Week 22—Deputy Magor

There are now 42 new Peace Officers spread out through the metro area. We finished strong!

I don’t know where to begin. The Academy was a time I will never forget. I made numerous brothers and sisters that I will always consider to be part of a family. We laughed together, got in trouble together, stressed together, ate together, got hurt together and grew together.

The last week was long, and full of anticipation. On the drive in on Tuesday I started to get a little nervous about the P.O.S.T. test. When I arrived at the Academy I soon realized that there were lots of us with test anxiety. About half the class elected to go on one last “motivational run” to the light pole and back, just before the test.  The test was challenging, however from what I was told our class achieved the highest average in the state.

The day after we completed our state test we had one last PT challenge. We ran up Lookout Mountain. The run was actually very fun, the view was great and it was one last outing with all 42 recruits.

Graduation came too soon; time flew throughout those 22 weeks. We all marched in without badges and marched out together with badges. My Dad, a retired Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputy, pinned my badge. It was an honor to have the badge passed on from him. I had family all around to support me. I wish I could have taken it all in but it was tunnel vision.

I would like to thank each and every person that had any part of this Academy! If I wrote what I wanted to this blog would turn into a book.

I asked a few of my classmates for their input and perspective on the Academy and this is what they wrote:

*Over the last 22 weeks I learned that no matter the challenge ahead, always do your best and never give up.

*A lesson I have learned is that no matter how bad the outcome looks or how hard the road looks to get there just keep on pushing through and that most of the time it is mind over body. Your body might say it can't do it but you can choose to do it and complete it.

*Over the last 22 weeks, the most important thing I've learned is to never give up. Things may not always go the way you planned, expected or wanted them to, but at the end of the day the most important thing is to go home to your family.

*Working hard is important; however, having fun is essential. This simply means that during the Academy you will be required to work hard to succeed, but remember to have fun too. Maybe you will not have fun 100% of the time. But, you should at least enjoy some of it.

*FOE--FAMILY OVER EVERYTHING. Blood family and blue family.

*Hard work paid off. I gave up a lot of weekends to study. It was stressful but it was worth it.

*Being an officer isn’t something you do, it’s something you are.

*My favorite motto throughout the Academy is "Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” Always keep your eyes on the goal.

*A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.

*The concept that has been most instrumental to me is the importance of confidence in myself and my abilities. Confidence is integral to command presence.

*Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"  Isaiah 6:8. I use this because I have spent my entire life serving others.  Through the Boy Scouts, the military and now as a Deputy Sheriff.  It is my belief that this is what God has intended for me to do.

I will finish with stay safe out there and remain United in Blue. It has been one of the greatest journeys of my life. 

Week 20 and 21—Recruit Magor

Week 20 we had our very last Academy test, now it’s onto the state test! It’s hard to believe how fast time has gone. Every recruit successfully completed the requirements for all 15 written tests that we took throughout the Academy. In just about two weeks there will be 42 new Peace Officers that are ready to help in any way we can.

We had a great training day for Tactical Casualty Care where we were taught how to properly pack wounds with gauze and apply a tourniquet. We got to run through three different active shooter situations where we made the scene safe and then applied medical assistance to those that were injured. It’s amazing at how many people come to help make these scenarios as realistic as possible to better our training.

Friday we had our Taser class, which included volunteering to be tased. Seeing over 30 different reactions to this was very beneficial for the class. The feeling is quite hard to explain, but the best description I can give is every muscle in your body locks up and you feel an electrical current run back and forth throughout your body.

It was painful and probably the longest five seconds of my life, but I’m glad I got to have this experience to learn exactly how people react. Recruit Frink took it like a champ; he demonstrated multiple times how he was able to rip the probes off while being tased.

Week 21 finished up nicely with just a few days to go until graduation! We studied and practiced SFST (Standard Field and Sobriety Testing). This is the standard way of testing people that are suspected of driving under the influence. There were three full days of practice. It is nice how standardized and routine this testing was, so that we could learn the tests efficiently.

The last day of this class we had the opportunity to witness a mock trial for a DUI case. Two recruits were lucky enough to take the stand and learn what it’s like to testify. I give both Recruit FitzPatrick and Recruit Brough credit for what they went through. The cross examination was rough, but for a purpose. We got to see how a defense attorney can confuse witnesses and get them to answer to questions they don’t even understand.

The last portion of the SFST class was called a “wet lab” where individuals were closely monitored while consuming alcohol so that we could practice our roadside maneuvers and determine if they were too intoxicated to drive. I was actually impressed with how well these tests work. The entire class made great determinations for the level of intoxication. If people are drunk, in most cases it does not take long to see it.

We have a weekend full of studying ahead, the state test, a final run and then we will graduate. We’re down to our last week. 

Weeks 18 & 19—Recruit Magor

Weeks 18 and 19 were full of studying. We had our second to last test which was 75 questions that were geared towards preparing us for the Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) test. All the recruits did great.

We had three days straight with the lab, learning lots about crime scene investigations. We got to practice taking crime scene photos and it is important to never delete a picture because then an attorney could later question why we deleted that picture in court.
We also learned how to take latent fingerprints, and it was actually harder than I had anticipated. There is an art to it, which I don’t have mastered quite yet.

The stressor of Week 19 were the written and physical tests for our arrest control tactics. We had a full days worth of review, which reminded us of how precise we have to be for some of the tactics. Come test day though, everyone did great and passed.

I would like to thank Agent Beers, Deputy Spoutz and all the other arrest control instructors for all the time and effort they put into the class. The instructors were passionate about helping us learn the proper techniques so that when we start our careers we can be as safe as possible.

Then…….the day I had been anticipating since Day One of the Academy came: O.C. spray.

We got to practice with inert O.C. to get the hang of how to use it and then got the real deal. I had the privilege of being sprayed by Director Baca. After that, the course has a dummy that you have to punch for 30 seconds, then you move onto hitting another dummy with a baton for 30 seconds and, lastly, identify a threat, give orders and handcuff the suspect.

It burned to say the least. I rinsed my eye with a hose for probably close to 20 minutes. The worst part is when you stop rinsing, it reactivated the pain!

When I got home I showered to get it all off and once again it reactivated. My wife found it to be quite humorous. I now have much more respect for O.C. than I had before. I would advise future recruits to prepare yourself for lots of pain, but know that you can fight through it and the pain will subside!


Weeks 16 & 17--Recruit Magor

Week 16 and 17 were quite eventful. The tests went well and now we only have two class tests, an arrest control test and the state Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) test left to complete!

We had firearms and arrest control training and continue to hone our skills. It’s pretty amazing how good at shooting we have all become; every recruit passed the state shooting test.

Director Baca gave us our study guide for the P.O.S.T. test and it is thick. So I’ve been studying a lot lately. 
We had two days of vehicle contacts and high risk stops during our past week or training. They were a blast and we learned a lot about how to safely perform a vehicle stop.

We had some training for R.A.I.D. (Rapid and Immediate Deployment), which was pretty realistic. There was live fire from blank rounds to simulate an active shooter. It was great training on how to respond and stop an active shooting situation.

On our last day of firearms training, instructors brought in numerous different types of guns and let us see how they worked. All the recruits challenged each other in a Top Shot tournament. We shot at some steel targets and whoever hit all the targets first won. Shout out to Recruit Swearingen for earning the Top Shot position.

We also got to check out some simunitions, which shoot just like a normal pistol but have little plastic bullets with paint in them. I’d like to thank Deputy Ackerman and Deputy Hoffman along with all the other instructors for the time and effort they put into the firearms program.

We are about five weeks from graduation and there is still a lot to learn and lots of studying to be done!

Week 15--Recruit Magor

All of Week 15 was driving training. It was a lot of fun and a nice break from classroom time. Everyone passed the state test and did very well. We got to do lots of drills driving around cones and learning new maneuvers. 
I’ve never been able to drive a car as fast as we did. We went fast backwards around corners and around cones. Hitting a cone is a horrible feeling, but every single one of us did it at some point this week.
We had two rainy days during the training, which allowed most of us to experience losing control of the vehicle. The instructors did a great job teaching us how to regain control though. There are lots of little tricks to driving that we learned that I had no idea about.
My squad grew closer because we got to spend so much time together having so much fun. We even had a team barbecue at the track. We also went through lots and lots of sunflower seeds mixed with sour patch kids candy. It sounds horrible and weird, but it is very tasty.

I’d like to give a shout out to Recruit Charloe for getting the fastest time on the P.O.S.T. test at 3:07. In order to pass we needed to get faster than 4:10. Being able to push the limits of the car taught us how far we can push them, and maintain safety, when we’re out on the streets patrolling. 
I was able to have a passenger film my driving while I drove a practice test, this way people can see what exactly the course entails.

Weeks 13 and 14—Recruit Magor

Week 13 started with a tough test that all recruits did well on. We had two scenario days, building searches and handling in-progress calls.

During building searches, we started slow and learned the basics and fundamentals of how to search a building safely and effectively. Once we had practiced for a while we got to go through three different scenarios.

My favorite part of this class was getting to work with K9’s and seeing the dogs doing what they love to do. It is a big career goal of mine to be a K9 officer, so I really had fun with this. We even got to get “bit” by the dogs; of course we wore the protective sleeve.
Handling in-progress calls was a great day of training. We learned from our mistakes and got to have some fun. We responded to about seven different types of calls that varied from domestic violence, a burglary in progress, drunks in a park and men arguing at an ice cream parlor.
Week 14 was a very fun as well. We had two late nights, one of which was night shooting. We practiced different positions for holding our flashlights while we shoot. I am very happy I bought a weapon-mounted light. It makes searching for threats that much easier while it is dark.

We also had late night arrest control scenarios, where we learned the advantages of having a good flashlight. Communication with our partners is also key to safety and success.

On Wednesday all 44 recruits met at Red Rocks Amphitheater for our pictures. Everyone looked sharp in their Class A uniforms. We even got to wear a badge for the individual pictures. I’m eager to get my own badge and start a career.

I passed my Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) shooting test, which I’m not going to lie, was the most nerve-wracking thing I’ve had to do all academy. I guess it’s stressful knowing if you fail the test three times you can lose your job. 

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.