For the second time during the academy, we began our week up at Red Rocks Amphitheater. After all the snow over the weekend, we were happy to see clear skies and warmer weather Monday morning. Also for the second time in the academy, we were dressed in our Class A uniforms to take our academy group photo. Red Rocks made for a beautiful backdrop for our photos. With only five weeks left, having our uniforms on this week really made the light at the end of the tunnel apparent.
To receive our P.O.S.T. certification, we must pass a written exam, as well as three training programs for driving, arrest control, and firearms. This week we completed our written and physical testing for arrest control tactics (ACT). For most of us, this was the most anticipated of the skills tests in the academy. The ACT program ran for 11 weeks, which meant we had quite a bit of information to study. Everyone passed both the written and physical tests after plenty of studying and practice leading up to test day. Confidence is imperative to being successful in everything that we do. All of the hard work we put into our ACT training showed this week on test day.
Friday we attended the Colorado Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony. During this ceremony, four fallen officers from the past year were honored, including Jefferson County Sergeant Sean Renfro.
This was the first time we were able to attend a ceremony like this as a member of the law enforcement community. Even though we will all go to our separate agencies upon graduation, we attended as one unified family. This unity was also apparent among the other sworn personnel from across the state, standing side-by-side as a cohesive group.
Mr. Stan Hilkey, the executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Safety spoke about the fallen officers and shared some of his experiences from the past year. When Cadet Trooper Taylor Thyfault was killed last year, Hilkey explained how impressed he was with the responding officers’ demeanor, sincerity and care for Trooper Thyfault and his family. These words really hit home for me. The bonds we create in this profession start in the academy, and continue to develop from there on out. Knowing that the brothers and sisters we work with are not simply coworkers, but family, makes me even more proud to be joining the law enforcement community.