So here it is, the best random comment made this week by someone in my class: “We taught them how to mop hallways and they taught us how to smoke crack.”
HeheheHAHAHAHAHA, that cracks me up. Said by an officer who spent a few years in the jail. They’d get people serving time for smoking crack and get them minor trustee jobs mopping hallways. Apparently, that was the trade-off, mop water for crack knowledge.
Much funnier than the previous best random comment: “But I don’t want to wear a penis on my head.”
That one I have no context for at all. I heard it in class one day. I have no idea what the class work was about, I have no idea what the current conversation had been. I have no idea about anything that could have led to that.
The bell has now tolled eight times for eight weeks down.
(Wow, that sounds like a cool noir novel title, doesn’t it? Eight Weeks Down…might have to figure out what that story line is.)
(And yeah, don’t fret, I’ve already figured out what the police academy novel is going to be…I have no friggin’ idea when I’ll write the damned thing, but I know what it’s going to be.)
Eight weeks down and five to go. Really only four serious weeks because that last week we’re learning how to do graduation and taking our final academy test and taking the 9,497 question state certification test and moving out of our Section 8 housing and turning in our academy gear and all that rot. Mostly that last week is cake.
Unlike this next week.
We’re far enough along now that there isn’t much class room left. A few random things here and there, but mostly we’re done with that. Mostly, at this point, we’re into scenarios. We’ve been doing those all along, but now they’re different.
Now we don’t know what they are.
When we started, we knew exactly what each scenario was. A stolen bicycle report. A low-rent domestic that would have no resistance by the bad guy. A Terry stop, again with no resistance.
But Friday, we started with not quite knowing what we were getting. A service call was all we were told. In one, it was a loud noise complaint. Maybe a domestic, maybe a party, maybe some other thing. In another situation, it was a store clerk having a problem with a customer. But what did that mean? A theft? Someone banned from the store? Someone drunk and passed out?
And in the last? A silent alarm at a closed business. In other words, a building search.
Rock and Rooooooollllllllll!!!!!!!!!!
Wouldn’t have thought I would like wandering around a dark building with a tiny flashlight, hoping like hell I didn’t get hurt, but I did.
Actually, now that I think about it, it was – once again – much like working in theater. Cripes’a’mighty, I gotta tell ya, there are have been so many instances were working in theater has actually helped me as a police officer. Who’d’a thunk it? Maybe that’ll be the next CopLand.
So, yeah, I dug it, but I did want to whack the instructor who put the thing together.
I was told to put together my team of three people and we were escorted outside. We waited there for a few minutes, in ball-freezing cold that ripped right through my sexy brown polyester pants. Eventually, we were told to start the scenario.
We entered a building with a looooooong wide hallway, so many doors off that hallway that we couldn’t even count them all, at least two corners around which there was no way in hell we were going to be able to see, and absolute darkness.
Great. Thumbs up on that.
So we pinned the entire hallway with light (the assumption being that if a bad guy is there, he probably won’t move into the light) and I went to clear the first room. Palms pressed together, gun in one hand, flashlight in the other, sweat already breaking on my brow and between my cheeks, heart rate climbing a bit.
I cleared the room, and found, near the end of that clear, an open door leading into another room.
Well, ain’t this special? Had to get another officer to pin that door while I cleared the second room. Then I went into the second room and found —
–Another open door leading to a third room.
Son of a bitch. So I stopped, wiped the sweat away, thought about what I was facing. Handled the third room just like the second. And what did I find?
Tha’ss right, kiddies, a fourth open door.
I had a Charlie Brown moment. “Aaauuuuuugggggghhhhhhhhh.”
But knowing there might be bad guys in the place, I didn’t give voice to the scream. See, that would have been tactically unsound. Like Colonel Kurtz, and his ‘methods’ that had become ‘unsound.’ I know you guys aren’t official police like I am, and therefore have not had the same high-dollar, high-intensity traininge. You’ve not sat down with tacticians, and strategists and SWAT team members and the like, but you should probably be able to figure out that screaming in frustration during a building search would be…uh…bad.
What I had expected to be a single, small room, maybe two minutes to clear, became six small rooms, full of furniture and hiding places…call it nearly twenty minutes to clear.
Though it seemed like both twenty seconds and twenty hours.
How odd, I realized halfway through, sweat stinging my eyes and the muscles in both forearms exhausted from my hyper tightened grip on both weapon and light, that time both sped up and slowed down.
But I and my team got through it and did a generally good job.
It was fun. Lotsa fun, in fact.
Just as much fun as being able to say to friends, “Call me Grissom. Gil Grissom.”
We did a crime scene practical Friday morning that involved breaking into teams and collecting evidence from a crime scene, then packaging and cataloguing all the evidence.
My team got an aggravated criminal sexual assault scene.
Lots and lots of evidence to gather, process, package. Scary stuff, too. Bloody and other-fluid stained sheets, bloody panties and clothes, a gun, a blood rope, all kinds of other stuff. Suddenly I understood why it takes evidence techs hours and hours to clear crime scenes.
The other big thing this week: drugs. Spent two days doing drugs. And as we were in the middle of learning that UPS guys and FedEx guys and mail carriers and the like were never held liable for the drugs they delivered (lots and lots of drugs simply get mailed around the country every day), the post office in Princeton was shut down because of a white powder.
Yeah, ‘cause Princeton is very high on the Al-Queda hit list. Damn near everyone in town thought anthrax. Come on, gimme a break. Ain’t no freakin’ anthrax in Princeton.
My thought was: coke to a local dealer. The guy I had in mind had just gotten outta prison and was living at the local flop house.
Officer Friendly suggested checking the post mark.
“Come from Columbia, did it?”
Ah, the cynicism I so miss while at school.
All in all, with the exception of daily early morning physical training, things are going swimmingly well.
But here’s the thought that festers in me right now: suddenly, come last Monday, my class, with all its head cases and whack jobs and no experience control freaks, became the senior class.
That just has disaster written all over it, doesn’t it?