Monday, August 26, 2013

Weeks 4-6, Recruit Yost

Jefferson County/Lakewood Academy, weeks 4-6: As seen from the front leaning rest (a.k.a. push-up) position…

After a brief break in communication, I finally feel as though I have been allotted enough time and energy to complete the next in my series of Academy chronicles.

We have ventured into the land of practical application.  Now that we have established a foundation of criminal/legal theory, we can build up and out via applying our knowledge to realistic scenarios.  The next few building blocks were handed out in typical “crawl-walk-run,” fashion, but it still feels as though time is passing at a rapid rate.  There have not been enough hours in the day to complete all that I would like to, so the routine I developed during the first few weeks has become quite paramount in recent days past. 

I’m going to break the rest of this down by topic since I’m running a few weeks behind:

Report Writing- I have always fancied myself a recreational writer; I enjoy corresponding through good, old-fashioned, written word.  That being said, I have never stressed myself out about writing a few paragraphs more than I have since this foray into police-style writing began.  We have some excellent instructors in this section, but I am finding it a struggle to reintroduce myself to no-nonsense writing.  How do I get a point across without the use of superfluous vocabulary and mild hyperbole???

Firearms Training- First, a key point I would like to offer those who have come from a military background: don’t act like you know everything… There is always more knowledge to be gained.  If you go into this training with a closed mind, the time will crawl and you will plateau faster than the “noobs” (get it? It means newbies).  I am only mentioning this because I went into this with a few bad habits I picked up courtesy of my military experience and I am having to face my flaws head on and fix them as quickly as possible.  Fun Fact: one of the instructors has actually been able to trick me into shooting better.  What?!  I never thought that was possible.

Arrest Control- There is not much more I can say about this training than, “ouch!”  I have checked my pride (necessary! If I had not, I would be in a constant state of embarrassment as I learn this stuff) and started from scratch.  I can’t say I am confident in my knowledge at this point in time, but I can see myself being secure in my skills by the time this is over (if not sooner).

Tests: Testing is becoming increasingly more difficult as the time to study is decreasing in availability.  Time management is crucial at this juncture in the Academy.  Whatever your study habits are or were, you will have to step it up to keep your head above water in this environment.  I haven’t gone a day without studying the classroom material in some way or another.  I’ve started to annoy my friends and family with my new found knowledge. Suffice it to say, Law and Order is not allowed in my house anymore.

Standards/Classroom: As time goes on, human nature kicks in and we open ourselves up for error.  I guess it’s just a natural part of any learning experience in a field like this.  Even in their smallest form, laziness and arrogance can be two attitudes that compromise safety in a way that none of us can afford.  It may be a hard pill to swallow, but complacency is one thing that these instructors will not allow.  We are offered… gentle… reminders when we lapse in our vigilance.  I’ve taken to preparing myself mentally to “sweat for our sins” on a daily basis so that I am never surprised during a corrective run/pushup and squat-fest.

In the three weeks since I last wrote, I have felt more exhausted, overwhelmed, and overloaded than I have ever felt before.  Conversely, I have never learned as much, felt as accomplished, and had as much fun in this short amount of time. No change in attitude for this recruit.  I am still happy to be here, lucky to be chosen for this career, and excited for the future.

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