the start of each of these encounters, I always recalled the lesson I learned in Roseland that spring day, now so many years ago. The ancient Greek poet, Homer, perhaps put it better when he wrote, “Oh, woman, woman! When to ill thy mind is bent, all Hell contains no fouler fiend.”

As they say in these contemporary times, “Word”.

Traffic Officer Gerry Goldshine circa 1985
Traffic Officer Gerry Goldshine circa 1985

Gerry was born in Providence, Rhode Island but raised in Southern California. 

Upon graduating from California State University, Los Angeles, Gerry enlisted in

the Army and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. After leaving active duty

in 1979, he worked for Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office. From 1980 until his retirement

More Street Stories

Calling All Cars

Adam 12 sound byte

San Rafael PD Meter Maids c1973 Marie Morris, Sharon Bunker, Thonie Mulcahy (Hevron)
San Rafael PD Meter Maids c1973 Marie Morris, Sharon Bunker, Thonie Mulcahy (Hevron)

Back in 1973, when I first got hired as a Parking Enforcement Officer with San Rafael Police Department in California, I didn’t need to worry about 10 codes. For the first 2 years of my tenure, we had no radio in our “buggies”. Of course, I learned them anyway. Then around 1975, after a Hell’s Angel accosted me (it’s not what you think: I was on 4th Street–the main drag–and this Romeo decided he was irresistible and wouldn’t take NO for an answer). Because the incident occurred downtown in a highly visible area, merchants called the swamped police dispatch straightaway. Admin decided I needed a radio of my own way to call for help. The “portable” radio they gave me to use was about 8 pounds and 12” x 10” x 3”. Not so portable, really. Months later when was assigned to having cars towed from no parking zones, I had to really learn to talk on that darn thing. So using the only role model available–Adam 12–I wrote down what I needed to say on the radio, then read it with the mike keyed. I knew it wouldn’t take too long to learn the ins and outs–I was a quick study.

The radio was to become my career, even though I denied it to anyone who would listen. There have been high points and low points, to be sure. But learn it, I did.

One of the first things I had to learn was the 10-code, aka the aural brevity code. San Rafael Police Department–as do many municipalities in California–used the 10 code. The 9 code is a relic from years past sometimes used and the 11 code is primarily the California Highway Patrol’s realm. To be accurate, most agencies use a mix of the 10 and 11 codes.

Calling All Cars

Motorola has a great website to detailing the beginning of police radio communications.

The development of the 10-codes began in 1937, when police radio channels were limited, to reduce use of speech on the radio. Credit for inventing the codes goes to Charles “Charlie” Hopper, communications director for the Illinois State Police, in Pesotum, Il. Hopper realized there was a need to abbreviate transmissions on State Police bands.

Experienced radio operators knew the first syllable of a transmission was frequently not understood because of quirks in early electronics technology. Radios in the 1930s were based on vacuum tubes powered by a small motor-generator called a dynamotor. The dynamotor took from 1/10 to 1/4 of a second to “spin up” to full power. Police officers were trained to push the microphone button, then pause briefly before speaking; however, sometimes they would forget to wait. Preceding each code with “ten-” gave the radio transmitter time to reach full power.

Highway Patrol with Broderick Crawford
Highway Patrol with Broderick Crawford

Ten-codes, especially “ten-four”, first reached public recognition in the mid- to late-1950s through the popular television series Highway Patrol, with Broderick Crawford. Crawford would reach into his patrol car to use the microphone to answer a call and precede his response with “10-4”.

Ten-codes were adapted for use by CB radio enthusiasts during its pop culture explosion in the late 1970s. The hit 1975 song “Convoy” by C. W. McCall depicting conversation among CB-communicating truckers put phrases like 10-4 meaning “understood” and what’s your twenty? (10-20) for “where are you?” into common and use in American English. A 1978 movie Convoy, loosely based on the song, further entrenched ten-codes in casual conversation.

Replacement with plain language

As of 2011, ten-codes remain in common use, but have been phased out in some areas in favor of plain language. Nineteen states were planning to change to plain English as of the end of 2009.

10-4 does not mean “yes” (one of my pet peeves), only “understood” “acknowledged” or “ok”.

Official 10 codes

This link provides the standard published by Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) list of 10 codes. However, each agency has its own peculiarities and codes often morph into something unique to the department. When I worked for Petaluma Police (1981-1992), the standard code for “station” (the police station) was “W”. I asked once what it stood for. No one could recall. I doubt they are still using this.

Codes are often used in a more abbreviated form. For instance, using Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety, an exchange that could be “4 Sam 1, 10-20?” “First and Main” might be more like “4 Sam 1, what’s your 10-20?” “My 20 is First and Main”—it would be more efficient to simply ask, “4 Sam 1, where are you?” “I’m at First and Main.” FYI: The “4” before the “Sam” in the call sign denotes the agency. In Sonoma County, “1” stands for Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department. Surrounding agencies are numbered by mutual agreement and use their numbers in their department call signs. The “Sam” is a rank designator, in this case a sergeant.

  • “Lincoln” is a patrol officer
  • “Tom” is a traffic officer
  • “Mary” is a motor officer
  • “David” is a detective
  • “Adam” is an administrator

The number following is called the “unit number” and generally assigned by seniority. For instance, the most senior patrol officer would be “4L1” or “4Lincoln1”.

Just so you don’t think this cop stuff is too easy, there are agencies who adjust an officer’s call sign by shift, beat or zone and unit. For instance, Sonoma County Sheriff uses this system: “E-Edward” is a dayshift unit, “F” is swing (afternoons) shift, and “G” is graveyard (nights). The agency designator stays the same but if an officer is hired for overtime and works a different shift than normal, he has to learn to say his correct radio call sign. In times of intense stress, this has proven to be problematic.

On the other hand, there are times when the use of codes is appropriate, even if less efficient than speaking “clear text”. For instance, using discreet codes for sexual assault, homicide, suicide and other such situations can prevent the victim and family from having to hear the description being broadcast to all within earshot. Even when the meaning is known, it is less of an emotional jolt to hear a set of numbers being rattled off than to hear plain-speech terms for the trauma.

Incident Command System at work
Incident Command System at work

While ten-codes were intended to be a terse, concise, and standardized system, the proliferation of different meanings may render them useless in situations where people from different agencies and jurisdictions need to communicate. For that reason their use is expressly forbidden in the nationally-standardized Incident Command System as is the use of other codes. An example: in Marin County, a “code 6” is a warrant check. In Sonoma County, it is a request for back-up. Yikes.

In the fall of 2005, responding to inter-organizational communication problems during the rescue operations after Hurricane Katrina, the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) discouraged the use of ten-codes and other codes due to their wide variation in meaning. The Department of Homeland Security‘s SAFECOM program, established in response to communication problems experienced during the September 11 attacks also advises local agencies on how and why to transition to plain language. The New Orleans Police Department continued using 10-codes as of 2010.

There is no easy answer. Besides codes, clear talk is the only other option. Yet there are times when law enforcement agencies need expeditious codes. Standardization is a great idea but as long as more than two agencies are involved, there will be differences.

Next, some interesting thoughts from a friend who moved from a California fire agency to a Mid-west military installation. The next post will be guest Elaine O’Brien from Fort Riley PD. You’ll love some of her insights!

Writer's Notes

Still waiting…

While has published BY FORCE OR FEAR, the conversion to Kindle, Amazon, B & N, Kobo, Sony and Diesel haven’t yet passed the manual vetting process. On June 11, my book was submitted to what the publishers call “Premium Catalog” which means it will be available to all the above once it is accepted. Hoops to jump through, to be sure, but necessary if I want to do this right.  I’ll put the word out loud and clear when it comes out. As it is now, thanks to the readers who bought my book through
More about the story:
I set it in Sonoma County for obvious reasons–I live here and know it well. I have worked for several law enforcement agencies including Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department. It should be obvious how much I respect it.

But a few more notes about setting: When I first wrote this book in the late 90’s, the County Courthouse was situated around a quad found in the scene where Meredith shoots the old man with a knife. The SCSD was on the east side of the building with the front door off the Quad. The department has since moved into it’s own new building on Ventura Dr. I chose to stay with the scene as I orignally wrote it for expediency. I needed Judge Stephen Giroud to witness Meredith’s officer involved shooting, and the courtrooms are on the second floor with huge plate glass windows overlooking the Quad. Perfect.  I also kept Community Hospital (now Sutter Health) and the field adjacent to Norton-then Oakcrest Mental Health facility. As for the chases, foot and car, these were fictional spin-offs of every back road I’ve ever been on between Santa Rosa and the coast.

I hope I’ve done justice to the portrayal of Sonoma County’s beauty-even in the soggy winter.

%d bloggers like this: