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