Facilities Are One Thing, But People Make the Difference

Last week I had the opportunity to welcome almost 300 crime story and mystery writers to our facilities for their national conference being held here in Appleton—the Writers’ Police Academy.  I welcomed our guests as they arrived at our Public Safety Training Center for their two day-long and firsthand experiences with law enforcement, fire protection, forensic science, and EMS disciplines.

We’ve always known that this incredible facility would have a national draw, but honestly I don’t think we could even have dreamt of the audiences that would find it useful and instructive.  Mystery writers???  Actually, it makes perfect sense.  These novelists want to get their details right as well as accurately describe things like crime scenes and the handling of emergencies.  And here’s the perfect match with FVTC.  As one of our instructors said, “law enforcement is always looking for ways to educate the public about our duties, jobs, and profession.  Having authors accurately portray our profession is a great step in eliminating the ‘Hollywood’ effect.”

By the way, this event is a great example of economic development in this region—a Fox Cities asset that becomes a draw for bringing people, business, and commerce into our community.  Three hundred people from all across the country were here for 3 days staying in local hotels, eating in local restaurants, flying in and out of our local airport, etc.  And this is just one conference, one group, and one that will likely return in the future.

If you have seen this facility, I think you can quickly imagine how impressed our visitors were with the realistic, hands-on learning opportunities that it offered.  I’ve included several photos here to give you a glimpse at some of their experiences.  When these writers arrived on Friday morning they were impressed with the facilities.  But when they left on Sunday, they were clearly impressed by the instructors, their knowledge, expertise, and experience, as well as their incredible level of professionalism.  One of our faculty members, Dr. Joe LeFevre, made this all happen, and many of his colleagues as well as our community law enforcement partners were right by his side in very successfully executing this major undertaking.  Kudos to everyone involved in making the writers’ Fox Cities experience an outstanding one, and I’m sure very, very memorable! 

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7 thoughts on “Facilities Are One Thing, But People Make the Difference

  1. Dr. May, thanks so much for your warm welcome and for a fabulous weekend of training at FVTC/PSTC. The Writers’ Police Academy is now heading toward its eighth year of operation and I, as founder and director of the WPA, can sincerely say that last weekend was our best event to date. The post event social media explosion about the 2015 WPA has been phenomenal!

    Our attendees come to us from all over the world and they agree that the Public Safety Training Center at FVTC is second to none. The same is so for the level of instruction and staff. We look forward to returning to Appleton in 2016 should we receive the invitation. And I agree, Dr. Joe LeFevre and his colleagues deserve a huge round of applause for their outstanding efforts.

    Again, thanks.

    1. Dr. Susan May

      Lee, we are delighted that your conference participants felt this experience was worthwhile and the best event to date. On behalf of the community and the college, please consider this our official invitation for you and the WPA to return to Appleton and Fox Valley Technical College in 2016! We’d like to see what we can do to “top” your 2015 experience.

  2. Dr. May – FVTC is impressive and, because of your fine facility, writers were able to have a hands-on experience. But the people are what makes FVTC so special. The staff and community professionals were welcoming, supportive and knowledgeable. The WPA weekend was one of the best writing-related experiences I’ve ever had and I can’t wait to use what I learned. Thank you so much for opening your facility and your community to us. I look forward to returning next year.

    1. Dr. Susan May

      Linda, you are most welcome and we’re very pleased that you found this to be an outstanding experience. Look forward to seeing you again in the future!

  3. Dr. Susan May

    You are welcome, Terry. I love it when things are so much fun that people don’t even realize how much they’re learning. Glad we kept you engaged and entertained. We look forward to sharing other opportunities with you!

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