Week 2--Recuit Magor

Day 1 of Week 2 we had our first test, it was challenging to say the least. In order to pass the test recruits had to receive an 80% or better. There were a number of recruits who passed and a number who did not meet the expectation. However, the entire class stood by one another with support. 

We also had our first “motivational run” after line inspection, instructors included. The support of staff and fellow recruits is a true brotherhood.

While in the academy, my typical day starts by waking up at 5:30 a.m., shaving, showering, brushing my teeth, inspecting all of my clothes for perfect creases and being out the door by 6:10 a.m. Two recruits and myself have started carpooling, which allows us to study while we drive to class.  

Line inspection starts at 7:45 a.m. Instructors thoroughly inspect for any imperfections in our uniforms. We hold one another accountable for looking sharp. Typically we have had two classes per day, each have been very enjoyable. This week we had three wellness labs. By Friday some of us were walking a little funny from soreness, but we finish every workout strong as a team.

Once we are dismissed for the day, each squad has duties to complete before leaving. Even though we leave for the day our job is not over. Once I get home I spit shine my boots, iron press my clothes, cook some dinner and pack leftovers for the next day. Then it is on to studying the material we learned. At 10 p.m., it’s time to hit the sack and do it all over again the following day.

At the end of the week we gave three different awards to recruits who did something to deserve extra attention. This week's most notable award, the “Sherlock Holmes” award went to Recruit Stevenson. During class, Director Baca asked where the Ten Commandments came from and Recruit Stevenson said, “God.” Everyone thought it was funny.

This award can also be known as the "Captain Obvious" award. He now gets to carry around a pink doctor kit for the next week. Pink goes well with Recruit Stevenson. I can already foresee that the next 22 weeks will be some of the best in my life. 

Week 1--Recruit Magor

Week 1—Recruit Magor
I would like to tell you a little about myself, my name is Clayton Magor and I am a recruit in the Combined Regional Training Academy. I have worked as a civilian for Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office for close to two years with a small gap in the middle.

My family and I made a decision to move away from Colorado and try out Florida. Long story short, we decided Florida living was not for us. Truly, I missed the Sheriff’s Office. So I applied for the Regional Academy and was presented with a wonderful opportunity to return to my old position and start the Academy this month.

Here I am today, headed down the path I have desired since I went on my first ride along with my father. I have lived most my life in Arvada, Colorado. I went to school at Red Rocks Community College and Colorado Mesa University studying criminal justice. Needless to say, I am honored and humbled to be sitting in the seat I am in.

Jefferson County Recruits had a two-day orientation before the official start date to acquaint us with the Sheriff’s Office.  We were fitted for uniforms and body armor. Trying on a ballistic vest for the first time made me consider the severity of the career as a deputy.

Day 1 started July 13, 2015. We started the day off with introduction about ourselves. Ten different agencies have combined for this academy with a total of 44 recruits, 10 of which are working for Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

We did a physical fitness test that consisted of a 400 meter run, 40 squats, 30 sit ups, 20 pushups and 10 pull ups. The goal was to complete this test as quickly as possible. Every recruit finished strong and we all helped motivate each other. I have never done CrossFit in the past, but after this workout I see exactly why the Regional Academy uses this style of training. These workouts will push us not only physically, but mentally to keep fighting till the end. There are times in this career we may have to push ourselves until backup comes or we get the situation calmed down.

Director Baca gave a lecture on Criminal Code Articles 1 and 2, which I might add was one of the most interesting classes I have taken. Director Baca has a special way to keep the class laughing and alert while learning difficult material. The rest of week our focus was on ethics, learning in high stress environments, criminal process, crime prevention and problem solving. This is very different from your typical criminal justice college class; one day of class in the Regional Academy feels equivalent to five days in a college course.

Line inspections are foreign to most of us; however Recruit Schultz took charge as the team leader. He was a natural with his 23 years of military experience. We went from a scary mess to neat order in no time. Over the weekend I’m certain that we will all be studying very hard for our first test Monday morning. In this career, camaraderie is essential. After only five days in class we have already developed a close-knit team and will remain that way for the next 21 weeks of training and beyond into our careers.

Weeks 21 and 22 (Graduation)---Recruit Fratto--

Week 21 – Not much to talk about regarding driving, other than it was awesome. I thought Firearms was great, and it is, but there is nothing like driving someone else’s car and having free reign to drive it like you stole it.

Here are a few things to take away from driving:

  1. Congratulations to Recruit Salentine for shattering a 28-academy driving record!
  2. “J” turns are unacceptable.
  3. The interceptors push in the corners, Recruit Bartlett.
  4.  Recruit Brennan – You can’t stop a car moving at 100 mph in 50 feet.
  5. Shuffle steering in not my cup of tea, but you have to do it.
  6. Recruit Mortensen, you have to take the corner, and not take out the ENTIRE row of cones.
  7. Recruit French, we are going to be cops, and you look like a limousine driver- and the cars do go faster than 20 mph 
  8. And lastly if you try to go for the record, you will screw up and hit multiple cones, not shuffle steer, and scream at yourself so loud that others hear you and think you’re crazy
Those are just a few things to take away from our week of driving. Needless to say it was the most enjoyable week of the academy, and the best week to have prior to graduation!

Now the week I really want to talk about……The FINAL week!

Monday - started off with a few classes on civil disputes, and the Law Enforcement Role in Terrorism. To be honest I am surprised that I retained a whole lot because the only thing I had on my mind was the P.O.S.T. test!

Tuesday- Today was the day most of us have be dreading/waiting for. We were all beyond prepared for this test, but still had the sick feeling in our stomachs because we knew no one in this academy has ever failed it, and we didn't want to be the first. To our relief, we kept the streak alive and everyone not only passed, but we had the highest class average ever for the Jeffco-Lakewood Academy.

After the test, we ran Lookout Mountain. Don't quote me on the numbers, but it was somewhere around 4.62 miles and went up about 2000+ feet in elevation. It is probably a harder run then it felt on this day, because all I cared about was passing that test, and getting to Thursday's graduation.

Thursday- The real day we have all been waiting for! Honestly for me it was all a blur, it happened so quickly, and I can't wait to get a copy of the video so I can really remember it. Director Baca told us prior to graduation that when your name was called for badge, you would go blank. Luckily the two things I remember were the most important things: What the sheriff told me when he handed me the badge, and when the sheriff had us sworn in. Everything else I am going to have to refer to the video when it's available.

So to make a final conclusion of the last 22 weeks:

Director Baca: You literally are the smartest man I've come across. I have learned so much in the short 22 weeks I had in the academy. I honestly don't know if I would have fully comprehended the criminal code, civil liability, or arrest search & seizure without your knowledge. Your humor in class was second to none, and after beating 2/3 of our academy class up Lookout Mountain, I now know why you're the only one alive in your academy picture!
Sergeant Greer: I want to thank you for making our class the best possible report writers, especially on account that that's what most of our peers will judge us on. I also want to apologize for my comment on alarm clocks not even being invented during your academy. You are only as old as you feel, sir! GO ORANGE!

Sergeant Beaulieu: I always thoroughly enjoyed your tips on life, and how to make it when we get to the streets. Except when I finally had the quote of the day, and then I'd forget it listening to one of your funny stories! I will miss what we as a class referred to as “Beaulieu Fridays.”

Deputy Hoffman: The only thing better than a “Beaulieu Friday” is a “Hoffman Thursday!” You are also probably the best dog training teacher I have ever met, and think I might recommend you to teach for every academy statewide! On a serious note, I want to thank you for teaching us to be the best shooters possible, and for having the best one-liners ever.

Agent Ruybal: Hmm, first off, Go Cowboys! That was totally worth the 20 burpees on the very first day. You were the instructor that ran the show, and was always the hardest on us, I appreciate all the life lessons that you taught our class. Whether you know it or not, you changed us all in a positive way. I have one regret from the academy, and that is that I didn't eat your buster bars!  P.S. I'm still pretty sure that email you sent to us was a pre-text or your wife wrote it, I know you're not that nice!

To Class 2015-1: The last 22 weeks have been the best 22 weeks of my life. I learned so much and came away with 43 new brothers and sisters that I know will all have my back when the going gets tough, and I will always have yours. I have learned and taken away a little bit of everyone in this academy, which I think will be vitally important to my career as a Deputy. We should all be proud of what we did as a class, but remember that this is only the beginning. We have to keep learning, and pushing to be the best we can throughout our careers.

Lastly I want to apologize for talking so much, and being so obvious. I recently turned 26, and think I have calmed down some! As I am writing this we are one week into the jail academy, and I am passing the reins of talking over to former recruit now DEPUTY Kilbon! I hope after the smoke clears, and training is over, I get a spot in Booking, so I can see you all again! Good luck with all of your new careers, stay safe and always watch each others backs.

Week 20--Guest Post from Recruit Brittany Allen

Hello, my name is Recruit Brittany Allen and I am filling out the blog for Week 20 of our academy. A quick background on myself: I was raised in Huntington Beach, California. I graduated from California State University, Chico, and moved to Colorado after accepting my position with Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.  

This week has been by far one of the most rewarding weeks in the academy. I would say that the theme of the week was heroism.

As many of you probably know, this was another tough week for the law enforcement family. We once again said goodbye to another officer: Colorado State Patrol Trooper Cadet Taylor Thyfault. I did not have the pleasure of meeting him, but from what I have seen and heard, he touched a lot of hearts. 

As a unit, we went on a memorial run from Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Headquarters to the Colorado Law Enforcement Memorial located at Colorado State Patrol. When we made it to the facility we all stood in front of the memorial, bowed our heads and took a moment of silence to honor Trooper Taylor Thyfault. 

After our salute and moment of silence we were greeted by Trooper Thyfault's classmates. This time we stood as a group while the American flag was brought down. I have never seen so many people willing to work together for a cause.

All of the recruits showed that they are selfless and want to make a difference in the law enforcement community. I looked at my partners in a new light on Tuesday and can truly say I am proud to be a part of this amazing team.

On Tuesday we learned about traffic control. The best way to learn is by getting out there and that is exactly what we did. The class was split into eight groups and we all went to our respective locations. Once at the location, we watched as city workers turned off the traffic lights. The game was on. Every recruit had the opportunity to stop and direct traffic individually as well as with a partner.

Wednesday we spent the day with Academy Director Baca reviewing the material we learned over the last 19 weeks. Director Baca was able to ask us questions and the responses from recruits showed we were comfortable with the material.

Thursday we spent the day learning CPR and First Aid techniques. After four hours in the classroom we were put to work. There were four scenarios set up giving us all a new perspective on what we may encounter on the streets. I never thought about what I would do if I was to encounter an unconscious person in a vehicle or how I would react to a pedestrian that had been hit by a vehicle and was now lying in the street. 

The scenarios we approached showed me there is no limit to what we do in this job and we should always be mentally prepared to perform at the best of our abilities.

Friday was our last academy test. Once again it showed that we have all improved so much over the past 19 weeks. Everyone passed and we were all in good graces. We finished the day with another workout called Murph. 

This workout was created by Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy. This workout was one of Lieutenant Murphy’s favorite workouts. Lieutenant Murphy lost his life in Afghanistan in 2005. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor after his death. For those of you who don’t know, the Congressional Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force.
A week and a half left! Lets get‘er done! 

Week 19--Recruit Fratto

Week 19 started with our PT challenge up at Red Rocks. I wish I could explain the workout; however the instructors would like that I keep it a secret for the next class that comes though. What I can tell you is that it was a series of 11 exercises that lasted anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 ½ hours depending on your pace. 

Congratulations to Recruit Brennan for not only winning the challenge, but also setting the academy record! Also congratulations to the entire class! We have all come a long way from the beginning, and all improved our physical fitness levels dramatically. We have also displayed phenomenal teamwork throughout all of the workouts and never let anyone finish alone.

Wednesday – Friday we started our 24 hours on Standard Field Sobriety Tests (SFST). We learned a lot in three days regarding different drugs and alcohol that can impair you, and how to tell the difference between them. SFST is a standardized system used throughout the country that has a lot of statistical backing for getting positive results. So, my suggestion to those out there that want to drink and drive: DON’T. You will eventually get caught, and even if you can pass the walk and turn, or the one leg stand, “the eyes don’t lie.” 

We learned that thoroughly throughout our wet lab on Friday. For those of you who don’t know what a wet lab is, it’s when we have certain individuals come in to drink for a couple of hours so that we can get a hands-on, real-life approach to SFSTs. A lot of the individuals who volunteered weren’t even over the legal limit, and you could see a significant loss in motor skills already. So again, if you plan on a night of drinking, please find a ride.  

Drinking and driving affects so many lives. One of those lives was a guest speaker that we had named Devin Butler. Devin was a 15-year-old kid riding his bike to school one morning when a 19-year-old who was drunk and high hit him at 7 o’clock in the morning. Devin has gone through multiple surgeries, is paralyzed from the armpits down, and will never do the things he loved for the rest of his life. His life was basically taken away from him.

Friday also brought another side of law enforcement to learn….. court! Four of the recruits watched a video on a DUI stop, and had to write a report on the stop. We then went over to the Jefferson County Courthouse where they got a taste of what it was like to testify. It was a great experience for not only them, but for us watching. It really emphasized how important details are in our reports, and how to stay cool, calm, and collected during our testimony.

Week 19 is down and only 14 class days until graduation!

Week 18 – Recruit Fratto

Week 18 started out relatively quiet and ended with a lot of anxiety and hate towards a certain item we will be carrying on our belts. That item I speak of is our O.C. Spray (pepper spray) and Friday was our O.C. Practical where we get sprayed.

Monday through Wednesday we had three full class days on crime scenes. Everything from photography to DNA collection to fingerprinting and sketching out a crime scene. We were given such a wealth of information that I hope I can retain it all when I get thrown into that situation. Crime scenes are somewhat difficult, you have to be careful of what you track in and out so that you don't contaminate the scene. The last thing you want as an officer is to let a suspect run free because you contaminated the scene, and that evidence wasn't admissible in court.

Thursday was our first review for the P.O.S.T. Test. (Peace Officers Standards and Training) Like I said in the previous blog, we received our study guides--all 300 + pages of it--and are all hard at work getting in as much time as possible. I was quite nervous at first, as I was scoring below what I thought I should be on the practice tests. But as Director Baca says “repetition is the key to success.” He was right. After getting through the study guide a couple times, my test scores dramatically improved and so did my confidence on taking this test. As of today, the test is only 23 days away, and all the recruits can't wait to score well, and move on to their respective agencies.

So, as I stated above, Friday was O.C. Day. I think it is a great thing that we get exposure to our Tasers, and O.C. It helps us articulate in court that, “yes” we do know how it feels, and that it was reasonable and appropriate for us to us that tool. Also if our tool is ever turned against us, we can articulate why we had to use a force above that to protect our lives. 

Now back in Week 1, I marked two dates on the calender. One was Taser Day and the second was O.C. Day. There is always a debate about which one is worse, and that is still debated throughout our class. But I can honestly say that I would take the Taser any day over getting sprayed! The Taser is over in 5 seconds, but being sprayed is truly “the gift that keeps on giving!” My face felt on fire for hours after my exposure, and just when I thought I was in the clear, my shower reactivated the O.C.! So the conclusion is that I'll take the Taser any day over O.C. Spray.

Only 22 days until the P.O.S.T. Exam, and 24 days til graduation. This Academy had really flown by, and before we know it we will be getting our badges pinned on, and getting on with our careers!

Weeks 16 and 17--Recruit Fratto

First off I want to apologize for taking another week off without a post. I have been studying and preparing for the four tests I have in Week 17. Next week we have our Arrest Control physical test, written test, ASP test and our regular Week 17 test. Needless to say I have had my hands full! Well, enough with the excuses and on to Week 16. 

Monday started with Director Baca’s review on the C.R.S. He takes what we learned in six weeks and condenses it down to a 15-page packet that he covers in four hours! We are starting to get into the “play-offs” according to Director Baca, and have to start studying for the P.O.S.T. exam.

On Tuesday we went over to the Colorado Mills Mall once again for vehicle stops. This time our instructors taught us about high risk traffic stops, also known as felony stops. Even knowing that these are practical exercises, it still gets your adrenaline going during these stops. These are the calls that officers get excited for! It is the opportunity to get a very bad person off the streets.  One good tip for recruits following our class: put your car in park. If not, it will drive away and hit a wall! One of our recruits learned that lesson the hard way. Good thing it was a Lakewood car and not a Jeffco car! I’m kidding on the last part, and thankfully it didn't do any damage, but according to squad ‘B’ it was quite comical and a great learning point.

We ended the week with the Colorado Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony. This year the memorial hit home a little bit more for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. This year Sergeant Dave Baldwin was honored at the memorial. For those readers who don’t know what happened to Sergeant Baldwin, here is the link on the Officer Down Memorial Page:


I unfortunately didn't get to meet Sergeant Baldwin, but from what I heard from other Jeffco deputies and officers from departments all over the metro area, he was a phenomenal officer. He is the type of cop that anyone would love to mold their career around. My condolences to the Baldwin family. Sergeant Baldwin is a true hero and was a great police officer. It was truly an amazing feeling to be a part of the memorial. For the first time I think we as a class felt a part of something bigger. All year there is a separator between the recruits and our instructors, but here we were all dressed in our Class ‘A’ uniforms, and here as one to honor the great officers who gave their lives in the line of duty. It was a great ending to the week, and I am so honored to be a part of this profession.

Week 17 started out with our driving lecture. This is one portion of the curriculum that I am very excited to get into. From age 13 to 19 I raced all around the county and in Canada in a sprint car. This isn't the same thing as racing, but any chance I get to drive cars and improve my skills is greatly welcomed. I am hoping to help Jeffco take home the trophy for the best driver! Sergeant Baughman did warn us that there was a recruit who raced last class, and that he tried going for the record, and ended up messing up. So we have to make sure to focus on technique, and not try to beat the records and the speed will come smoothly. The unfortunate thing is that we don’t drive until Week 21, so this lecture was just a tease of what is to come.  

Like I stated in my previous blog, this week is really all about Arrest Control testing. We have been studying, and perfecting Arrest Control tactics for the last nine weeks, and are about as ready as we can be to test out. Everyone truly looked great during testing, and I would feel completely safe having anyone of my fellow recruits helping me on the street. It feels really good to get another skill completed, and now only having driving and our P.O.S.T. exam to concentrate on.

Oh yeah, and did I mention next week we get sprayed with O.C. spray? I am dreading this far more than I did the Taser. The Taser at least stops after our 5-second hit whereas the O.C. spray lingers all night. I joked with a few of the recruits that I can’t even get shampoo in my eyes with wanting to cry, so needless to say I am regretting that day!

The week ended with our 13th weekly test. Only two more weekly tests to go, and 32 days until our P.O.S.T. test! It is all downhill from here!