This week was a breath of fresh air. After an amazing performance by the class on our 5th test, we learned about liquor code on Monday. Even though this information might, on the surface, seem less important than other aspects of what we need to learn, it goes to helping us become well-rounded, intellectual law enforcement officers.
Tuesday brought our first real interactive work with our handguns. We spent the whole day learning nomenclature, safety rules, and other important gun features. I take this learning very seriously because I know how important it is we respect and understand the tools we carry.
Our lecture on gun safety was paired with a full day of learning on Thursday which focused on firearm safety, specifically on appropriate ways to check if a weapon is loaded. All of the recruits have different backgrounds when it comes to gun knowledge, and this means our instructors have decided to teach as if we all come to these lessons with no firearm experience.
I appreciate this teaching stance and way of learning for two reasons. First, it allows everyone in the class to become equally familiar with handguns regardless of earlier experience. Second, I have the opportunity to add something new, even something that is truly a nuanced take on what I think I already understand, to my own background knowledge. There should always be an opportunity to learn more, and this especially true in law enforcement.
This week also offered us our first experience in arrest control which, simply put, is learning the ways to make encounters with the public safe for everyone concerned – law enforcement personnel and the public at large. Some students have self-defense experience but I do not. Because of this, the lessons we learn during these portions of the academy are incredibly important for me.
I, along with all of the other recruits, want to make sure that every situation during which I have to use force I do properly, never at the expense of my or anyone else’s safety.
While this week was filled with many introductory lessons, the importance of them was definitely not lost on me. These beginnings are the foundation upon which we will build our careers.