Crime Writers' Academy fights the CSI effect in media

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Three hundred crime authors, producers and screen writers from around the world are in Green Bay getting real-life police training, all to make their writing more realistic. It’s a four-day Writers’ Police Academy in its tenth year.

After working as a police officer in Virginia and reading bad crime novels for decades, it's Lee Lofland's mission to make these writers “write believable, make-believe.”

"The CSI effect is very real. People watch CSI on TV and they think that's how it's supposed to happen, and it's just not so,” said Lofland.

He's seen what happens when people believe the fakery of TV stunts and incorporate it into real life.

"It adds to the misconceptions people have about police and the jobs they do,” said Lofland. "It's a huge problem and especially in the court system, because when you have jurors who believe what they see on fictional TV shows and then they try to apply that to the cases that the juror's on, it's just not a good mix at all."

Writers took notes on everything: learning how to strike with a baton, spray pepper spray, function wearing heavy duty belts and how to handcuff a suspect.

The NWTC trainers are real officers, too— and they're giving writers funny little details about things they do, hoping to see their stories used in writing. Case in point: NWTC Criminal Justice Instructor Matthew Ninham’s 'cop-using-the-bathroom' trick: put your gun holster on the baby changing table to move faster.

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