True Blue

True Blue Cover

True Blue
An Insider’s Guide
to Street Cops for Writers

Lynda Sue Cooper

ISBN 0-9654371-3-2


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The world of law enforcement is a subculture unto itself, with different codes of conduct, jargon, body language, and social mores.  In True Blue, Lynda Sue Cooper answers the question, “What’s It Like?” for those of you who are dedicated enough to the craft of fiction writing to want to get it right.  Though outsiders are not usually embraced amongst the blue brotherhood, True Blue jimmies the door a bit so you may gain entrance into this closed society, step over that line, and get a feel for what it’s like:
Being a cop
Working the streets, responding to calls, investigating crimes
Going through the academy and field training
Wearing a badge, handcuffing someone, losing a case, helping a child
When you-know-what hits the fan out there

Table of Contents


Chapter One
Making the Cut

Chapter Two
A Day in the Life

Chapter Three
Getting the Collar

Chapter Four
Specific Patrol Functions

Chapter Five
Crime Scene Investigation Basics

Chapter Six
Search Warrants and Interrogations

Chapter Seven
The Police World

Chapter Eight
Hazardous Duty

Appendix A
Gang Slang

Appendix B
Ten-Code System

Appendix C
Radio Codes, Language, and a Phonetic Alphabet

Appendix D
Use of Force

Appendix E
Recommended Resources

 Top   About the Author

What others have to say about True Blue:

“This specialty book by former suburban Denver police office Cooper is a treasure filled with stories of life on the street both from her own experiences and from those of about a dozen other cops on the beat.  Anyone who wants some insight into the work life of a policeman/woman—or who wants to write police procedurals (that includes about at least a million people, it seems) will enjoy Cooper’s analysis of the daily grind for those on the front lines between us and bad guys.   It’s a fun and interesting book and will prepare readers to watch and critique ‘NYPD Blue’ and other favorite television shows and novels.”

—  G. Miki Hayden
The Midwest Book Review

“[True Blue is]..not only packed with useful, helpful information about what it takes and what it’s like being a cop, but...interesting and entertaining with asides from behind the scenes and between the lockers.”

Message on the “Sisters in Crime” board

True Blue is a must for any writer who wants to make her cop characters realistic and believable.  Lynda’s smooth easy-reading style makes her book an enjoyable read as well as a helpful research tool.  I bought it to double-check my police info and ended up reading it cover to cover—twice!  The humorous stories and peek at a real cop’s life inspired ideas for several more books of my own.”

— Sandi Haddad
Award-winning author of contemporary romance

“Writers and readers alike will enjoy Lynda Sue Cooper’s True Blue.   Her insider’s view of cops—what they do and what makes them tick—will help writers give their work that all-important ring of authenticity, while mystery and suspense fans will appreciate the chance to look behind the scenes at the fascinating world of police work.  Told in an engaging, often humorous fashion, True Blue reads like a fast-paced novel, making it one of the most enjoyable research books on my shelf.”

— Cynthia Sterling
Author of A Willing Spirit and Patchwork Hearts

True Blue is chock-full of intricate details about the day-to-day life of a patrolman, the real scoop on police department procedures, and intriguing anecdotes guaranteed to generate a myriad of story ideas.  Lynda Sue Cooper has done an excellent job of taking us into the complex mind of a police officer and showing us what lurks in the corners.  If you’ve ever wondered if your police characters are true to life–or what it’s really like wearing the blue uniform–don’t miss this book!”

Pam McCutcheon
Author of Writing the Fiction Synopsis

“Wow! This book is outstanding. It’s full of real insider information, but written in a nice, friendly style with a touch of humor where appropriate. Each of the chapters also end with anecdotes other cops share, some dark, some funny, but all authentic.  Way to go, Lynda!”

— Kris Neri

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Lynda Cooper's picture in uniformABOUT THE AUTHOR

In early 1998, Lynda Sue Cooper bit the bullet and left her career as a police officer to pursue her dream of writing full-time.  In addition to penning articles for many local, regional, and national publications including POLICE, The Writing Self, and the National Safety Council’s Safedriver Magazine, Lynda is the author of three novels for Zebra Bouquet Romances, and for Kensington Encanto writing under the pseudonym Lynda Sandoval.   She is proud to have been a two-time finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart contest.

Lynda is a frequent, popular speaker at writers’ groups and conferences all over the country.  She’s a former Public Information Officer, a certified Drug Abuse Resistance Education instructor, a sharpshooter on the shotgun, an expert on the 9 mm handgun, and she loves to tell the tale of meeting an armed robber, gun to gun, on her very first day of uniformed patrol (she won).

Lynda resides in the great state of Colorado with her police officer husband and her semi-famous dog, Smidgey.  You can also reach her via the World Wide Web at


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