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! 

Week 4--Recruit Magor

Week four started off bright and early with our test. The entire class passed and it is a great feeling knowing all of us are starting to get the hang of things. The classes are starting to dive deeper into material. Line inspections are getting more thorough. 

Meticulous instructors are questioning and finding any imperfection possible with our uniforms. This week we had a couple motivational runs and 20 motivational push-ups. Twenty push-ups with a vest and tactical boots weren’t as easy as I expected. 

We had our first gun scenario during officer survival. Sergeant Maestas and Agent Ruybal showed us how a little multitasking can make a situation much more difficult. During this exercise, eight recruits stood side by side, passed a pen back and force to each other using our shooting hand and said the ABCs at the same time.

The instructors did their best to distract us and then suddenly told us to turn around. Each group got a different scenario and each proved to be an eye opener. When I turned around and scanned for the threat I initially couldn’t find it. Suddenly the recruit next to me yelled “gun!” I quickly saw where this recruit was pointing her gun, pulled out my gun and pointed it at the threat. The agent that was playing the suspect was straight in front of me hiding in the crowd of recruits, pointing a gun right at me.

Our PT sessions this week proved that we continue to work as a team. Every single recruit has been giving their all to study, work out and we each take away as much from this academy as possible. Recruit Frink did a great job the last two weeks as our class leader keeping everything in order. 

On Friday, Recruit Grahn brought in his grill and we got to tailgate during lunch. The past four weeks have flown by! They have been eye opening, fun, taxing and have created a bond between 44 different people. Only 18 weeks left and I’m looking forward to every single one of them, with the minor exception of taser day. 

Week 3 -- Recruit Magor

Week three we started wearing our official Academy Uniform, they are very comfortable compared to suits and ties. The class now looks uniform. Most of the recruits started wearing ballistic vests as well. The itching and sweating will take some getting used to. The black on black uniforms show everything, dog hair, lint, wrinkles and any other imperfection that the instructors inevitably find. The class has done a great job looking out for one another. 

I’m really enjoying the workouts and classes.  As typical, sitting in a class all day can be a bit enduring. Recruit Gao learned this the hard way, his eyes got a little heavy during one of the classes. He now gets the 'honor' of carrying a stuffed dinosaur. It must be on him in line inspection and visible in class so instructors can ask him about it. Dr. Brower, a psychologist, was teaching a class and asked Recruit Gao why he had the dinosaur. He quickly responded that he has a phobia of dinosaurs and this was part of his exposure therapy. The quick-witted response had the entire class laughing. 

The test on Monday morning went much better than our first test. I would like to give a shout out to Recruit Poellot for creating a wonderful study guide and also scoring 100 percent on test two. The preparation of this academy is proving to grow a team of excellent recruits.

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!