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.  

Week 10—Recruit Magor

 Week 10 presented a tough test; however, the class did very well. The scenario days continue to be my favorite. I have always learned best by doing things rather than sitting in class. We had two scenario days, report writing and arrest control. 

For the scenario days, we concentrate on the task at hand. So for report writing we try getting all the correct information for our report. During arrest control we focus on good fundamentals of our arrest techniques.

During report writing we learned what the real world is like while we write our reports. Instructors brought in their radios and turned the volume up. While trying to write our report we had other calls that we had to respond to and handle and then return to our report. We learned that if you choose to write your report right after the incident we may be leaving one of our partners alone at a different call.

During Arrest Control and Tactics scenarios, my form and fundamentals went out the door. It is funny how during “practice” I can do most tactics very well but when you add in a little stress and a mouthy suspect, things change.

Communication is also very important during these scenarios. For example, at one point Recruit Seyfried and I looked at each other while dealing with a resisting suspect and said “forward takedown” we immediately did our forward takedown and got the suspect on the ground and handcuffed. It worked out very nicely.

Thursday we got to do a firearms drill where we had threats we had to stop. The “threats” were small steel plates spray painted white. We had to run up a big hill and then had three stations where we were forced to take cover and stop the threats. One scenario was a hostage situation, where about 6 inches was visible on the target and the remainder was covered by an innocent civilian.  It was reassuring stopping that threat.

Weeks 8 and 9—Recruit Magor

Week 8 was great. We continue to practice shooting and arrest control. We got to practice pressure points on one another. I can remember my Dad teaching me a few of these pressure points when I was younger. They are quite painful and there are some pretty funny reactions when you do it just right. 

During arrest control we were practicing a kick to the inner thigh and Recruit Garcia successfully dropped Recruit FitzPatrick! Even though he would be just fine, Recruit FitzPatrick stayed on the ground for a while. The class stopped and had a good laugh. 

During firearms class we got to shoot at steel targets. It's rewarding hearing the "ping" when you shoot, you instantly know you hit the target. Everyone continues to improve on their target practice. The holes on the target are getting closer and closer to each other. 

The class did well on the test and next week we get our first break from testing. Director Baca taught our last criminal code section this week. It's hard to believe we're done with criminal code. Those were by far some of the most exciting classes I have ever been a part of. 
Wednesday of Week 9 was probably my favorite day of the academy so far. It was a day full of scenarios. The role players made every minute feel like a real experience. I even got in my first foot pursuit. It was very exciting. It is instinctual to chase after someone when they run from you. During the scenarios we got to practice our knowledge of the law, arrest control tactics and our gift of gab. Our job is all about how we can talk to people and these scenarios helped show that.
We continue to learn arrest control tactics and firearms. We got to do some barricade shooting and shot at steel, which was a blast. We shot at 50 yards, which was challenging, yet we learned it can be done if needed.
Everything we have learned so far is coming together so that we are able to do real life scenarios of in progress calls. There is still a lot of work to be done and every recruit continues to give their all. There are 13 weeks left and they will fly by!

Week 7--Recruit Magor

Week seven was filled with action. Both Tuesday and Thursday we had firearms half the day and arrest control the other half. The firearms class is a blast!
So far everyone has made great improvements on their shooting skills. With 44 recruits, the level of shooting expertise is spread all across the board. The instructors assure us that by the end of the academy we all will be very good at shooting. I hope to make lots of improvements.
Arrest control has also been a great deal of fun. This far into learning, we have worked on different control holds, searching and handcuffing.  All is beginning to come together naturally. We are beginning to do the tasks without having to think about them.
Report writing was a little more intense this week, we had very good role players yelling and screaming at us. We had to use what we have learned so far and command presence to control the situation. 
Tests continue to be difficult and the majority of my spare time goes towards studying, shining my boots and getting my three different bags together for the academy, which are my lunch bag, firearms and arrest control bag and my classroom bag. I have had to establish a routine in order to stay on top of everything.  

Friday we had CPR and First Aid. We had scenarios for First Aid rather than watching a four-hour video, which was great. For the scenarios we teamed up with a partner and had to quickly respond and react to the injured person and provide care. The practice skits even included some uncooperative actors. 
I would like to give a shout out to Recruit Charloe for winning a fitness competition. It was a timed workout and Recruit Charloe got the fastest time. I don't remember the exact workout but it was tough!

The reward was that he got to pick the next workout. Let's just say his workout had most of the recruits in pain.