Bill Powers, Author
Welcome to my website
Several years ago, I was sitting in a classroom of detectives while a friend of mine spoke about decorum, behavior, and professional expectations of police officers in a court of law. As a district court judge and experienced prosecutor, he commanded everyone’s attention and respect. He led with a simple comment that immediately went to the top of my list of “things to never forget.”
“When you take the witness stand and are asked to identify yourself,” he started, “you need to begin with your name and then your title and not the other way around. Your name is who you are; your title is what you do. I want to know who you are before I care about what you do.”
I honestly can’t think of a simpler life lesson that had a bigger impact or was more important in my career than that down-to-earth comment. It was one of those “Aha” moments of enlightenment that I now follow every day and inject into every class I teach.
My name is Bill Powers and I have spent the past fifty years working in one capacity or another in the criminal justice system. I spent thirty-three years as a sworn police officer with a majority of that time working as both an investigator and an academy instructor. I “retired” to take a position as an assistant professor teaching classes on investigation and courtroom testimony to students in a forensic science program at a Boston medical school. Seven years later, I “retired” again to become the Director of Public Safety at a college in the heart of Boston. Now, with decades of experience, an overflowing satchel of institutional knowledge and formal education behind me, I have turned my attention to writing, teaching and hopefully, showing the human side of policing.
When The Smoke Cleared
An overview of the novel with a link to the book page. About a paragraph of text here.
Excerpt From The Book
A book excerpt with a “read more” button that links to the book page.
My Writing Blog
Why Enlist a Writing Coach?
I was determined to write a book and narrate a story that I believed had to be shared with a wide audience. I was well prepared with thoughts and ideas about what I wanted to write, but I had no idea about the road ahead. I didn’t lack confidence. I had some writing...
Why Did I Decide to Self-Publish?
The answer to why I decided to self-publish versus taking the traditional route of signing a contract with a large publishing house is the same as why I chose one college and law school over the others. Because one accepted me and the other one(s) didn’t. Like any new...
On Learning by Listening
Police officers constantly talk to people and usually ask a lot of questions. It’s the primary gadget in our tool bag. Not everyone we engage with likes the situation they find themselves in, and they understandably are uncomfortable and guarded with their responses....
Interview with Jim Dudley on Police 1
This episode of Policing Matters features a fascinating story of a dogged, multidisciplinary investigation that started at an arson fire scene and ended nearly a year later with the case solved. And it is all detailed in "When the Smoke Cleared: A Murder Mystery in...
Interview with Jordan Rich
In-depth interview with Bill Powers, discussing background in policing.
Interview with Diane Godfrey on “All Rise”
No Body, No Weapon, No Suspect Meet Bill Powers, the Retired Massachusetts State Police commander of the Detective Unit for Middlesex District Attorney’s Office. Bill guides us through every step of a truly bizarre murder investigation he recounts in his book, When...
Interview with Jordan Rich
Bill talks about his book, When The Smoke Cleared, with Jordan Rich.
Review of When The Smoke Cleared
Listen to a review of When The Smoke Cleared on WBZ Radio.
Interview with Det. Lt. Bill Powers
An interview with Bill Powers about his book, Murderous Rage.
Interview with Mark Crosby on Quincy Access Television. Bill talks about his book, When The Smoke Cleared.
Television, movies and books project an unrealistic and often tainted image of who we are, what we do and why we do it. I, like most of my peers, pay little attention to those stereotypes, because that is not who we are. We don’t recognize those fictional characters as our contemporaries. We are human beings, not actors following a script.
– bill powers
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