Week 3 - Recruit Fratto

Finally on Tuesday we were able to get into our BDU pants, and Academy shirts. Everyone was dying to get out of their business attire, and I’m sure so were our loved ones who ironed for us! However the academy uniforms are a lot harder to up keep. You have to make sure the pants have a firm crease, and the shirt has to be completely wrinkle free, badge ironed, and belt tab on the right side. All of the recruits are doing a great job checking everyone over, and making sure we are all lint free. Especially because the pants attract everything!

Every day that we have roll call we seem to be getting a lot better. We are answering more questions correctly, than incorrectly.  Except Wednesday.  Agent Ruybal switched it up with a geography question.  If we answered incorrectly we had to go for a run to the light pole, and return. There is always a lesson to be learned. The instructors don’t do this as a punishment or to see us suffer.  They hope to teach us a lesson that might one day save our life, or another’s. The geography lesson is critical.  We need to know where we are, and know how to get to our call. If you can’t, you are no good to other officers, or the victims.

Friday marked test number 3, and all of us are starting to find our niche in studying, and performing on tests! Everyone is doing really well, and we had another 100 again!

Week 2 - Recruit Fratto

As week two started, you call tell that everyone is starting to get comfortable with each other. Everyone is doing a great job getting each other’s back when it comes to studying, keeping the lint off each other and shining boots. A few people made study guides, and passed them around for everyone. Just as we thought we had everything down, there is always something to put you back in check. One recruit left his locker open, after the day finished he couldn't find his car. The instructors like to play jokes.  Talk about a life lesson! If you leave your locker open as a law enforcement officer, and you have ammunition or guns in them, chances are you won’t find them the next day, so I’d say this was a lesson learned.

During the week we also had a couple wellness labs. One wellness consisted of 150 walls balls, and 150 squats, and the other was a 400 meter run, 150 box jumps, and 150 toes to bar leg raises. The PT instructors are really starting to turn up the heat on us. As a team we are doing a great job of cheering each other on, and making sure we finish as a team. No person gets left behind ever!

During Thursday’s roll call we learned from Agent Ruybal that you should never EVER say I don’t know to a question. So when it came to me, Director Baca asked, “What is crime prevention?” It always seems that Director Baca asks everyone else the questions I know, but then asks me the one question I didn't get to study. So, not wanting to say I don’t know I said, “Sir, crime prevention is the prevention of crime!” Every one proceeded to laugh, and it ended up pinning me the Captain Obvious Award.

Friday marked the second of fifteen tests. Everyone this week passed, and two people even scored 100 percent! One recruit was sick all week, but because of our teamwork, he was able to learn the material and pass. Due to our success on the test the Instructors decided to reward us with donuts, however due to our wellness lesson later in the day, one recruit gave the donuts back, right in front of the Commander's car!

 At the end of the day we handed out the rest of the awards for the week. ‘Mr. Bill’, which is our “funny dumb mistake” award went to a recruit who thought a Reno 911 clip was real! Our superman award went to Recruit Jones, and rightfully so, for again keeping us squared away another week. We also created our class motto, which is ‘service above self’, very fitting for a career in law enforcement. 

Week 1 - Recruit Fratto

First off I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Nick Fratto; I have lived all 25 years of my life in Upstate New York.  I went to school online, and graduated with a Criminal Justice Degree. Earlier in my life I raced sprint cars around the country, and internationally from age 13-19. Around six years ago my brother moved to the Denver Metro area, and every time I visited I loved it. I finally admitted that Colorado was the place I wanted to be. So I applied for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office in July, and was lucky enough to be chosen.

Day 1 started on 01/12/2015, there were 48 of us that came in from all walks of life. Each of us in our business attire, ready to tackle the next 22 weeks, with no clue how it’s going to play out. Some of us were former Military, former law enforcement, EMT’s, Security guards, Lawyers, store managers, and so on. Each background very, very different, but all of us have the same goal. We are represented by eight different departments; Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Lakewood, Littleton, Arvada, Lonetree, Golden, Wheat Ridge, and Westminster.  The day, and pretty much the rest of the week was all about us getting our “balance,”  on what to do, and of course what not to do.  We sized our uniforms, and PT gear, and received our laptops, and set up all our administrative stuff. The day also consisted of Intro to Wellness, where we did a base test to see where we all were in term of physical ability.  The test consisted of a 400 meter run, 40 squats, 30 sit-ups, 20 push-ups, and 10 pull-ups for time. I’d have to say that most of us were pleased with our times, but know we have a long way to go, and need to continue to push our pre-conceived limits. We must strive for perfection, and accept excellence. One tip to anyone looking to go through this academy; get used to cross fit, and train in it if you can. You can run, and lift all you want, but it won’t prepare you for the type of workouts here.

On Wednesday we started the Criminal Code Articles 1 & 2, and found out that we would already be tested on it two days later. From what I understood the last class was tested on it a week later, so it definitely put us all on edge. However, Director Baca is an incredible instructor, and makes understanding all this a lot easier. Along with the criminal code, we were tested on 5 different subjects. I remember telling my brother that my ethics class in college was an 8 week course, and that I just learned the same amount of information in 8 hours. So needless to say, we all realize that the material we learn in the academy is going to be like drinking water from a fire hose.

As Friday rolled around, everyone looked extremely nervous to take the first test. We didn't have a clue what would be on it, or how it was administered. After the test was over we found out our scores immediately, and all of us did pretty well, our high scorer was a 98. That was very impressive, like I said we had just learned article 1 & 2 less than two days ago.

To end the week, I’d like to give a huge thanks to Recruit Jones, he really got us squared away from the get go. As a Retired U.S. Air Force Major he had our line ups, and roll call near perfect, which saved us from any unnecessary physical lessons. Well, one week down, only 21 to go, but who’s counting?