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My SWAT Experience
I’ve recently embarked on a ten-week course with the West Chester Citizen’s Police Academy with one of my girlfriends. My favorite lesson, hands down, was SWAT night. We met at a local church, and as soon as I stepped out of my SUV, a SWAT team member debriefed us (yeah, I get giddy using that word), on what was “happening inside the church.”
Here’s the scenario: a 25-year-old youth pastor wants to marry his 15-year-old girlfriend, and he’s got the pastor held hostage by gunpoint, forcing him to marry them. The youth pastor wants the girl’s father’s blessing since she’s only 15, so he is on the phone with her father, trying to get him to sign-off on a marriage that isn’t legal. (Believe me, I laughed aloud when I heard the scenario because my father is a pastor, and honestly, nothing surprises me on what people want blessed—even at gunpoint). After I realized the SWAT team guy wasn’t going to laugh along with me, I pulled my inner-idiot together and was all about the game.
We were supposed to be church members; some of us knew what was going on…some of us just walked into a hostage scenario without having a clue what was going down. The fact that some of us were debriefed with more information than others (yeah, still love that word) was all part of the SWAT training. Team members want to be prepared for all types of hostages—those in the know, those freaked out because of not having a clue, and those that only know party of the story. The reason they do this is not only to deal with those different sets of circumstances but also to gain experience in interviewing those types of hostages AFTERWARD.
I was led to the blue room and asked to hunker down with two other women and…watch, listen, and wait. Fortunately, we were right outside the room where we could here Fake Youth Pastor and Fake Girlfriend making a phone call to Fake Girlfriend’s Father. After about ten minutes, we were given the signal to run like banshees toward the end of the building. I led the pack and when we rounded the corner, on our left were men in full SWAT gear, ready to storm the place. I got a little star-struck. This was some serious crap, and the only thing that would’ve made it perfect would be if Jack Bauer jumped out and asked me to be his baby mama. I stopped mid-run for one point something seconds and stared like an idiot until I finally came back to myself and realized I was throwing a variable into the mix they probably didn’t need.
Anyway, when we got out of the building, we were interviewed by a SWAT team member who asked us two things. One, how many are left inside? Two, what did you see/hear? Dude, I had this story down. The girls and I gave him body counts and locations, but then we were led back to a general “holding place” for hostages to be interviewed separately. We gave them our names and phone numbers—all part of SWAT SOP in case they need to call you to testify. So I rewound the story as I knew it, realizing the biggest thing if you are ever held hostage is to know who is where and what their names are. Er, I got half of it right. I know, face-palm. I called the bad guy “Jeff” when I knew his name was “Matt.” But I swear, I got the rest of the crap right, even telling him where people were located. So I’m sorry Mr. Hypothetical Youth Pastor Erroneously Named Jeff…when the SWAT team storms your hypothetical house tonight, it was me that threw you under the bus…my apologies.
(The Darcy Walker Series #3)
Publication date: May 13th 2014
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult
Sometimes life smacks you right in the kisser with a whole lot of ohhhh craaaaap.
Just ask Darcy Walker.
100 Proof Stud picks up four months after No Brainer’s cliffhanger ending, and Darcy discovers the aftermath pales in comparison to the crisis her heart is in. All of a sudden it’s raining men, and this teenage heroine’s personal life turns her inside out.
Before she can sort out her feelings, she chases a spray-painting vandal and stumbles upon a case of identity theft right in her own backyard. Darcy jumps into the fray headfirst to prove she can hang with the big boys.
But it’s not just to hang…nope, she’s chasing reward money.
Tapping her band of misfit brothers for help, she turns Valley upside down trying to unearth the criminals. Problem is, the cloak and dagger goes high-octane, and she raises the bar on “crazy” in the process.
Bullets ring out…dead bodies appear…and Darcy rubs shoulders with the ultimate sociopath. In the midst of murder and mayhem, will she finally follow her heart or build a fortress of lies around it? Will she even get the chance?
A. J. lives in Cincinnati with her husband, two feministic daughters, an ADD dog, a spoiled hamster, and an unapologetic and unrepentant addiction to Coca-Cola. She studied English, Journalism, and Political Science at Morehead State University and left the business world when her daughters were born. Her love for suspense and a good story was born from watching Mystery Science Theater with her sister during childhood. That and any B-movie with comedic undertones they could get their hands on.From a small town in Kentucky, her sister and she lived in their imaginations on a regular basis, and A.J.’s love for the bizarre and paranormal still holds true to this day. She loves roller coasters, scary movies, and haunted houses and the weird sense of accomplishment it gives her when she can make it through without keeling over.
If Life has taught her anything, it’s the need to acquire a wicked sense of humor, come up swinging, and to never, ever give up…no matter what obstacle is in front of you.
When she’s not riding that razor-thin line between creativity and insanity, she likes to read, watch too much cable TV, or cheer like a banshee at her daughters’ sporting events.
A. J. loves to connect with fans! You can find her via Twitter and Facebook or send an email.
Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/ajlape