Friday, July 24, 2009

The Academy Experience

Week #1

My name is Kevin and I have recently been selected to enter the Jefferson County Police Academy with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department. I have chosen to track my experiences and those of the other cadets as we work our way through the training. Hopefully others that are interested in participating in future police academies will benefit from our experiences and those that have completed the academy training will enjoy a comparison to their experiences.

I would like to begin this process by sharing some of my background. I was born and raised in Santa Cruz, California, a beach town known for its surfing. Both of my parents are public school teachers. I attended Washington State University obtaining a B.A. in Criminal Justice and in Sociology. After finishing my undergraduate work, I obtained a M.A. in International Security with an emphasis on Homeland Security, Intelligence, and the Middle East from the University of Denver.

I worked a variety of jobs during my schooling including sports camps instructor and at Costco Wholesale. I have completed an internship with Department of State Diplomatic Security Service in the Chicago field office. I also have experience in training K-9s with Mar-Ken International, a company that supply and trains K-9s for police use. I am a certified agitator; that’s the individual that acts as the “criminal” in each of the training exercises for the handler and the dog. These exercises result in the agitator being placed in many different scenarios most of which result in the agitator taking the bite. I have also completed certification with K-9s in narcotics detection and have experience in training K-9s in bomb detection.

I am very excited to be in the Jefferson County Basic Law Enforcement Academy. There are twenty- three of us selected for training from various law enforcement agencies around the Denver area and from other parts of the state. The last few weeks prior to the start of the academy have been busy in obtaining and getting fitted for uniforms, physical training outfits and other equipment needed during the academy and for our jobs once the academy is completed.

This last week has been a through briefing of what is expected from each recruit regarding appearance, behavior and the various expectations of the instructors in all aspects of our training. In absorbing this information as it is presented, it is obvious that each recruit must have the right attitude and must be able to apply him or herself to the lessons and expectations in order to be successful. Each recruit must absorb the information presented and be able to apply this information in real life scenarios. It appears that the old adage drilled into me during my youth of, “keeping your mouth shut and your eyes and ears open and pay close attention” will be very appropriate. My goal is to be the best Deputy Sheriff I can possibly be. To accomplish this goal, successful completion of the academy is the first step. Thus, the training must be taken seriously. In that I enjoy a challenge, I am excited for the next nineteen weeks with all of the challenges and experiences it will bring.

As I and the rest of the recruits’ work our way through the academy, I will be posting weekly reports on how we are proceeding. I hope you find them interesting and entertaining.

Until next week,