Monday, March 2, 2009

Halfway done... but so much more to go...

Well, it's official: halfway done! Unfortunately the roughest parts are still to come especially when it comes to exams. Needless to say, however, I'm not complaining. This week went by a little slower than usual (kind of a stressful week) but could have been much worse. Let's see how it went.

Monday 02/23/09
0800-1150 Law Enforcement and Persons with Disabilities
1200-1300 Lunch
1300-1650 Critical Incident Management
1700-1800 Dinner

Monday went by pretty well (for a Monday) only because both topics were really informative. The classes were both taught by our favorite instructor (known only as Dr. Love) who makes class really interesting. He adds a lot of his personal stories from his career which is great because it makes certain topics make more sense... especially when you think "when will I ever encounter this?" In addition, Dr. Love happens to be really entertaining and down to earth which around here is a big deal. And not that I want to say this is the best part, but I can't say its not great, is he usually lets us out really early. I think Monday was the best Monday yet... and I hate Mondays.

Tuesday 02/24/09
0700-0800 Breakfast
0800-0850 Physical Training
0900-1150 Building Searches
1200-1300 Lunch
1300-1350 Building Searches
1400-1550 Pat Downs and Searches
1600-1650 Chemical Weapons
1700-1800 Dinner
1800-2000 Chemical Agent Exposure

Tuesday morning came around in an ugly fashion. I had taken my contacts out Sunday night and been wearing my glasses all week... because I knew tonight we'd be getting sprayed with a combination of OC and CS chemical agents. None of us were thrilled at the prospect of enduring unnecessary pain. PT in the morning was pretty good; it was a combination of high intensity running mixed with an A Squad vs B Squad work out. The rest of the morning we sat through a fairly mundane lecture on how to search a building properly... but I don't think it's fair for me to judge it quite like that. I think with my experience working as a Cadet Officer I had learned a lot of these techniques but I could tell not many others were familiar with them. In the afternoon we had a two hour lesson on how to properly pat down or search an individual (with a focus on where items are commonly concealed) which was pretty interesting, especially when civil liability becomes an issue. Right before dinner we had our lecture on chemical agents and what to expect in the evening... which come evening we all lined up in our squad formations and got ready to be exposed. Scott, my roommate from Madison PD, decided he needed to be the first person sprayed - after watching him get hit in the face and fight through it didn't seem so bad. However, A Squad had an instructor who wasn't quite so nice when spraying us. After I got hit in the eyes twice and once in the mouth I didn't feel too much - I called out my location on the radio, asked for assistance, and fought my safety partner for twenty seconds while keeping my gun from him. I didn't think it was too bad until the adrenaline dump ended... and I couldn't open my eyes for twenty three minutes, couldn't breath, and only remember being grabbed from behind and hearing "that was worth driving 150 miles to see." One of our detectives was at ILEA to be an assistant EVOC instructor and happened to know I was getting sprayed that night. After I was able to sort of see I went inside, took a painful shower, and called it a night. Turns out one of our guys was taken to the hospital - what did I know, I couldn't see!

Wednesday 02/25/09
0700-0800 Breakfast
0800-0950 Active Shooters
1000-1150 Traffic Control
1200-1300 Lunch
1300-1350 Preventative Patrol
1400-1550 Characteristics of Armed Individuals
1600-1650 Study Session
1700-1800 Dinner
1800-1900 Exam

Wednesday morning rolled around and I was still feeling the spray. My eyes were burning a bit but I just kept my glasses on and washed my eyes out with water from time to time. In the morning we had a pretty neat two hour lecture on active shooters (especially in schools) which was pretty neat. The other two hours were spent on traffic control which we all admit is a fairly lame part of policing but needs to be done. After lunch we talked more about shooters with a focus on how they behave especially when attempting to conceal their weapons. We got the last hour of the day to ourselves to study for our evening exam (which I got a 94% on) and the got three hours of liberty. Me and two others went straight to a local burger place and got the greasiest food we could. Mmmm...

Thursday 02/26/09
0700-0800 Breakfast
0800-0850 Physical Training
0900-1050 Less Lethal Technologies
1100-1150 NIMS 700
1200-1300 Lunch
1300-1350 NIMS 700
1400-1550 Foot Pursuits
1600-1650 Free Hour
1700-1800 Dinner

Thursday went really well... especially since I could finally get my contacts back in! In the morning we had a group cadence run for PT which was really fun (minus us getting yelled at for somewhat lued marching songs). We had a two hour session on less lethal technologies such as sprays, tasers, batons, and all the other neat things that incident teams such as SWAT can deploy. An hour before and after lunch was for NIMS 700 training through FEMA but since most of us already had our certification we got the time to ourselves. We then had a two hour session on the do's and do not's of foot pursuits which, especially in South Bend, can be somewhat important. The rest of the afternoon went quickly and I enjoyed some chili my cousin who lives in a local town brought in. I was happy the week was almost over.

Friday 02/27/09
0700-0800 Breakfast
0800-1150 Child Abuse / Child Molestation
1200-1300 Lunch
1300-1350 Securities Fraud
1400-1450 Fusion Center
1500-1650 Human Trafficking

Friday came around with a depressing start: a four hour lesson on child abuse and sexual molestation. I wont get into the details but it can go without saying that I'll probably never have the desire to work these types of cases. I know my limitations and my anger threshold... this stuff really pushes the limits for me. The afternoon seemed to drag on after such a sad morning too. We had a long hour session on fraud given to us by the Secretary of State's Office; it was pretty boring seeing as I had worked fraud for so long in the detective bureau. That tied in with the Indiana Fusion Center presentation, which I had also made use of as an investigator, but still learned a few new things (as I had never used the Fusion Center for anything non-fraud). The last two hours were with Dr. Love who taught a really interesting class on human trafficking - other than drugs human trafficking is the most prevalent crime in the world... who knew! We had a quick study session for next week's test and got out of there a few minutes later. Too bad it took me longer than usual to get home!

Next week is criminal and crash investigations... then two weeks of criminal law. These three weeks are probably going to be a little trying for me, so wish me luck!