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So, how much better trained are you than we are?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Mulgrave600 View Post
    I've seen videos of some police academies in the US (a few state academies and there was an interesting series that followed a whole class of Austin PD recruits through their training) and the style of training is very different.
    The new Chief just announced that Austin PD will be moving to a more informal academy. It literally sickens me to my stomach to think about the kind of training (or lack thereof) these new cadets are going to get. And once they hit the streets, they are going to be MY backup and MY trainees. The academy absolutely prepared me for the realities of the job, and most importantly it taught me to be able to perform under stress. Unlike many, I did not have a military background. I was an academic. I hadn't been in a fight since I was 12. I had never had someone scream in my face while I stood there unflinching. The academy gave me a mental toughness I never thought I had. It was almost like an out-of-body experience sometimes. I couldn't believe I was stepping up to have an instructor shoot 50,000 volts through me or stepping into a boxing ring with a guy who outweighed me by 50 lbs. I'm still sometimes surprised by the fact that when a call comes out of a person with a gun or a person being assaulted, I assign to the call and hope like hell that I'm the first one there.
    So what's going to happen when these rookies get in a fight or deal with that irate customer for the first time? How do we know they're not going to freeze up or become a victim? How do we know they won't lose their temper and unleash on someone exhibiting only verbal aggression.
    7 years in, I feel like starting over isn't really an option. I have a family now, and I'm 3 years away from being vested in the pension. But man, I sure do feel deflated. I'm starting to accept that I'm not a police officer anymore. I'm a report taker.

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by allen_gamble View Post

      The new Chief just announced that Austin PD will be moving to a more informal academy. It literally sickens me to my stomach to think about the kind of training (or lack thereof) these new cadets are going to get. And once they hit the streets, they are going to be MY backup and MY trainees. The academy absolutely prepared me for the realities of the job, and most importantly it taught me to be able to perform under stress. Unlike many, I did not have a military background. I was an academic. I hadn't been in a fight since I was 12. I had never had someone scream in my face while I stood there unflinching. The academy gave me a mental toughness I never thought I had. It was almost like an out-of-body experience sometimes. I couldn't believe I was stepping up to have an instructor shoot 50,000 volts through me or stepping into a boxing ring with a guy who outweighed me by 50 lbs. I'm still sometimes surprised by the fact that when a call comes out of a person with a gun or a person being assaulted, I assign to the call and hope like hell that I'm the first one there.
      So what's going to happen when these rookies get in a fight or deal with that irate customer for the first time? How do we know they're not going to freeze up or become a victim? How do we know they won't lose their temper and unleash on someone exhibiting only verbal aggression.
      7 years in, I feel like starting over isn't really an option. I have a family now, and I'm 3 years away from being vested in the pension. But man, I sure do feel deflated. I'm starting to accept that I'm not a police officer anymore. I'm a report taker.
      By American standards my academy experience was fairly informal. We were taught a bit of marching, all Senior and Leading Senior Constables had to be called 'Senior' rather than by name and we had to brace up when the instructors entered the room but that was it. I didn't have an instructor standing in my face screaming at me for having a loose thread on my shirt nor did I get tased or OC'd. I find the whole 'warrior mindset', 'sheepdog' and 'I hunt the evil you pretend doesn't exist' culture to be a bit silly.

      In spite of all this I think I am able to carry myself perfectly fine in my role, working both solo and with a partner. I haven't had an issue with freezing up or crumbling in a stressful situation. I understand that I work in a different country and operating environment but policing in Australia is no picnic.

      I don't think the crucial part of training is the paramilitary element and saluting officers every time you walk past them, I think it's focusing on competency and effectiveness in training. This isn't to say paramilitary academies turn out bad officers or that things like uniform standards and respect for rank aren't important but having slightly less shouting and saluting isn't necessarily going to turn out bad officers.

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by Mulgrave600 View Post

        By American standards my academy experience was fairly informal. ……..
        I had to chuckle at this statement. It struck me as funny do to how 'image' and impression override reality. To give a you an example of what I mean let me take you to Colorado.

        Once upon a time Colorado had a problem with getting enough trained LE for the needs of the various agencies in the state and they chose to address this by creating a basic skills program and then farming that 'academy' out to the various colleges around the state. So the vast amount of LE trained in Colorado for decades had been done through local colleges around the state. Basically, a two-month college course with no marching, no yelling, no uniforms, and a far more 'relaxed' atmosphere than it sounds like you had at your academy.

        Thousands of LEO have gone through those academies and the officers who come out range in competence and ability just as widely as those who come from much more 'intense' academies. On the other hand, Colorado State Patrol has always had a very militaristic-type of intense academy and I am also VERY familiar with the product of officer (AKA trooper) that come from that.

        The larger agencies and metro agencies usually run their own in-house academies and they can range in atmosphere to whatever the culture each agency wants to foster.

        The type of LEO academies here in the USA range to whatever the culture of the agency, population and politics allow for. There is NO USA standard type of academy and I chuckled at the fact that your academy was probably more 'intense' than mine.

        I also heartily believe that having a 'ball-buster' military-type academy is highly overrated. It may work well for some but not others and I feel they concerns themselves with too much about officer 'attitude'. I personally have found that LE is more about competence than attitude but far too many IMHO feel the opposite.

        My home territory (vid)......
         
        Harry S. Truman, (1884-1972)
        “Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.”

        Capt. E.J. Land USMC,
        “Just remember – life is hard. But it’s one hell of a lot harder if you’re stupid.

        George Washington, (1732-1799)
        "I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man."

        Originally posted by Country_Jim
        ... Thus far, I am rooting for the zombies.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by Langford PR View Post

          I had to chuckle at this statement. It struck me as funny do to how 'image' and impression override reality. To give a you an example of what I mean let me take you to Colorado.

          Once upon a time Colorado had a problem with getting enough trained LE for the needs of the various agencies in the state and they chose to address this by creating a basic skills program and then farming that 'academy' out to the various colleges around the state. So the vast amount of LE trained in Colorado for decades had been done through local colleges around the state. Basically, a two-month college course with no marching, no yelling, no uniforms, and a far more 'relaxed' atmosphere than it sounds like you had at your academy.

          Thousands of LEO have gone through those academies and the officers who come out range in competence and ability just as widely as those who come from much more 'intense' academies. On the other hand, Colorado State Patrol has always had a very militaristic-type of intense academy and I am also VERY familiar with the product of officer (AKA trooper) that come from that.

          The larger agencies and metro agencies usually run their own in-house academies and they can range in atmosphere to whatever the culture each agency wants to foster.

          The type of LEO academies here in the USA range to whatever the culture of the agency, population and politics allow for. There is NO USA standard type of academy and I chuckled at the fact that your academy was probably more 'intense' than mine.

          I also heartily believe that having a 'ball-buster' military-type academy is highly overrated. It may work well for some but not others and I feel they concerns themselves with too much about officer 'attitude'. I personally have found that LE is more about competence than attitude but far too many IMHO feel the opposite.

          My home territory (vid)......
          What Colorado has done sounds similar to the way my colleagues to the north in New South Wales structure their academy. It's the only one in the country where you have to pay your way because part of the training is provided by a university with the second half being conducted as a traditional police academy. The name was even changed from 'NSW Police Academy' to 'NSW Police College' for a number of years to emphasise the education aspect of police training. It's now been changed back to 'Academy' and it's the 'NSW Police Force' rather than 'NSW Police Service'.

          From my perspective the state police forces in the US seem to be run in a similar manner to Australian police forces back in the 1980s and early 1990s: strict uniform standards, firm approach and paramilitary style organisation and training. I find the US policing system interesting in how it allows for differences of politics and the population it serves. There are some differences here that cater to local wishes and and requirements but by and large you won't find huge differences in policing within one state.

          Our academy has relaxed some standards even further since I went through but I don't think the quality of people getting through has gotten particularly better or worse. I think the two year probationary period where you actually learn the job by doing it is the important part of how a copper is made.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by Mulgrave600 View Post
            ….Our academy has relaxed some standards even further since I went through but I don't think the quality of people getting through has gotten particularly better or worse. I think the two year probationary period where you actually learn the job by doing it is the important part of how a copper is made.
            The OJT and probationary periods are so important that I don't know how it can be overstated how important they are. That is were the officer is formed and trained to the standards of the individual agency. I consider the academy to be rudimentary training at best and the training at the agency itself to be the most important in forming the officer.

            The bottom line, for me, is that whether you discuss the culture of the LEO in your neck of the woods, mine, or someone else's we are all brothers and sisters in a line of people that care more for our societies than most others and are willing to place our butts on the line to defend it and preserve it.
            Harry S. Truman, (1884-1972)
            “Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.”

            Capt. E.J. Land USMC,
            “Just remember – life is hard. But it’s one hell of a lot harder if you’re stupid.

            George Washington, (1732-1799)
            "I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man."

            Originally posted by Country_Jim
            ... Thus far, I am rooting for the zombies.

            Comment


            • BTDT2
              BTDT2 commented
              Editing a comment
              Well said.

          • #21
            Police academies in the US are EXTREMELY varied state by state. In the northeast (VT, NH, MA) you get far more of the marching and formal training of years past. This is still present in only some agencies across the country but is largely dependent on who runs them. When I went thru an academy in the early 2000s, it was put on by a community college. However, it was run by staff from one large PD, and they dictated how it went. We had formation, couldn't use the elevators in the training facility, had to hit the walls at attention when any staff walked by ect., but it wasn't residential and once the day ended, so did our responsibilities to act to form.

            Some of the best trained cops I've seen come from the west coast of the US, but otherwise its a crap shoot. Here in Colorado, we have many Aussies & Brits who lateral over since Colorado doesn't require its cops to be citizens. Most seem well prepared and adapt just fine. They all believe the political climate is better here for cops than where they came from, but the grass is greener argument remains. In Colorado its really the agency that makes the cop. The academies are fine, but wildly different from one to the next. My department has its own 10 week academy that both new and lateral recruits must attend, even if they are already certified, to bring them up to our department standards. We then have a 14 week FTO program, followed by an 18 month probationary period where most have a mentor or senior officer working with them in the same district. Our washout rate is 20%. Many agencies have no pre-FTO academy, or they run their own basic academy and incorporate it into that (Aurora, Denver, Colo Springs).

            De-escaltion training has been huge in recent years, and my department is trying to get all officers CIT certified (Crisis Intervention Trained).

            In recent years fire departments have been combining themselves and instead of being just for one city are calling themselves North Metro Fire or South Metro Fire and serving many areas. This provides a cost benefit to these areas and helps to standardize training. I've seen this with PDs in Pennsylvania and Canada, but for the most part has yet to catch on to the police side. Studies have shown this to be very beneficial on almost all fronts, but there is reluctance from local governments to give up control of their law enforcement to a regional commission. I believe in the long run this philosophy towards law enforcement will need to prevail here in the US to create a more standardized and professional occupation that the public expects. This doesn't mean soft, just means most of us will operate on the same page and the public will see similar results regardless of where they're at.

            Comment


            • #22
              Originally posted by allen_gamble View Post

              The new Chief just announced that Austin PD will be moving to a more informal academy. It literally sickens me to my stomach to think about the kind of training (or lack thereof) these new cadets are going to get. And once they hit the streets, they are going to be MY backup and MY trainees. The academy absolutely prepared me for the realities of the job, and most importantly it taught me to be able to perform under stress. Unlike many, I did not have a military background. I was an academic. I hadn't been in a fight since I was 12. I had never had someone scream in my face while I stood there unflinching. The academy gave me a mental toughness I never thought I had. It was almost like an out-of-body experience sometimes. I couldn't believe I was stepping up to have an instructor shoot 50,000 volts through me or stepping into a boxing ring with a guy who outweighed me by 50 lbs. I'm still sometimes surprised by the fact that when a call comes out of a person with a gun or a person being assaulted, I assign to the call and hope like hell that I'm the first one there.
              So what's going to happen when these rookies get in a fight or deal with that irate customer for the first time? How do we know they're not going to freeze up or become a victim? How do we know they won't lose their temper and unleash on someone exhibiting only verbal aggression.
              7 years in, I feel like starting over isn't really an option. I have a family now, and I'm 3 years away from being vested in the pension. But man, I sure do feel deflated. I'm starting to accept that I'm not a police officer anymore. I'm a report taker.
              I don’t see the Chief letting the academy become THAT informal. They took a big media hit when failures and drop-outs started whining about the academy and how hard it was blah blah.

              Comment

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