Week 13 of the academy offered recruits the opportunity to acquire new skills, as well as test ourselves on more familiar skills we have learned and improved over the past 12 weeks.
On Tuesday during arrest control, we were trained to use our collapsible batons. This training consisted of two different methods of using the collapsible baton, closed-mode and open-mode. When learning these methods we practiced striking the bags that our partners would hold. It is important to see first-hand how much force our batons generate.
Additionally on Tuesday, we had an interesting day at the range given the wind speeds approaching 50 miles per hour. Squad A, who shot earlier in the day, was able to shoot for a little while, in between targets being violently ripped off the frames and traveling miles down the road. Later that evening Squad B attempted to post targets, but after about 30 unsuccessful minutes of chasing paper targets around, our night shoot had to be rescheduled. Our second day of shooting however was incredibly rewarding, as almost all recruits passed the POST qualification course on the first try. I am overly impressed with our progress as a group.
One aspect I like most about the academy is the amount of quality scenarios we have. Sometimes the scenarios are geared towards report writing, while others test our verbal communication skills in addition to other abilities. Thursday’s scenarios, however, tested our arrest control skills. We broke up fights, talked to suicidal parties, arrested combative individuals, and addressed domestic situations involving children. Each of these situations is truly eye-opening to the variety of things we will be dealing with on a daily basis.
Before concluding this post, I want to explain the role of class leadership, which has not been mentioned much yet in our prior blog posts. Every two weeks, five recruits are selected by staff as members of class leadership who function as part of the chain of command. We have four squad leaders who report to the class leader. The role of the class leader is to be responsible for the class, as well as be the central point of communication between staff and recruits. If something goes wrong, it is the class leader’s job to correct it. I was selected as class leader for weeks 11 through 12.
Like all of the former class leaders, I was not incredibly excited to be selected initially. Even though each class leader has made it through their two week duration successfully, being class leader results in added responsibility and pressure. Both staff and fellow recruits have high expectations of each class leader. As I mentioned in Week 11’s post, that was a very busy and unpredictable week, which challenged me. Even though the position is initially dreaded, I think every class leader is as appreciative as I am for the opportunity to lead, learn from mistakes, and celebrate class accomplishments.