Citizen Police Academy ~ Ethan Stone: Outside the Margins

Join us as Ethan Stone goes Outside the Margins.

Ethan Stone OtM

Citizen Police Academy

Getting Ideas Wherever I Can

As a mystery writer, I admit that sometimes coming up with the whodunit can be challenging. I strive not to only make them unique to each other but to other books in the genre. I do whatever I can to get fresh ideas. Checking out blogs and news articles helps, but still that’s information everyone has.

Then I took the advice of one of my favorite people, Eden Winters, to find out if the city I live had a citizen’s police academy. I’d never heard of such a thing but it didn’t take long for me to find out Salem did have one. Here’s how the website describes the 14 week class.

The goal of the Citizen Police Academy is to inform and educate citizens regarding police practices and services and to enhance the relationship between the police department and the community.

There’s only been a few classes but I’ve already learned a lot. The chief of police spoke to us for a short time but has sworn to come back and tell us more stories about his years on the force.

One interesting subject I learned about was the school resources officer. Each high school has an officer stationed at the school every day. The officer discussed how his job is not as punishment based as a regular cop. In fact, when he catches the teens speeding in the parking lot he doesn’t give them tickets; he makes them write a six page essay about why speeding is dangerous.

He also spends time just talking to kids one-on-one, including a young woman who cuts herself. He visits with her and tries to help her deal with the issues she is having. I think that’s such a wonderful idea and it gave me an idea for a book. It would involve a troubled young man who thinks he’s in love with the school cop who is trying to help him deal. What happens next? I’m not sure.

I’ve also learned a lot about Tasers. Did you know that Tasers have metadata that includes information about how many times it was discharged and for how long? Crooks can’t claim to have been tased a bunch of times. That could be useful in a story.


I also learned a few interesting things involving civilian models of Tasers that I’m sure I will use in a story at some point.

The most exciting thing I’ve done as part of the class, however, was to go on a ride along. It was mainly traffic stops but Officer Smith and I did respond to an incident where the suspect was tased. We didn’t arrive until after everything had happened, but the suspect was put in the back seat of the car I was in. He and I had a very interesting conversation. In fact, he said if I knew his story I could write and make a million bucks. (If I had a buck for every time I’d been told that, I probably would have a million bucks.)

I’m looking forward to future classes where I’ll get to drive a car fast and shoot a gun. As an author who doesn’t love in depth research I now have a wealth of information in my hands. And I’m loving it.


o-in-the-flesh Title: In the Flesh
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary, Crime Fiction, Gay Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Thriller

Reno Detective Cristian Flesh is an out and unashamed cop, but his slutty ways might be his downfall. Christian lives by a strict set of personal rules, preferring hook-ups and anonymous encounters to committed relationships. His guidelines work for him… until one of his tricks is murdered and he becomes the prime suspect.

Leave it to handsome lawyer Colby Maddox to save Christian’s life. He takes the case and the attraction between them is quick and undeniable. After several passion-filled encounters with Colby, Christian unexpectedly wants to break all his rules. However, before they can contemplate a future together, they’ll have to clear Christian’s name and find the real murderer.

2nd Edition

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~ Ethan Stone

About Ethan Stone

Ethan Stone is an out and proud gay man. Which is fairly new in his life, the out part, not the gay part. He’s been queer his whole life, though he tried to deny it for years with a wonderful woman. The years in denial weren’t all bad, he has two amazing kids out of it. His son is a teenager and his daughter has made him a grandfather, three times over. A way too young grandfather.

Ethan recently returned to Oregon after almost a decade in Nevada. He no longer has a day job and is doing his best to make a living at this writing thing. If he can’t make a living, he at least wants to support his Mt. Dew and beef jerky addictions.

Readers can find Ethan online.

Twitter: @ethanjstone
Google +:
Ello: @ethanstone92

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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One thought on “Citizen Police Academy ~ Ethan Stone: Outside the Margins

  1. Taking this class is all the winning: how the force operates, seeing things firsthand, learning about local programs, etc. You’re a more educated citizen as well as having more cool details in your storytelling arsenal.

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