Week 19—Recruit Bellio

Almost daily Director Baca emails recruits a quote of the day. In the morning during formation we are asked to explain what the quote means to us. Wednesday’s quote was “Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character” by Albert Einstein. This quote really speaks to the previous 19 weeks of the academy. All of us have had times when we had to work through challenges and put our mind over matter. Various obstacles challenged us both physically and mentally, but keeping a strong positive attitude has allowed character to build character that we will take with us throughout our career.

Speaking of physical obstacles, this week we completed the infamous Red Rocks Challenge, a milestone in our physical training program. Monday it was cold, foggy, and lightly raining during our early morning workout. We completed the challenge in a series of exercises to include box jumping the seats, running side to side down the rows, and climbing the planter boxes, just to name a few.

However, I think most of us found the bear crawl down the rows (yes, all of them) to be the most challenging part of the workout. I was impressed with our teamwork and encouragement for one another. Congrats to Recruit Derek Thorson (Arvada PD) who won the challenge, finishing in 45 minutes and 5 seconds. He absolutely earned it.

This week also included one of our more memorable topics: standard field sobriety testing (SFST). The training for SFST was one of the most intensive learning blocks we have had thus far. The information we learned on Wednesday was put to the test Friday evening when we administered sobriety tests on intoxicated individuals (who volunteered to help us learn).

There are three roadside tests that we learned to administer including horizontal gaze nystagmus, walk and turn, and one leg stand. It was really interesting to see how some individuals could drink quite a bit and still successfully complete the walk and turn and one leg stand. The commonality in all instances was the horizontal gaze nystagmus, which showed an involuntary jerking of the eye after intoxication. As they say, “the eyes don’t lie!”

We had an amazing guest speaker from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). She truly put all of this in perspective by sharing the story of the night her daughter was killed by a drunk driver. No one should ever have to experience the pain that she felt when her daughter was killed. A rewarding aspect of this job is keeping the community safe, and our SFST training is just another way we can accomplish that.

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