Monday, January 23, 2012

Preparing for the end...

Well the academy FLEW by! I cant believe that it's over. The last few weeks have been preparation preparation preparation for the main P.O.S.T test. This test was a BEAST...haha...but I have great news...we all passed! Congrats everyone! Now time for graduation.

Graduation day was awesome! I personally was surprised by some great friends of mine that flew out for the event. Made the day even more exciting. Everyone looked great, we were all pressed, boots shinned, pens in the pockets, and standing tall waiting to be sworn in. Receiving our badge was an experience in itself, I could not believe that 21 weeks had come to an end. Knowing that I now wear a badge to uphold both the US and Colorado's Constitution as well as Jefferson Counties laws...simply put...AWESOME!

I have been thinking about the academy as a whole lately and have been thankful for such a great opportunity that I have been able to be a part of. There have been a lot of great experiences that JeffCo has offered all of us. (Yes, even the OC and getting Tased!) Many of us will go off to different agencies and start our careers there, and there are some of us who will have the chance to start our path here in JeffCo. Even though we will all be going our separate ways we all have this common ground of 2011-1 academy. Good or bad memories...we, together have accomplished something that only a few receive the opportunity to do so. So, I want to take this chance to say "thank you" to everyone who has helped with our academy in one way or another. To our instructors, you knowledge that you passed onto us is a priceless tool that we now have to put to use...thank you! Deputy Ackerman, thank you for your leadership and skills that you brought to the table out on the range, I am sure that everyone will remember those 4 rules and "tap, rack, target!!" Deputy Joselyn, thank you for riding us to be better, to have a mindset of a warrior, and to never quit! Your attitude towards your career and life is one that we could continue to learn so much from...thank you! Finally, Sergeant Beaulieu, your direction and experiences that you brought to the classroom seemed to be unmatched. I will forever be grateful for the stories you shared about your career early on. I think that a lot of people can learn so much from what you have to offer. Thank you Sergeant!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Getting TASED!

This day was shocking! :) We had our classroom portion of learning how this tool is used and what makes it so effective in some situations. It is great to learn about more methods of using non-lethal means to take people into custody. It is also eye opening to learn that a Taser is not the “end-all” tool to gain compliance from possible suspects.

There are some main aspects that must happen to create that circuit and for that circuit to remain active. Deploying a Taser comes with responsibility that it will end when one has gained the compliance that we are looking for and ultimately need.

I’ll let you know about my experience and then it will be on to the pictures. I had been building up my anticipation all day for this experience. You might think that my mind is a little twisted, but I was actually looking forward to being Tased! Let me give you a little bit of background of myself really quickly, I used to work as an electrician “go-for” back in the summers for my uncle. So needless to say, I have been electrocuted more times than I care to remember! Being Tased was worse than any of the experiences I had as an electrician, and I had a few! It is a hard feeling to describe, but the pain that you feel is throughout your entire body. Have I mentioned that the Tase lasts for five-seconds? I bet you are saying to yourself five-seconds isn’t that long, I could handle that. That’s what I had thought as well! I really don’t think that five-seconds has ever been so long in my entire life.

If I had to choose between either being Tased again or OC sprayed again...hands down I would be Tased. Without a question! This was one of the most memorable days of the academy for myself. I am really glad that I chose to experience the Taser. Without further waiting, enjoy the pictures! (and if you are ever having a bad day, come back to these pictures for a good laugh!)

*Check out the faces of the support guys as they hold the person actually getting Tased...classic!

POST Qualification and Weapon Familiarization...

One of the coolest days yet at the range! We first had to go through the qualification for P.O.S.T. (Peace Officer Standards and Training). There were a lot of nerves there that morning with us, but I am proud to say that everyone passed this without a problem! With all the pressure off our back we were able to have a day were we became familiar with different types of weapons that we might come across in our careers.

I unfortunately did not have a camera with me on this day. We were able to shoot and handle the following guns: AR-15, MP5, .38 Special, and a double action handgun. It was a blast to be able to manipulate such an array of weapons.

We ended the day by having real live shots fired way above our heads. Our instructors set this up so that we would be able to know what it feels and sounds like to have shots fired in our direction. This experience was eye opening. I had no clue that most shots or bullets, given the space, will break the sound barrier! The sounds that is made reminds me of a loud lightning strike right next to you. The “crack” is accompanied by a “whizz” that seems to be right next to you. When of course the sounds came from way above our heads.

Pretty awesome day!

Night Shoot

Great experience! Once you have practiced, practiced and practiced some more your natural point of aim becomes dialed in. We learned this during the night shoot that we were able to participate in. Our firearms instructors continue to work with us to build our confidence in our shots and our fundamentals.

During our night shooting we learned about different flashlight techniques. There are some techniques that are harder to learn for some and easier for others, all really depends on the person.

I will keep this entry short, I really just wanted to share the following pictures with you guys.

Learning to drive all over...

We all had the opportunity to head out to Colorado State Patrol’s track where were able to practice driving in different scenarios that we as police officers will come up against. There were many different obstacles that were set up to simulate backing up, pulling forward, split second decision making, and many more.

Our instructors that we had for each stage knew their stuff! Each group would pile into the car with the instructor driving, and then would be blown away at how fast that stage was just completed! It was a great time had by all. I mean, how often do you get to go out and drive a vehicle almost as fast as you can push it, and be paid for doing it?!

It was and is very helpful to learn the limit as a driver and also the limit of the car you are operating. Yes, there were times where we lost control or hit some cones, but that is really how you make yourself learn in this environment. We would make the corrections the following time through and clear all the obstacles.

One of our days out on the track included a night pursuit. This was awesome! We put to use what we had learned in our previous days of training and applied everything to a night drive. We also added in the use of a radio (calling into dispatch reporting the vehicle we were chasing), as well as adding in the use of our lights and siren.

Hope you enjoy the pics!

There has been so much going on!

OC Day...

This day was such a test mentally and physically for everyone. OC stands for Oleoresin Capsicum. The main active ingredient is the capsicum portion, it is mostly derived from the fruit of plants in the capsicum genus...mostly including chilis.

During the day, we learned about the non-lethal effects of the OC spray and the advantages and disadvantages to resorting to this method. It seemed like the disadvantages out weighed the advantages because we were on the receiving end of the spray. There are many instances that the OC spray could be useful in subduing a suspect when they have chosen to be noncompliant and threatening.

I was one of the last recruits to be sprayed (I tried to take as many pictures as possible). Since I had the opportunity to watch everyone and see the different reactions that people were having, I was able to prepare for the worst. I have to tell you...the worst I was planning for was not nearly as bad as it really was! It was a great experience and I would probably do it again if I absolutely had to.

After being sprayed in the face with OC, we all had to complete a series of tasks while feeling the effects of the spray. The first of them was to deliver strikes/blows to a standing dummy while giving verbal directions. We then moved to a corner of a building to find a suspect that we had to give verbal directions to get on the ground and eventually handcuff them. Our last encounter was a suspect with a (fake) gun, we too were given a simunition (non lethal gun) and after giving many verbal commands to the suspect, we had to make the decision to shoot the suspect after he showed the intent to point the (fake) gun at us.

These exercises were really great to go through. It was showing us that we are to continue to fight through adversity (physical or mental) and fight until the threat is stopped. I can now tell you that I now appreciate the affect that OC provides.

I hope that you enjoy these pics...try not to laugh too hard!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Red Man

You are asking yourself...what the heck is this?! It is an afternoon of learning what adrenaline does to you and your senses during an “acted” arrest.

Throughout our classes of arrest control, we have learned a ton. Red Man days are days that we are to put our training to use. We have mock scenarios of making arrests on our suspects. All of our training “could” be put to use, which makes for a dynamic training day. Our training that we have received really prepares us for these exercises. I found myself even with the training, experiencing “tunnel vision” during the arrests and forgetting aspects that I need to keep in the forefront of my mind.

Below are some pictures of our first Red Man day...there will be more.

Oh...and AWESOME job to our instructors who helped us out all day!

Receiving direction

Recruits V and H practicing arrest techniques

Good distance

Attempting to arrest