Monday, September 28, 2009

Arrest Control

Hi all.

Well it is been a long time since my last entry mostly due to the fact that the recruits have been out of the classroom and working on arrest control, firearms, test and quizzes. I will explain arrest control. We have gone over pressure points and wrist locks to make individuals comply with demands by the officers. We also learned about different kicks and strikes. All of this is done in a safe setting. For those of you who want to prepare for arrest control, Jefferson County Academy uses the FBI arrest control techniques and methods. It has been fun because you work on technique with a partner. After each session I feel like I have been mauled by a bear. That is understandable because our first day I fought the human equivalent of a bear. His nickname is Baloo. I included a picture below. It is fun to go up against different types of people. Everyone has a little different approach and that is what makes it fun and that situation creates new experiences for you.

In this type of fighting, everything we are taught is to gain compliance with an individual. If the individual complies, the pain or strikes will stop. This is very important to know. In addition, this class teaches the force continuum. During this type of training you are taught to recognize what types of force should be used based on what the individual does. This means that the officer does not dictate the type or amount of force that should be used. The individual you are dealing with will dictate the amount of force based on their actions and reactions.

I will keep you posted on the other contact lessons as they come up. An additional high point for this week will be the opportunity for all recruits to experience the OC application (peppered sprayed). I will be writing about this experience once I have managed to remove the materials from my eyes and nose.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Having Fun

When you are in the academy you should be enjoying yourself. If you are not then there is something wrong. Even when I am being challenged, stressed, and making mistakes, which is common for all recruits, it is important to always realize that what you are doing is fun.

We are now in week 10 and I have never thought this was anything but fun. I have made mistakes and it hasn’t been easy. Deputy Johnson has put me in situations where I have literally just gone blank or had the answer on the tip of my tongue but couldn’t remember. It happens. Don’t get me wrong, you want to limit those as much as possible, but that is part of the learning experience.

I have always placed a lot of pressure on myself to be successful and have always worked to be perfect. The fact that I do this frustrates me even more when I fail to reach that goal. But when everything is said and done, I still enjoy myself. I still can’t believe I get paid to do this job, go to school, have enjoyable experiences, and gain new knowledge all at the same time. Getting paid to learn is a new experience for me and I am enjoying it immensely.

The point of this is you need to have fun while in the academy. When a recruit feels upset or frustrated most recruits will act as a support system because of their nature. Joking, poking fun at each other is really great and has become almost a mandatory reaction. To explain this, I will use myself as an example. My nickname is “Sunshine.” I got this nickname from an instructor when explaining to our class that everyone was going to work in groups. She looked at one of the recruits and said “You will be working with sunshine over there.” When I looked up, she was pointing at me.

Now I am not admitting why she picked sunshine to describe my attitude or facial expression, but since then, all of the recruits call me by that wonderful nickname. They continuously poke fun at me regarding this “wonderful” moniker. Actually, it been fun and it is important to have a sense of humor while attending the academy. Be able to poke fun at yourself and of course at other people. Learn to hand it out when appropriate and whenever possible. But more importantly, know how to receive it. It makes the camaraderie develop quickly, makes the time pass more quickly, and makes everything a lot of fun.

Till next time…..

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Another week in firearms training is underway. When we first got out on the range I was not doing too well but I worked through it and kept trying. The next time we were out on the range, I really concentrated on what I was doing wrong my first outing. With a few little adjustments I started shooting really well. We ran through a mock firearms qualification. I scored 166, which for only the second time on the range, I was happy with. I need to keep working and improve on these scores. For those of you who are applying or will be going through qualifications for POST, the cut off is 130 and the high score is 180. If you are worried about qualifying, don’t be. The instructors are great, and like with me, will fix your little problems. It is your job however to keep working on what they tell you. Keep in mind when you are on the range to relax and have fun. It is a very enjoyable experience.

I will have more tomorrow.....

Monday, September 14, 2009

Call in the experts....

Hi all.

Over the last few days we have participated in many different classes with many different activities and observations. We have just finished explosive recognition class with the bomb squad. Now, personally, I think being a member of the bomb squad would be fun, very exciting, an obvious adrenaline rush, but filled with the obvious dangers associated with this specialty.

There is a lot of training that goes into being a bomb squad member. The Jefferson County Bomb Squad appears to be very well trained and prepared to handle these situations.
However, for the recruits, this class was all about recognition of a bomb or other explosive devices and what our reaction, as a deputy sheriff, should be if we ever come across such a device. The essence of our expected reaction is very simple. Don’t touch it. Don’t look at it. Call in the experts.

After the class, there was a demonstration. I survived the demonstration with no physical damage other than the pressure damage due to the shock wave from the explosion from what I was told was a very small explosion. Mentally I have an expanded feeling of awe and respect for the bomb squad members. Regarding this class and demonstration, I will give you some personal advice that I have imprinted to memory and will follow very consistently. This advice is really obvious. All law enforcement officers should know who their bomb squad members and recognize them on sight. This is due to the fact that if you ever see bomb squad members running away from anything, you should be doing the same thing, very quickly and faster than the bomb squad.

I also included some pictures of our firearms training. Until next time which will be soon…


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Intro to Firearms...

Sorry all that I have been MIA. Last week we had a really big test, plus inspection, plus we had firearms training. This week we have arrest control and more firearms training. Its all fun but let’s talk about the really fun stuff…….. the firearms training. At the Jefferson County Academy, the first few firearms classes are taught within a classroom setting without ammunition. If you are a future recruit, rest assured, the extent of your firearms training has no bearing on what you will be taught. The instructors will assist and teach in the accepted methods of firearms according to Jefferson County accepted policies. If you have no experience with firearms, there is a good chance that you will probably be shooting better then anyone by the end of the class. You will have no previously taught or acquired habits that don’t agree with Jefferson County Policy. However, in this class we accomplished two things. The instructors taught us how to clean our weapons and how to draw the weapon out of the holster. Both were fun. We had to be able to get the weapon out of the holster and be ready to shoot in less than 1.5 seconds. That sounds fast but everyone made it. Now I know what you are thinking, good recruits or good instructors? Well jokingly I would say good recruits, however I truly think it is a mixture of both. It was also made clear to us that there are several active officers that are capable of accomplish this action in less than 1.0 seconds. Believe me….that is quick and not an easy accomplishment with police holsters and the other equipment hanging all over.

Now, I have been warned that there will be multiple times throughout the academy that moments of realization of what we are actually training and gearing up for will occur. I think the first firearms training class was one of those moments. When we started to work on our draws I came to the realization that not only will I have to do draw my weapon, point it at an individual, and be ready to use it if necessary. But I will also have to accomplish this faster than the criminal I am facing or truly bad things will happen. While this realization was sinking in, our instructors were explaining practice and the importance of muscle memory because once you are in a situation that could escalate into a gun fight, you will experience multiple adrenaline dumps into your system and I quote “everything we are teaching you will go right out the window and muscle memory will take over.” While that is reassuring, what I took away from it is the same as everything else we have been doing. Practice! Practice! Practice! I have commented in other blogs about the connection of sports, team plays, muscle memory, and practice. But once again, here is another example of expected practices and policies that must be repeated again and again and mastered. You must be good at what you are doing or it might cost you your life or a much worse, a fellow deputy’s life.

I don’t want to end on a down note. I have quite a bit of experience with firearms and safety. I have been very impressed with our instructors and their approach to this necessary part of our training. To be honest, following their lead, I am much more excited then worried. I realize that the policies and procedures, especially the firearms training, that are being taught are not to make the recruits afraid, nervous, or worried about what could or will happen as a deputy. It is to ensure that no matter the situation, no matter how stressful, grievous it may become, all recruits will be prepared to control any situation, mental or physical, and will go home at night. I feel I will always be able to go home after my shift for I will be given the tools and knowledge to do so and I will practice and train to perfect them.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Hey all!!

I am sorry that I haven’t posted anything recently but a lot has happened last week and this week. As I said in the last blog entry, I was class sergeant last week. I will try to explain the duties of the class sergeant. Throughout the Academy, Deputy Johnson has assigned a class sergeant and an assistant class sergeant. The responsibility of both is to ensure that each day and all activities run smoothly. Any problems experienced by recruits are the responsibility of the class sergeants, whom are expected to either solve the problem or inform Deputy Johnson of the situation. If there assignments due, the class sergeants must ensure everyone turns it in. If there happens to be an inspection scheduled for your week, you, as the sergeant, have the responsibility of giving commands, tracking and identifying whatever is wrong with each recruits uniform or other situation during the inspection. In general, the class sergeant is the liaison between the instructors and the rest of the recruits. It is a big responsibility in addition to your normal class work and activities. And it is stressful for one wants to do it right.

With that being said, I actually enjoyed myself. Being in charge and making sure everything is working properly is a good test for the recruits. However, when the class sergeant makes mistakes, it is very obvious to everyone and that sergeant is subject to ridicule and jesting comments that at present appear to be fair game for the rest of his / her natural life. This is experience speaking. As an example of this, I was organizing paper work when Deputy Johnson came into the classroom and says “Excuse me sergeant.” I stood up and answered smartly, “Yes Sir?” Now this all sounds fine and indicates good protocol. However, unknown to me, there was an actual sergeant that was scheduled as an instructor for that day standing right behind me. It is easy to see the results of this exchange that appear to be following me for the rest of my career. In my defense, as I was answering, I did think it was rather strange that the head instructor was calling me “Sergeant’. However, the fact that I was at least thinking it was not right to be addressed as a sergeant does not really matter in the large and intertwined life of harmless harassments regarding mistakes. For the rest of the day, Deputy Johnson addressed me as “sergeant” in what I thought to be rather a sarcastic tone of voice considering the situation. I am sticking to my story that he really was talking to me and that he was just practicing, getting use to calling me by that rank for when it actually happens. (I am kidding of course). Even with the sarcastic comments I have received throughout the halls of the academy, it is all in good fun and was a good time. I enjoyed it.

Big test Today and must get back to prepping for that

…. Until later…