Week 4 ended as quickly as it arrived. The start to this week was great with our first complete pass of the Monday exam – all of the recruits had proficient scores, including a number of recruits who passed with a 100%.
It’s a great sense of accomplishment to be able to pass a test, but it’s even better when we can accomplish it as a class, leaving no recruit behind. We’ve not only committed to our respective departments to becoming POST-Certified and succeeding in the Academy, but also to each other. Our goal is to finish as strong; 50 in, 50 out.
This week also brought us a number of unique experiences: we learned about ways to successfully interact with special populations (such as people with mental health disorders who are a risk to themselves or others ), how to write a report, the essentials of criminal code (specifically Articles 6 and 7), specifics about search and seizure, verbal communication, and interrogation techniques. Learning about crimes against children in Article 6 is incredibly hard to handle, but absolutely necessary if we want to be able to do our job.
For me, the most important lessons came from two different lectures. On Wednesday we were afforded the opportunity to hear from both a representative from Special Olympics Colorado and a Special Olympics athlete. As law enforcement, we help contribute to a majority of fundraising for the Special Olympics through the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR). Just last year the Colorado Law Enforcement Torch Run raised over $800,000. It is incredible to see how much of an impact we have on organizations like this. I am honored to know that I can be a part of something so positive.
Another important day of lecture came from the first block of officer safety. This is arguably one of the most critical sets of lessons we’ll learn in the Academy. Since we began, we’ve heard over and over again about officer safety. After the first five minutes of this lecture we all understood exactly why it is so important.
The bottom line is if we don’t protect ourselves, we’ll be unable to protect others. We learned how important it is to be alert and aware of our surroundings, and how if we fail to do so, it can lead to disastrous consequences.
We ended the week on an extremely high note enjoying a potluck put together by our Class Leader, Recruit Nguyen. Sharing lunch as a class helps create lasting bonds and comradery, something for which I’m incredibly grateful. After lunch we had verbal communication practice during which recruits were chosen at random and given three minutes to tell three stories from their lives: two truthful and one fictional.
The goal was to examine the body language and mannerisms of the presenting recruit and decipher which story was untrue. This practice was designed to help us determine truth but it also had a rather amusing effect as most of the stories had our stomachs sore with laughter. One thing is for sure: this class of recruits seems incredibly comfortable speaking in front of people, which is something we will use throughout our careers.
As mentioned before in an earlier blog, many of the recruits have families. This week Recruit Castillo and his wife welcomed into the world a baby boy! Celebrating special joys like this is another way we cement our commitment to each other as future law enforcement officers.