chris berg

Chris Berg

Chris Berg was born in the '50s in Gridley, California to a state game warden and his Army nurse, wife. Except for a short stint living in New York City, he's lived on the left coast all his life. After graduating with his B.S. from San Jose State University he made his way to his true calling. In 1977 Chris became the third generation of his family to sign on as a lawman.

Like most "on the job", he started out pushing a patrol car. Working graveyard suited him just fine, and it was there he joined the ranks of the Night Police.

Chris spent time as an evidence technician, long before CSI was a thing. As a detective, his assignments included Vice and Intelligence but it was his posting as an undercover narcotics agent that fit Chris best. He relished the life of hand to hand undercover drug "buys", clandestine lab investigations and the requisite counterfeit persona.

With hundreds of narcotics investigations under his belt, he became a field training officer for up-and-coming undercover detectives. He filled in the career gaps testifying as a court-certified "expert witness" in narcotics and dangerous drug investigations throughout the west.

Chris still revels in the adventures and friendships that come with being part of the police fraternity.

​After Chris' early exit from law enforcement due to injury, things might have gone south for him, but he held on. His successful second career in corporate America, well... it bored him to death.

The saving grace in his new profession was the travel and in truth, it wasn't without its moment's. His business routinely took him to exotic locales, Malaysia, Dubai, Moscow, Australia, San Paulo and Rio, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Tokyo, Uruguay, Taipei and Beijing, to name just a few. As for the continents, he only missed checking off Antartica. Having pages added to his passport became routine.

​A rape-homicide investigation in India. A terrifying run for his life in the rioting township of Nyanga, Capetown, South Africa. A ridiculous trip to Argentina to understand Buenos Aires was not burning at all, CNN was literally creating the news they wanted to broadcast.

​His business led him to associations with the UK's MI5 and MI6 intelligence services and work with most of America's alphabet agencies. Chris even spent a frigid All Saint's Day in a very eastern European city "drinking well" with a couple of mysterious ex-Stasi operatives. Despite them being "shameless and corrupted."

​While it sounds like a hell of a second career, the balance of that life left a lot to be desired for Chris. He maxed out on teleconferences, pivot tables, and budget battles. It was a world that preached HR enlightenment but routinely and repeatedly laid off hundreds of employees for the next "flavor of the month" business initiative. That world was never a fit, not for an ex-Night Policeman.

​Although Chris wrote long before becoming a dedicated writer, he jumped in full time after retiring from his "mind-numbing" corporate experience. In 2017 he teamed with his real-life Night Police partner Paul James Smith, lighting the fuse for the next big challenge he craved. The Night Police, the first book in the series, is the result.

​Chris and his wife Janet now call southwest Florida and Indiana home. Chris also keeps up with his passions: baseball, fishing, and all things cooking and BBQ, not necessarily in that order.

Paul James Smith

Paul served community and country in a variety of pursuits from age 19 to age 59. After completely flunking out at San Diego State, a Marine Corps recruiter handily outsmarted him, and he fell for the old "aviation guarantee". This launched a long and checkered career of service as enlisted marine, a local lawman, Federal Agent, and reserve Coast Guard officer.

His time in the Marines never got him any closer to aviation than riding in the back of a helicopter as an infantryman. After several years in civilian law enforcement he joined the Coast Guard reserve in 1991. He fared somewhat better there, working his way up the officer ranks. Assignments included command of two expeditionary units, Commander, Maritime Security Force, Guantanamo Bay, and four wartime deployments to the Persian Gulf. On his last deployment he was a senior maritime advisor to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Paul's 31 years of cop experiences ran the gamut-Patrolman, Field Training Officer, SWAT, Detective, Federal Agent, Special Response Team member, Sniper and Sniper Instructor, National Tactical Team Leader, and Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Program Manager. The cases were varied too; investigating high-tech crimes, crimes against children, bombings, arson, seizing meth labs, busting outlaw motorcycle gangsters, and special operations at Ruby Ridge and Waco. The only thing missing was a coast-to-coast run with Forrest Gump.

As a young street monster, Paul was often a thorn in the side of police administrators. During his 20-plus years as a Fed he was nearly fired twice and twice decorated for valor. This pattern continued in the Coast Guard, being one of the few officers to have given and received punishment before the mast. He retired as a captain in 2014 with medals and ribbons to rival a third world general, though in his opinion none of them amount to a beer fart in a whirlwind. He views himself as a "break glass in case of emergency" kind of guy; he's good when the stuff hits the fan, but otherwise the rules are an obstacle to his progress. There was little he didn't see or do, and he shares many of his law enforcement experiences in the Night Police. =

After retiring from law enforcement and military duty Paul and his wife Kay ran a gun shop in Alaska for a few years. He built custom rifles, and they collectively lost their minds to boredom.

They now live at the edge of Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest, he writes, she gardens, together they go Dungeness crabbing from their kayak. They are enjoying life to the fullest.

Award Category
Writing Award Sub-Category
Golden Writer
This submission is private and only visible to judges.


Kirstie Long Mon, 14/08/2023 - 17:04

This is well written and has the right pace to start building suspense. I like the switch between the scene and the bar, which added to the initial tension.