My name is Recruit Nathanael Steinmetz and as Recruit Bellio mentioned last week I will be writing the other half of the recruit blog documenting our experiences for the 2016-1 Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and Lakewood Police Department Combined Regional Police Academy.
First, a little information about myself. I was born in Littleton and grew up in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. After graduating from Highlands Ranch High School, I was recruited to play Division One baseball at the University of Northern Colorado. While attending UNC, I earned my Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a Minor in Business Administration.
After graduating in 2013, I took to the oil fields in the DJ Basin (greater northern Colorado/ southern Wyoming area) where I worked for company specializing in the hydro-excavation of existing utility lines so new oil, natural gas or water pipes could be installed. Then, in the first week of December 2015, recruiting Deputy Mark Barrick contacted me and offered me a job with Jefferson County which I humbly accepted.
I originally applied to JCSO because, during my last semester at the University Northern Colorado, when one of my professors approached me about a recruiting coordinator looking for former student-athletes. Once I got in contact with Deputy Barrick, I scheduled a time to come to come in and discuss the career possibilities with JCSO.
This talk really just opened my eyes and showed me that Jefferson County is the place where I belong. JCSO is the only agency to which I applied and I am extremely thankful and honored to be where I am now!!
This second week brought a number of different challenges for the recruits. On Monday, we had our first test on the material we learned during lectures in week one. For some of us, the exam was a great way to show how much effort we’d put into studying. For others, it was a wake-up call to take class--and the accompanying at-home studying--a bit more seriously.
It’s a bit unnerving to take a test that might impact the future of your career. Even with a high number of passing scores, we all have room to grow in knowledge and preparation. Props to Recruits Monell, Adams, and Diehl for scoring the highest on the exam, each scoring 96%. While those who failed (scoring less than 80%) quickly understood exactly why they missed specific questions, they were afforded the opportunity to study with Director Baca in early-morning review sessions.
This week also presented the class with our first “motivational moments” as lack of respect while addressing academy staff led us to morning push-ups and an afternoon run in our business attire to make sure “the light pole down the street was still firmly attached to the ground.” Those recruits with military experience are looking out for and teaching the rest of the class about appropriate ways to address academy staff (i.e., “sir or ma’am”, Deputy, Agent, Sergeant, Director, and so on).
Week two also brought us our first scenarios involving the questioning of subjects and problem-oriented policing. On Monday, our scenario was responding to a domestic violence complaint where, along with a partner, we needed to interview, question, and ascertain facts from different members of role-playing academy staff. It was a good thing I was paired with Recruit McKeon, who had formal medical questioning experience, because I was completely caught off-guard. This lesson reminded me we need to be ready for any situation at any time.
Our second scenario entailed going out into the public in our squads to examine an area needing a fix-up to improve security and/or safety, and to then provide specific suggestions for these improvements. This problem-oriented policing showed us that our job in law Enforcement will always be changing and evolving.
As we continue to dive into the academic portion of our academy experience, we are constantly reminded of one thing: we are together and we will eventually represent the law enforcement community as a whole. Our brothers and sisters in class will become part of our professional, nationwide family.