Acclaimed author visits Chesterfield Police Academy after sponsoring course

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Patricia Cornwell spends a lot of time with police officers.

The acclaimed crime writer has sold more than 100 million books across the world and has spent decades continuing to learn the latest technologies used by law enforcement in order to incorporate the techniques into her books.

Both she and her main character, Kay Scarpetta, got their start in the same place.

“My whole career really started here,” said Cornwell.

Cornwell, a former journalist, got the idea for Scarpetta while working as an analyst for the chief medical examiner of Virginia in Richmond. Scarpetta is based on the examiner Cornwell worked for.

“We’ve gone from Scarpetta solves a case using DNA, wow that’s new, well it was in 1990, to the next thing I might have to put her on the moon,” said Cornwell.

Thirty members of law enforcement from across the east coast started learning about reconstructing a shooting incident.

“It’s the laws of physics. You’ve got to factor in the wind, and the humidity and the elevation and all these different things,” said Cornwall.

The author spent more than $18K to sponsor the week-long course.

“Ultimately what it’s going to do, it’s going to be able for us to solve crimes more efficiently and quicker,” said Col. Thierry Dupuis with Chesterfield County Police.

Cornwell says it was law enforcement that educated her and made her a success. She says she will try to give back wherever and whenever she can.

“I just feel the best thing I can do to help to personally help the first responders out there is to show appreciation and help them be better at what they do if I possibly can,” said Cornwall.

“For her to sponsor this kind of training, we can’t say thank you enough to her and her staff for what she’s been able to provide for us,” said Dupuis.

Meanwhile, Cornwall says she will make another announcement about her next project which will not have anything to do with a book soon.

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