Train, Serve, Protect...
and Train Some More
A couple of weeks ago I shared my first impressions of my local Citizens Police Academy. I have now completed three of my ten-week class sessions and last Saturday participated in a “ride along” experience with officers in the field.
I accompanied one officer Saturday evening from 7:00pm to the end of his shift before tagging along with the second officer until my tour ended at 2:00am on Sunday morning.
The “ride along” experience gave me a new view of my community. I didn’t realize how our roughly thirty-six square mile township fit in the scheme of the Greater Cincinnati area; in ethnicity and socio-economic status as well as in terms of land use.
I’ll admit, there was a part of me that wanted to see a bit of action. And I did. But there was the responsible adult in me hoping for a boring, uneventful evening… unless it of course involved something sweet and innocuous straight out of books of Mayberry.
Saturday night, we received calls regarding domestic disputes, a sick raccoon wandering the neighborhood, the threat of gun violence at an apartment complex, and alarms sounding at area warehouses. There were a few traffic stops and a missing elderly man. The officers I rode with answered all of my questions without hesitation. I learned how radar works, examined the evidence kit used to process crime scenes, and learned all about the onboard computer system. I even found out our police station has its own gas pump.
I learned so much about procedures and protocol. But the big takeaway?
A community is a patchwork quilt and the police keep it from becoming unraveled.
The part of the township where I live is mostly residential. The number of growing business concerns tucked in areas that were once farms gave me both a new appreciation for our law enforcement officers as well as the tasks our elected commissioners face to bring balance and income to our area.
Class 3: Firearms Simulator
This was cool.
The truth is, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about participating in a gun battle, albeit it computer generated. Although I learned to shoot guns in my youth, I have become reluctant to approve of firearms in the home.
While one officer talked with the group about conceal and carry training and firearms licensing, small groups of us were taken to a training room where we faced movie type scenarios, made split second decisions and shot laser fitted firearms at bad guys. We could then see a recap of our performance.
Our police officers do this same training because decision-making is a critical skill for those whose charge is to serve and protect.
Here are a couple of pictures :
|Guns used for the simulator:|
Actual guns fitted with laser technology.
Same weight and feel as the
|Filmed Shooter: It's him or you!|
I started the Citizens Police Academy to inform my writing. I wanted to adequately portray the workings of the police. I will use the information as I construct new stories and novels. That's good.
But the more I learn, the more I appreciate those people dedicated to serving our community by daily putting their lives on the line to protect ours.