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!