From a reader:
I'd like to see how/what you have to do to write so prolifically on police procedures.
That's a great question, without an easy, concise answer. Avoiding the fact that I'm not exactly prolific (yet), let me try and give this a shot.
Remember, these are from my perspective only. I'm hoping that a lot of talented crime writers will add their thoughts and tools in the comment section.
Police Procedure & Investigation by Lee Lofland
Scene of the Crime, a writers guide to crime scene investigation by Anne Wingate, PhD
The Investigation of Crime by William T. Forbes
FBI Handbook of Crime Scene Forensics by Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Criminal Investigation by Alan Axelrod and Guy Antinozzi
Writers' Police Academy (Lee Lofland and crew put this on annually in Greensboro, North Carolina. If you write crime fiction, this is a great place to get details… and contacts.)
Courses through local colleges (I attended a multi-night presentation on Sexual Homicide at Regis University)
Obviously Google is a writer's best friend when it comes to research, but I'm careful to confirm information obtained from just any old website.
Crime Scene Writers is a Yahoo group with a lot of experts answering a lot of questions.
We've all heard of the CSI Effect where jurors expect a lot of scientific sizzle and the general public expect quick and accurate resolutions to complex crimes. A lot of bad information wrapped up in an hour long show. I don't bother, except for some fun.
But believe it or not, I've been told that there are some very accurate portrayals of police procedure on television. Most are documentary type shows (the ID Channel comes to mind), but at least the first season or two of Southland is reported to be fairly faithful to reality. I confess to not being a regular viewer of any of these options.
And finally, I read books by writers I admire who write police procedurals. One is our very own L.J. Sellers. I know she does her homework and if there's detail, it's right. And she's prolific.