Sunday, January 22, 2017

How Real are TV Cop and Fed Shows?

Congratulations to "Janice H.", the winner in Belle's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

As a federal agent, this is one of the most common questions I get asked by friends and readers. The answer is that whether it’s a police show or one involving federal agents, Hollywood always, always, always takes great literary license and gets away with it. The main reason is that if these shows depicted a cop or an agent’s typical day on the job, it would be so humdrum to you as a reader or TV-watcher, you’d be bored to tears.

One thing that cracks me up and makes me envious is how all these shows wrap up an entire complex investigation in the brief span of an hour. Forty-five minutes, really, if you include commercials. This is Hollywood light speed, my friends. How I wish I could do my job so quickly! You have no idea.

I also love how so many of these shows, particularly fed shows, depict their tech agents cracking into FBI, CIA or NSA databases. That’s hysterical. NCIS is notorious for employing this handy-dandy investigative tool. Another offender is Blindspot. Entertaining, perhaps, but talk about major breaches of protocol and national security! Think about it. A naked, totally tattooed woman is found zipped up in a bag on the sidewalk. She has no memory of who or what she is and the FBI can’t find a single tidbit of info on her. Yet they give her a government-issued firearm, official FBI clothing with the FBI logo, and free rein to come and go as she pleases in the FBI building. Really?

And how ‘bout all those shootouts, explosions, and high-speed car chases these guys get involved in? Happens every single episode on TV. In real life, not so much. A typical day in my world involves phone calls, interviews, meetings, report writing, surveillance, database queries (legal ones!)…you get the picture. Real police work. But there’s light at the end of the humdrum tunnel. All this basic investigative work is done with the endgame in mind. A search warrant, an arrest, and jail time for the bad guy. Sadly, this takes a tad more than forty-five minutes. In some cases, it takes years.

The more realistic shows on TV tend to be the police shows, such as Law & Order and Adam-12. Yes, Adam-12, old though it may be. As a writer and a law enforcement officer it’s often difficult to find that balance in my writing between reality and entertainment, but you be the judge.

Blood Money 

In the safety of his arms lies passion…and danger

NYPD Detective Gray Yates has major trust issues. Protecting a serenely beautiful woman hiding enough secrets to take down an entire city wasn’t something he bargained for. She’s a loving single mother, hot as hell, and protecting her will test every ounce of his resolve.

Alex Romano is being blackmailed by the Pyramid—an elusive international organization of assassins every cop in the world is after. When Alex tries severing ties with them they refuse to let her go. The darkly dangerous detective she’s irresistibly drawn to is her only hope of staying out of jail. He just might be her savior…or her downfall.

Despite efforts to maintain his professionalism, Gray can’t deny the fiery passion Alex ignites in him. In an explosive confrontation, Alex’s lies are revealed and Gray is faced with the most important decision of his life: trust the woman he’s falling in love with, or arrest her.

Alex widened her eyes. “What do you mean, you and I will be at my apartment?”
Gray’s gaze flicked to the side-view mirror before answering. “Until this is over, you have a roommate.”
“No.” She crossed her arms and shook her head. “That isn’t possible. I won’t allow it.”
Because I don’t trust myself to be alone with you ever again.
Gray chuckled. “You don’t have a say in the matter, babe.”
She turned to face him. “The hell I don’t. And don’t you dare babe me.” Last night was sheer torture. There was no way she could live in her tiny apartment with a man she wanted more desperately than she wanted to breathe.
“Too late,” Gray said in a cold voice. “It’s done.”
She grabbed his shoulder. “I do so have a say in this. I’ll talk to Lt. Frye.”
“Negative?” Alex shouted. She lowered her voice so she didn’t wake Nicky, who was still sleeping comfortably in the car seat. “And don’t speak to me like I’m one of your cop cronies. Why does it have to be you?”
“Because not only won’t the department pay for your protection, but I don’t trust anyone else to keep you safe.” He briefly met her gaze, and there was anger there, but Alex couldn’t decipher the source of it. He shouldn’t care about her, and he shouldn’t care about protecting her.
Ah, she thought. He’s not protecting me, he’s protecting his cooperator.
That actually made sense.
“Fine.” She crossed her arms tighter, realizing the last thing she should do was decline the only available police protection. “But my bedroom is still off-limits. You got that, Mr. High and Mighty Detective?”


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Tee O'Fallon is the author of Burnout and Blood Money, Books 1 and 2 of the NYPD Blue and Gold Series. Tee has been a federal agent for twenty-two years, giving her hands-on experience in the field of law enforcement that she combines with her love of romantic suspense. Tee's job affords her the unique opportunity to work with the heroic and sexy men in law enforcement on a daily basis. For Tee, research is the easy part!

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Jan. 22nd. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.


  1. congrats on the new release! Yeah... it's a bit comical how the "cop" shows get to skirt the rules and laws. I sometimes laugh about how many cases would be thrown out due to their nonlegal tactics. Thanks for sharing!

  2. interesting job
    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  3. I look forward to reading this from your unique Perspective! Sounds Great! ShelleyBP at live dot com.

  4. Yeah, I hear you, Tee, about the reality of TV cop and/or FBI agent shows. I know it is entertainment, but can't help getting sucked in by such shows anyway. They are my fave to watch...when I watch TV. Mostly, I read romantic suspense though. I get so much more out of a book than I do a show! And because of that I went to Amazon and purchased Burnout. :-) Thanks for your post on JRS.

  5. Looking forward to reading Book 2 of the NYPD Blue and Gold Series.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

  6. Would rather be reading than watching most TV shows! I loved Burnout, can not wait to read Blood Money!


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