Friday, December 4, 2009


This is my last blog. The academy graduation is at the end of this week. I would like to take this opportunity to express to you in a few short statements regarding my overall opinion of the experiences that I have been fortunate to have at this Academy.

This experience has been amazing. If you decide to move into law enforcement and are fortunate to enter the Jefferson County Sheriff Academy, I want to be the first to tell you that you will be challenged in many ways that you have never before experienced. It is very tough mentally and physically. It is difficult, but most important things in life and, especially in law enforcement, are.

The academy staff did a great job in laying the foundation of what is to be a career for all of the recruits at this academy. We by no means know it all. But as we gain experience it is obvious that the foundation that has been created here at the Academy will make us excellent law enforcement officers.

I hope that my entries have encouraged people who were thinking of entering a career in law enforcement to follow their dreams. Being a police officer will be a unique and rewarding career. The individuals with which you will be working are simply the best. I have had a great time, have gained an incredible amount of knowledge and experience. And besides the PT, being maced, tased, being on the receiving end of loud and forceful correction by the various instructors, being put in a constant state of stress, and all the other situations I have been exposed to, I am really looking forward to the experiences I will be gaining in law enforcement, using the information gained in the Academy.

I want to thank all of the instructors and staff involved at the Jefferson County Sheriff Academy for a great experience. I want to thank the recruits for the friendship, the bonds and living to the creed that “Those that go through sh*t together, stick together” that has been created during the last four to five months.

Welcome to the brotherhood of cops. And as was indicated in one of our first classes and described in an earlier blog, we are all sheepdogs at heart and we are the protectors of the innocent.

Congratulations to Academy Class 2009-2


We ended our court session yesterday. This was one of the best exercises that we have done at the Academy. One had to apply everything learned in the academy and use it to present evidence from interrogations, questioning, and evidence gathering in a courtroom situation. We got an understanding of what it feels like to be testifying in a courtroom. It was nerve racking at first, but as was investigating the crime scene fun and exciting so was presenting the information in court.

There were two representatives from the District Attorney’s office with us today. One acted as the District Attorney while the other played the Defense Attorney. Each read your report regarding the crime investigation and started poking holes in your investigation to create what would amount to doubt in the minds of the jurors if this was a real case. It wasn’t personal, it was business.

Once the two representatives started doing their thing, it was easy to see where the weaknesses of each individual report existed. Under their cross exams, it was easy to see the weaknesses with the investigation as well. Like almost everything we have done in the Academy, this was a great learning experience that I will never forget. The mistakes I made I hope never to repeat. These are the concepts and experiences that one must learn to create the professional law enforcement officer that we all want to be.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Taser Day

We had “Taser Day” last week. This was the epilog to the macing experience from several weeks ago as described in this blog. The experience is something you should look forward to. In reality, the bad news is that being tasered is probably the most horrible physical pain you may experience in your life. The good news is that the intensity only lasts for about 5 seconds or so; a much shorter time period than the eternity of discomfort that one experiences with being maced. All your muscles tense up and you can’t move. You can think, you are aware of your surroundings, but you cannot move. If, in the future you decide to enter the Jefferson County Academy, you too will have the opportunity to add this experience to your life, if you choose. Being tasered is uncomfortable but it allows you to experience what an individual feels when tasered and how the process can incapacitate anyone, including a police officer. As a police officer on patrol, being tasered allows your weapons and whatever you are carrying to be available to anyone because it is very plain that one would be unable to prevent anyone from taking those items after the taseing.

I will tell you the experience is very uncomfortable but you will survive it.

Until next time……..

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Mock crime scenes

Last week, prior to the Thanksgiving break, we started a new exercise called Mock Crime Scene. The exercise is conducted by the instructors. The instructors and recruits were split into five different groups. The goal is to get the recruits to apply the techniques and knowledge that has been learned throughout the academy. The instructors made everything as realistic as possible. Everyone involved, especially the recruits, proceeded through the exercise as if this was a true crime scene.

All recruits conducted interviews of potential suspects, victims and witnesses, writing search warrants, collecting evidence, and arresting the individuals that were responsible for the crime. Each suspect, victims or witness within the scenario is played by an instructor. Once the investigation was completed, the remainder of the day was spent writing reports and completing all of the paper work necessary to bring the case to trial. On Wednesday, all recruits will attend a mock court dealing with each scenario.

This experience was amazing. There were many mistakes made by all recruits. However the experience gained and what we learned from this exercise is very valuable. As stated, the next step of this exercise is the mock court. We will see how that goes.

Until next time…

Friday, November 20, 2009

Evidence Collection

This week has been spent covering evidence collection. We are learning how to document different types of evidence. It is very interesting and in its own way kind of exciting. The first question you will probably have would be “Is it like CSI?”. The answer is sort of but not really. There are similarities but a lot of what is seen on TV is to keep the audience’s attention. Especially true is that the time span and documentation is nothing like on TV. TV shows tend not to represent real life situations. Solving a complicated crime scene in an hour is not realistic.

Only two weeks left until graduation and so much to do and learn.


Sorry for the delays in making new entries. I have been very busy.

We had driving training all last week and I spent all of my time up at the track. I have to admit that driving is a real kick. Everything you wanted to do (and probably did) as a teenager but here it was legal! As usual our instructors were great.

We worked on turning at high speeds, steering, backing, avoidance braking and threshold breaking. This is fun stuff. Imagine doing all of these things, stopping, and being told to do it again. This is probably the only place where you can literally, on purpose, lose complete control of your vehicle, and spin out. Imagine that upon completing all of this and returning to the group, the instructor will ask “what went wrong?” You give the correct answer and he says “Good job and now go back out there and do it right.” Notice the phrase “slow down!” does not appear. Sweeet!!!

However, if you are losing control due to excessive speed you will be told that you need to slow down. I never have had so much fun driving. It was fun to test the limits of the vehicle, your reactions, and discovering where “the line” is.

It was fun but you need to keep in mind that you are training for high speed pursuits. Cones are set about the course representing pedestrians, children, vehicles, etc. The fun was locating and establishing that acceptable level of speed and and as always, civilian safety.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Good Day on the Job

Something very special happened to our academy class the other day. We had just completed having our pictures taken and were in formation marching back to the parking lot from the Red Rocks Amphitheater. As we approached the parking lot, there was a group of elementary students standing off to the side watching the formation. As we marched passed their location all the students fell in behind and marched with us. This group of students marched with us, in pretty good formation and with good discipline, all the way to the top of the parking lot. Upon reaching the parking lot, the students ran past the formation and got out in front of us. Every single police officer and deputy sheriff had to pass the student group. All of the young kids cheered and waved to us, and most chanted “You guys are awesome.”

This simple action meant a lot to both the experienced officers and recruits. I have always been proud of what I am doing and what I want to become as a deputy sheriff. However, this was something special to all of us. I can’t really explain it. It was a simple action by a group of youngsters that produced a memory that I will never forget. I and my fellow recruits, police and sheriff officers would like to thank the children for their actions and hope they maintain that attitude towards law enforcement in general.