This week started with our last Report Writing class. In seven classes, we have all come so far from where we started. It’s a good feeling to know that your reports are deemed acceptable from some of the best report writers in Lakewood and JeffCo. Again, this is one of the biggest and most important parts of our job. If you can’t articulate and document what happened on a call, you may lose the case. The biggest takeaway from this class was something that Sergeant Brooks said: “Always write for your victim and you can’t go wrong.”
Tuesday was a fun, but sad day. It marked our last actual shooting day at the range. We started the day running through different scenarios at the tactical range, and shooting out of vehicles. In the afternoon we had our Top Gun Competition. I promised last week I would announce the winner, and give them their much deserved week of fame! Congratulations to Recruit Lineberger on the honors of being the best shot. A lot of times in competition, you may have a “dark horse,” or someone who was just lucky that day. That was not the case with Recruit Lineberger. He was in my squad for the entire Academy, and definitely deserves the honor. He shot at a high level consistently throughout the Academy. For his win, he was awarded with a signed copy of Instructor Okada’s book “Survivors!”
On Wednesday, we had our class photo. Everyone was dressed in their respective department’s Class A uniforms. Everyone looked great, and I think we are starting to feel a lot more like police officers, and that the Academy is really starting to come to a close. We have all made a lot of friends from different agencies, and in seven short weeks we will have to start over again. Wednesday ended with two classes, one on vehicle searches, which taught us the art of finding the crazy hiding spots that criminals come up with in their cars. The other class was on narcotics, where we learned how to properly identify certain narcotics, and how to test them.
Thursday started with our last 4-hour block of Arrest Control drill training. This was the run phase of our practicals. So all of our scenarios were high risk. All of the recruits in my squad had such a drastic improvement from the first time we did our scenarios. We are all starting to become comfortable in our contacts, and it shows in how we handle each scenario.
To end the day, we had our very last day at the range. We had our class on simunitions. This is where we turn guns that shoot bullets into guns that shoot plastic, soap-filled rounds. The fun part is that we got to hunt each other down, and face off against our classmates in a dual-type setting. The point of the exercise is to show recruits proper cover. You find out real quick if your cover is adequate enough. It also shows you that once your adrenaline kicks in, your tactics and fundamentals can go straight out the window.
Friday ended the week with our 12th test. Everyone passed and we had a few 100s. To end the day, we had lecture, and a practical on crowd control. This class is extremely essential due to the latest events involving police, such as the Ferguson, Missouri shooting.
I used to think that crowd control was like an every-person-for-themselves-to-save-lives-and-break-up-the-crowd job. It is actually very structured, and organized. Every person has a job, and a job to fill once someone goes down, or has to leave. I have to say, this was a great week and great to end it running through a field with a 42” baton like I was in the movie ‘300.’