Got a few days off before we graduate and go on the road. Lets talk about the academy and what we learned. First thing they take you to a training building that is an off beaten building that has no tags to let you know it is a police or training building. They line you up in front of your cars and tell you to wait. This was kind of militaryesqu. They yell we need 4 lines 5 people each as we have never met eachother in the first few seconds we struggle to get it exactly right and they are telling(yelling) us how bad we look and we have failed at lining up. We then go into the building sign a few waivers and in a big sack dump all of our PT(Physical Training) clothes out on the floor. They have our intials in them and mass chaos started because they gave us 5 minutes to change out of our suits into our PT clothes. As you can imagine it was a bit of a mess until we started working together and announcing the intials instead of looking for our own. Every morning at 8 am they had us lining outside putting us on the spot asking who the chain of command is or the department motto and things like this. After if things did not go well or we messed something up they would have us run and beat us down a few pegs, at the end of these sessions since we were the 60 something academy (still concealing where I am for a bit) we had to do those exact push ups. At the end we would ask who owed any they could not complete and we would have to keep making them up, First few weeks we had sessions where we did 180-220 push ups because some people could not do a proper push up. We taught them fast . We had mostly law classes the two months. From codes to elements of what constitutes what crime and how we can deal with it the prosecutors would come in and teach these classes. We also went through a lot of video on how many seconds things take to go wrong and how you have to react and examine in your head what is exactly happening. They would always preface the video by saying we are not trying to arm chair QB these videos and we have no idea what they are feeling in the moment it is happening but we have to learn from what we are watching and tell from our perspective. First three months they make plenty of time for PT sessions at the end of day. They looked like a 5 mile run sporadically throughout the run we would do push ups/sit ups/planks/burpees/on your back and six inches and leg kicks. They were pretty intense but eventually your body adapts. You have PT exams based on your numbers it tells you your percentile in your age limit.
Right around half way through is when things start to get real. We went through 80 hours of defensive tactics. This is when you learn proper handcuffing techniques holds, grasps, knife fighting, feet movement, body balancing, strikes and a complete pressure point. You also learn to go up and down the wheel of enforcement. This is what you can and cannot do while applying force. You need to learn that being slapped is not deadly force. Being non compliant is not means for asp use and so on. Basically at the end of the day they want you to have one upon your perceived threat. For instance if they approach you non compliant to get back or follow commands you can go hands on but no strikes of any kind but if they open hand slap you can go close fists. If they kick and punch you can use restraints and pepper spray. If they have any kind of weapon and swing you can use deadly force. Your arms look like a complete bruise. Your wrists are very soar and your whole body is in pain from being thrown handcuffed etc. This is also where you meet a spark knife. It is an electric knife that simulates being cut by a knife without cutting you. They run it on our arm torso and legs. It is a severe pain and I can tell you shit hurts and it is true to being cut not stabbed of course.
Next up we went to the range. Here we learn gun safety. How to draw your gun and to recover from misfires. Being accountable for every bullet that leaves your gun. We fired about 2000 rounds with our guns and have to qualify at 85% accuracy. 75% in night and proper movements with the hand gun and shotguns. We have to qualify for both. We also can eventually qualify for a riffle which is the M-4 and we shot them a bit to get use to them. We learn important things like body adjustments and how our brain goes through a fight or flight mode when we are in danger. Here is a concept I never learned in the military. If you were to get in a situation where your brain thinks you can die it diverts your blood flow away from your arms and your non essential areas and keeps all to the brain and vital organs. What does this mean? Well if you shoot 98% at the range with no thought you go to about 15-20% in those critical situations. You lose a lot of blood flow so its not about being scared its about body mechanics. At the end we qualify with the Glock 22 .45 caliber and the 12 gauge shot gun. They run us through many stress shots and have a big one at the end. Basically you go through the courses running and exercising between shoots. Fire guns off behind your head. You must hit the targets with accuracy remember your fundamentals. Course is about 2 miles of running places and yes they take you through bad guy good guy simulations and moving targets and have you looking for cover concealments. They also have Fire there making sure you don't freak out and your blood pressure stays fine.
Next is officer survival, this is about job safety and how you keep everyone safe (yourself, beat mates, and the public). They stress a lot of the situations can be won with the words you use, so you have to be clear and make sense in tense situations. You basically go through scenario to scenario with a partner with two instructors grading your every move and how you react. There is mandated passing in these scenarios as well. You do traffic stops, disorderly, domestics, fight scenarios, trespassing, mental health, drunk in public, drunk driving, active shooter, Hostages, building searches and a few other scenarios. Active shooter are done with simulation rounds which is a rubber bullet that is a bit more powerful then paintball. If it hits you not on your vest but your hands or arms it leaves breaks in the skins welts and just get better reminders. You learn immediately responding to a threat at an active shooter which we mostly do school scenarios is the first thing we take out is the threat. If you are the first to arrive on scene or in a group no matter what they have if they are moving around killing people our job is to take out the threat if that means walking passed wounded or the hurt its about taking out the threat. If they barricade themselves in with hostages it becomes just that a different scenario. After the threat has been taken out it goes Civilians, officers, offenders are prioritized in that fashion with the on hand emergency crews. This was a very physical, mentally draining part of the academy. If we messed up on things we had learned we got smoked (angry PT) for it. These was a huge block of 4 weeks. This is topped off by a stress house where you do intense PT then they spray clear out (I'll tell you about the chemicals in a few) while doing PT, then you go through scenario to scenario running the entire time through 15 with all different types of outcomes. Just do not go to black and not do anything.
EVOT which is emergency vehicle operator training. Driving fast! You get to take the car up to 130 MPH, chase cars, drive slow through obstacles, drive fast through obstacles. You also get to PIT cars which is precision immobilization technique. over 40mph is considered deadly force and you must be authorized by your SGT. to attempt the maneuver no matter what. Every bit of training you do no matter where in the academy you get tested and do scenarios on it. You learn how to do car searches during EVOT as well.
Chemical munitions day is the worst day! This day is where you get to learn up close and personal about all the chemicals we use. We go through CN, CS, and spray and in closed and outside. We use clear out in riot situations or barricade hostage situations as well. It feels like your stomach is trying to come out your throat. You lose all control of your mucus and you kind of drool and snot everywhere. Effects on both depend how long you stay in the gas but once out of it you can recover with in 3-4 minutes tops. Pepper spray is the absolute worse of everything though. They have you sprayed in the face then you wait like a minute. Then you hit a bag for another minute then handcuff someone with proper procedure and then end scenario and just curl up in pain. People say it feels like your face is on fire but that is to nice. Your face feels like it is being boiled with water and it inflames your mucus membranes in your mouth and nose. It makes it difficult to breath along with intense pain. This last for about 45 minutes to an hour. It doesn't just go away though. You take a shower it reactivates itself and be ready for another 30 minutes. Needless to say this day was awful!
We have a lot of other blocks about our other units with in the division, investigative all types and how to prepare scenes work with victims, we learn about mental health, children. Being reports for CPS and APS. Working with aging adults. Everything you can think of we basically learned about it took a test for it and went through scenarios. I will say with the training we went through you have a great basis to start on the road. Going on break outs though which is a ride along with each shift you learn the academy teaches you safety, dealing with people but during our next phase which is FTO (field training officer) is where you learn how to apply it. This phase is riding with him for the next three months basically and it goes from trainer to silent partner. You then go in front of a release board to talk about all the daily reports your FTO wrote about you and your knowledge on handling all the different types of scenes.
Any questions just ask? I know was a hot topic and continues to be a hot topic and I think training was portion of what do you learn when going through an academy. Just know not all academy's are the same. There is a difference between a Sherriff Patrolman to a Police Officer and 32 weeks is on the high end as some just go through a 18-22 week program. I think this shows a good base but if you have any questions fire them away. I am more than happy to answer them.
<p>I am pretty sure Shack is thinking of PBR.