Working vacation

This block I was on holidays, yet I managed to work 5 days instead of the usual 4!

Training Days

As part of our annual qualification we’re required to take a minimum number of training days.  I love training days, they’re a great way to practice a set of skills and learn some new ones.  We have training topics available to us that range from tactical scenario days to mental health lectures and legal updates.   Our training staff are great, they take their jobs very seriously and have a passion for pushing information to us and making us better police officers.  My intention isn’t to use this blog to discuss our tactics or training but to give you a glimpse of the additional and ongoing training that we have available to us.

My first day was a combination day.  The morning was lecture and discussion based on the medical emergency associated with excited delirium.  I’ve had experience with a subject in a state of excited delirium so the morning was a great update and reinforced what we’re doing on the road.  The afternoon we spent time re-certifying with advanced restraints for those in our custody that require a higher level of physical restraint to keep them from hurting themselves or us.  We practiced properly restraining high risk subjects to ensure the lowest possibility of injury to them and us during the process.

My second training day revolved around the concept of containing high risk subjects.  We went over the process to contain or “lock down” an apartment and a house in the event we have a high risk subject.  There’s quite a lot to it and keeping the public, the subject and ourselves safe is the goal.  We then practiced full scenarios in both settings as teams to contain and call out a high risk subject.

We have a real advantage when it comes to scenario based training with our department supporting reality based training and the proper equipment.  In scenario training we use products that allow us to transform our duty sidearms, less lethal and tactical weapons to non-lethal training aides.  We can fire marking cartridges that launch a small projectile similar to a paintball or blanks that just produce an auditory stimulus.  We have members or reserves volunteer as actors to be our subjects for the day.   We end up with real people providing real stimulus and the ability to use our every day tools to deal with the situations.  We don’t deal with higher end tactical calls every day, the training keeps us current and confident in our skills and allows us to provide a safer response for the public.

Overtime Shifts

I had volunteered to work on a couple Drinking & Driving Counter Attack roadblocks for our Summer program.  These nights our intent is two-fold.  The first is to be visible and remind drivers to avoid drinking and driving.  The second is obviously to catch those that decided to make the mistake.

A significant number of motorists and even passengers were thankful, even though they were delayed for several minutes waiting in line for us to chat with everyone.  Unfortunately a few were less than pleasant and annoyed by our presence.  Those that thanked us for keeping the roads safe far outweighed those that felt inconvenienced though.  The one thing that always gets me is the “Shouldn’t you be out there catching murderers and rapists?” Yes, we should be, and the regular shift is out there responding to calls and being proactive.  The simple fact of the matter is that impaired driving kills more people and affects more families than violent crime.  If we look at priorities for prevention impaired driving is right up there at the top of the list.

On the last Counter Attack shift that I worked this block, I was only on the line for a couple hours until a couple of us were called away to assist the regular patrol shift with a high risk call.  We had a subject barricaded in his home that had to be talked out.  Having had a refresher on the containment training in the same week was quite handy.  Fortunately the subject ended up coming out on his own and was taken into custody without any issues.

I stuck around for the rest of the night to assist the regular patrol shift take care of calls that had to wait while we were all tied up with the containment call.

It was a busy set of holidays and I’m back on regular shift next block.

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3 thoughts on “Working vacation”

  1. Just started reading your blog and I’m really liking it. I’ve always been curious about the day-to-day work of police officers, and you’re offering a fantastic glimpse. No aspect is too minor or boring, for me at least – I’m even curious about little logistical things, like: Do you leave your gun and other weapons at work (and if so, how are they secured), or do you take them home with you? Are you assigned the same patrol car all the time (and do you get to drive it to and from work as well), or do you find out each shift which car you’ll be in? I’m very interested in all the details.

    I’m commenting on this post in particular because I wanted to say I really appreciate the tone you take when talking about impaired driving – when you say things like “decided to make the mistake”, etc. More people need to realize that driving drunk (as well as breaking the law in other ways) is a choice, and one we each need to take responsibility for. There are consequences – often deadly – to these choices, and people need to be dissuaded from making such awful choices by the knowledge that they WILL be held accountable for them. Language such as yours (and, of course, your zero-tolerance policy for impaired driving) is a great step in the right direction here.

    Please keep up the great work – on the streets and on the ‘net!

    1. Keynyn,

      Thanks for your comments! I’ll keep the details in mind for future posts. You’re right on about the conscious decisions that people make.

      To answer your questions directly; We typically keep weapons locked up at work (we have specific lockers for them). There are times when we’ll be training on days off or for routine maintenance that we’ll take them home (as long as we have adequate storage facilities at home, we are required to store them just as any licensed citizen would store a restricted firearm). Cars are taken out as they are available, nothing is assigned. However each shift gets to know who prefers which car and will usually try and accommodate that. Not all of our cars are equipped the exact same way, for example, as a patrol rifle operator and less lethal bean bag operator I sign out cars with long gun racks installed.

      1. Hey, thanks for the prompt response! Since you don’t mind going into details on everything, another thing I’m really curious about – and would love to read a post or posts on someday – is what all the different “kinds” of police officers are (traffic, vice, gangs, detective, whatever) and what kinds of duties/responsibilities/uniform/procedures/etc. typically go with each job. (Though so far it sounds like all of you do a little bit of everything… 🙂 )

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