Guest Blogger Recruit Magor’s wife Sydney

You’ve been reading blogs each week from our recruits going through the Academy, and seeing what they’re learning and how they’re growing to become law enforcement officers.

But they’re not going through this training alone. In addition to dedicated training officers at their side, their families are also going through this transition with them.

That’s why we thought it would be interesting to include that perspective in this blog.

Recruit Magor and his wife Sydney have been together for about five years, and married for two, before he started the Academy earlier this year.

Sydney, a nurse assistant, has noticed several changes in herself as well as her husband since he started his training. So, we asked her a few questions about what this experience is like for her as well as what she wants the community to know about law enforcement:

1-What’s the biggest change you’ve noticed in your spouse since he started in the Academy?
 The biggest change I’ve noticed in Clay is how much more aware of his surrounding and how he is more alert when we are in public. I've seen Clay be a little more stressed about getting his things together for the next day and studying for tests as well. 

2-What do you want people to know about the job your spouse has chosen?
 Most people have no clue what goes on daily in the life of a police officer. But all the negative attention given by the media is completely outweighed by all the positive things that the police do.

Every day he puts on his uniform, gun, handcuffs, and bulletproof vest, and he wears them proudly to serve his community. He is willingly and knowingly putting his life in danger every day because he wants to better our community. He kisses us goodbye not knowing if it’s our last goodbye.

3-What has it been like for you as your spouse is going through training?/What have you learned/How have you adapted?
Well… where do I even start? I’ve learned all the laws and could probably show up to take the final. I’ve been “arrested” (helping Clay practice) more times in the last 3 months than I’ve ever imagined was possible. I have learned all the cheap "cop moves" and given Clay a run for his money when he tries to wrestle me. Our neighbors probably think we are crazy but it’s always in good fun!

Adapting to Clay going through the Academy has been pretty easy because I know how passionate he is and it runs in his blood. His dad worked for JeffCo for many years.

4-How do you think being a law enforcement officer’s spouse differs from other professions?
 It’s definitely not a bank job. There are so many unknown circumstances on a daily basis you never know what could happen, unlike a 9-5 job.

 I have worked in the medical field for about 4 years now so we go through some similar situations with our jobs. Working in an Emergency Room, I've seen many things that Clay will have to see. I think that’s why cops like nurses, because we can vent and relate to one another.

5-What advice would you give to other spouses of law enforcement officers?

It’s stressful and hard at times but there are outlets and people to talk to. Be supportive and understanding of your spouse. Especially during the Academy- Clay has been away Monday through Friday from about 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and then has to get his uniforms, studying and equipment taken care of when he gets home.

Week 12—Recruit Magor

We’re over halfway done! It’s all downhill from here.
Week 12 was fairly eventful and we even got a break from tests. We started and ended the week with traffic accident investigations lectures. Now that we get to do more and more scenarios and real life exposure, the classroom days have become a little more difficult to sit through. That’s part of why I decided to join this career. I don’t want a desk job. I like the fact that no one day with ever be the same as the last.
We had firearms and arrest control training Tuesday and Thursday. We continue to work on the fundamentals of shooting and got to do another tactical shooting scenario. During arrest control we learned some Krav Maga, which is a self-defense system that is known for brutal counter-attacks. This training is another “tool in our toolbox” as Agent Beers would say. 

It was fairly easy to learn but we only had one day of training. I think as a deputy it will be another tool that I could use. The more training I do the more prepared for different situations I will be.
We also got to train with our ASP batons, and learned the importance of holding on to our weapons. For every dropped baton we did 20 pushups. 
We had family night on Wednesday, which is when all of our family members were invited to eat some pizza and talk about the training we are going through. We talked about the changes we might go through due to the nature of the job.
After family night I talked with my wife and asked if she has noticed any changes in me. She said the major change she has noticed is that I am more alert and aware of my surroundings. The training is working. I will occasionally notice myself looking around at my surrounding much more. I notice pocket knives, license plates and details about things much more than I ever used to.
It’s hard not to be eager and just start my career as a peace officer; however, there is still a lot of learning and training to complete.  

Week 11—Guest Blogger Jeffco Recruit Schultz

Let me introduce myself. My name is Lonnie Schultz and I’m originally from Aurora, Colorado.  I graduated from Aurora Central High School in 1992. Shortly thereafter I joined the military where I spent the next 23 years traveling the U.S. and the world.

I have been married to my wife Sarah for 20 years and have three boys Josh, Chris, and Jake.  I applied to the Jefferson County Sheriff Office in January 2015 and was one of the few chosen to attend the 2015-03 Jeffco/Lakewood Combined Regional Academy. I am honored to continue to my service to the people of Colorado and Jefferson County.

I decided to write this week’s blog because I recently had a discussion with my one of my sons about how important writing is. Chris reads these blogs every week and has decided that he too wants to become a Peace Officer when he is old enough.  I want him to see the importance of paying attention in school and how some day he can be writing about something that many people will read. In short, I wanted to continue to be a role model for my children.

Now on to the blog:

Week 11 – Half way there!! It’s tough starting off the mid-way week with another difficult test, but all of us made it through with no issues. The week itself was tough, with the introduction of ground fighting techniques and paired with the late nights from our night shooting and the early morning this week could possibly be one of the most tiresome yet. This week also saw our last report writing scenario, although the instructors have challenged us to keep writing and turn those papers in.

The ground fighting classes were an introduction for most of the recruits. We were taught where we don’t want to be no matter what our skill level was.  At the end of the two classes the students were challenged with a test of skill to use the techniques they have learned to escape from the “mounted” and “guard” positions. The recruits quickly learned that being on your back fighting to get to your feet is easier said than done. A few bumps and bruises later, we all learned some very valuable lessons.

Tuesday and Thursday evenings brought our first night shoots with lighted, low-light, and flash-light-only shooting. The recruits were challenged with not only learning how to shoot their firearms in less than favorable conditions, but with the added piece of equipment (our flashlights) we learned the value of using proper technique. I think overall it helped some of the recruits with their shooting because shooting at night with low light conditions requires the shooter to really focus on the front sight post (rather than the back sights), a point that is reinforced every day.

The final scenario for report writing was a tough for most: dealing with a sexual assault case. We learned the value of effective communication with a person who is probably in the worst position of their life.  We learned what questions to ask and more importantly what not to say when interviewing a potential victim of a violent crime.  

Week 10—Recruit Magor

 Week 10 presented a tough test; however, the class did very well. The scenario days continue to be my favorite. I have always learned best by doing things rather than sitting in class. We had two scenario days, report writing and arrest control. 

For the scenario days, we concentrate on the task at hand. So for report writing we try getting all the correct information for our report. During arrest control we focus on good fundamentals of our arrest techniques.

During report writing we learned what the real world is like while we write our reports. Instructors brought in their radios and turned the volume up. While trying to write our report we had other calls that we had to respond to and handle and then return to our report. We learned that if you choose to write your report right after the incident we may be leaving one of our partners alone at a different call.

During Arrest Control and Tactics scenarios, my form and fundamentals went out the door. It is funny how during “practice” I can do most tactics very well but when you add in a little stress and a mouthy suspect, things change.

Communication is also very important during these scenarios. For example, at one point Recruit Seyfried and I looked at each other while dealing with a resisting suspect and said “forward takedown” we immediately did our forward takedown and got the suspect on the ground and handcuffed. It worked out very nicely.

Thursday we got to do a firearms drill where we had threats we had to stop. The “threats” were small steel plates spray painted white. We had to run up a big hill and then had three stations where we were forced to take cover and stop the threats. One scenario was a hostage situation, where about 6 inches was visible on the target and the remainder was covered by an innocent civilian.  It was reassuring stopping that threat.

Weeks 8 and 9—Recruit Magor

Week 8 was great. We continue to practice shooting and arrest control. We got to practice pressure points on one another. I can remember my Dad teaching me a few of these pressure points when I was younger. They are quite painful and there are some pretty funny reactions when you do it just right. 

During arrest control we were practicing a kick to the inner thigh and Recruit Garcia successfully dropped Recruit FitzPatrick! Even though he would be just fine, Recruit FitzPatrick stayed on the ground for a while. The class stopped and had a good laugh. 

During firearms class we got to shoot at steel targets. It's rewarding hearing the "ping" when you shoot, you instantly know you hit the target. Everyone continues to improve on their target practice. The holes on the target are getting closer and closer to each other. 

The class did well on the test and next week we get our first break from testing. Director Baca taught our last criminal code section this week. It's hard to believe we're done with criminal code. Those were by far some of the most exciting classes I have ever been a part of. 
Wednesday of Week 9 was probably my favorite day of the academy so far. It was a day full of scenarios. The role players made every minute feel like a real experience. I even got in my first foot pursuit. It was very exciting. It is instinctual to chase after someone when they run from you. During the scenarios we got to practice our knowledge of the law, arrest control tactics and our gift of gab. Our job is all about how we can talk to people and these scenarios helped show that.
We continue to learn arrest control tactics and firearms. We got to do some barricade shooting and shot at steel, which was a blast. We shot at 50 yards, which was challenging, yet we learned it can be done if needed.
Everything we have learned so far is coming together so that we are able to do real life scenarios of in progress calls. There is still a lot of work to be done and every recruit continues to give their all. There are 13 weeks left and they will fly by!

Week 7--Recruit Magor

Week seven was filled with action. Both Tuesday and Thursday we had firearms half the day and arrest control the other half. The firearms class is a blast!
So far everyone has made great improvements on their shooting skills. With 44 recruits, the level of shooting expertise is spread all across the board. The instructors assure us that by the end of the academy we all will be very good at shooting. I hope to make lots of improvements.
Arrest control has also been a great deal of fun. This far into learning, we have worked on different control holds, searching and handcuffing.  All is beginning to come together naturally. We are beginning to do the tasks without having to think about them.
Report writing was a little more intense this week, we had very good role players yelling and screaming at us. We had to use what we have learned so far and command presence to control the situation. 
Tests continue to be difficult and the majority of my spare time goes towards studying, shining my boots and getting my three different bags together for the academy, which are my lunch bag, firearms and arrest control bag and my classroom bag. I have had to establish a routine in order to stay on top of everything.  

Friday we had CPR and First Aid. We had scenarios for First Aid rather than watching a four-hour video, which was great. For the scenarios we teamed up with a partner and had to quickly respond and react to the injured person and provide care. The practice skits even included some uncooperative actors. 
I would like to give a shout out to Recruit Charloe for winning a fitness competition. It was a timed workout and Recruit Charloe got the fastest time. I don't remember the exact workout but it was tough!

The reward was that he got to pick the next workout. Let's just say his workout had most of the recruits in pain. 


Weeks 5 and 6—Recruit Magor

Weeks Five and Six flew by! It’s hard to believe we are about to start Week Seven. Both weeks’ tests proved to be difficult, but I think our motivational runs right before we take the tests are helping. It calms the nerves a little. During Week Five we were issued our duty belts and our Sheriff’s uniforms. 

The class had three PT sessions and they all proved to be exhausting. Many instructors talk to recruits about how law enforcement is drastically changing right now.

One instructor put it perfectly, “It is a hard time to become a cop right now, but it’s the right time”. I couldn’t agree more; law enforcement needs officers who are trained properly and hold a high level of integrity.

On Friday of Week Five we had a drug and narcotics class. We were able to see and even smell many different drugs. They were all very different from what I had imagined. Heroin had to be the worst of them all. The best way for me to describe the smell is like a sour gym sock. 

During Week Six, we brought our pistols and they were inspected by the firearms instructors. On Thursday we were able to use “dummy rounds” and practice different firearms tactics. I have experience hunting with shotguns and rifles; however I have never shot a handgun. This was a new and exciting experience for me. I was not satisfied with my reloading skills. It is going to take some practice. So that is what I did. I went home and practiced until my wife got mad at me for dropping the magazines on our hardwood floor. 

We also started arrest control. Agent Beers is the lead instructor for this class. His passion for teaching makes the class that much more exciting. We started off with the basics of handcuffing and the Koga twist lock. I can see why people told me my wrists would hurt after this class. 

All the recruits are doing very well and we continue to be one strong unit. All we are missing on our uniforms is the badge and name plate. Sixteen weeks to go and we will have that badge!