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  • Another Police Academy question...

    Hello all,

    I just wanted to get some LEO's thoughts on this. I'm currently in week 2 of my 15 week police academy. Anyway, we just started doing scenario type of things, and I'm finding myself really struggling. For some reason, I just don't feel that comfortable talking with the people, and then with the added stress of the class watching, plus the instructor watching and critiquing make it even harder. So, I guess my question is as follows: Does making contact with suspects get much easier as the academy times goes on?

    Also, the one instructor told me that I don't have enough of an "authoritative voice." How do I improve upon this? I tend to talk kind of quietly, so that's probably why, but if anyone has any thoughts, that would be great.

    I guess the bottom line is, will I improve with feeling comfortable talking to people? I think that my biggest problem currently is that I'm not sure what to say, or ask.

    Thanks much!

    Jeff

  • #2
    Scenario training in the academy is tough, but in my opinion you will learn more from this type of training than any other type, partly because you'll screw up so badly. You'll make a fool out of yourself, and then you'll never make the same mistakes again. Good times.

    If you can, try to forget that you are in a classroom/parking lot/gym with people watching. Picture yourself alone with the subject(s), at 0300 hours, with backup 3-10 minutes out. Your life is at stake. What are your priorities at this point? Control the situation. Control their hands. Control their movements. Control, control, control. You are the boss, and everyone does what you tell them to do. Immediately. Get their hands out of their pockets, their bags out of reach, and their butts on the ground. Your safety trumps courtesy. Always control the situation and the people around you. You are the police. You. Are. In. Charge.

    One of my instructors made a point in class that I'll always remember. It was during a domestic violence scenario at the "Jones" residence. The recruits were having a hard time controlling the subjects. The subjects were yelling and walking all over the place despite the recruits' efforts to control them. The instructor stopped the scenario and asked one of the recruits, "Who's house is this?" He responded, "The Jones' house". The instructor replied, "No, this is YOUR HOUSE".

    Good luck!

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    • #3
      RELAX! easier said then done, iknow bot relax. You are 2 weeks in and not expected to know everything. Learn from your mistakes and dont keep making the same ones. Like E^2 said you are in charge. I had the same trouble at first and one of my instructors told me I was the HMFIC on all calls and traffic stops I had. Stand up tall, project your voice, and have cofidence in your self and skill. good luck and dont forget you will do well

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      • #4
        I haven't had the academy yet, but I work in the jails, so we don't have the academy right away. I'm new, and since I don't have my uniform yet, I get r***ed all the time about being the new guy. However, I have a good confident demeanor about me. The biggest thing about voice (aside from what genetics give you) is about your inner confidence. The department took you for a reason, so they obviously see potential. They will work with you to improve your speaking ability. Practice talking with strangers. When you go out with others or by yourself, strike up conversations with those that greet you at stores. Nothing big, but "Hey, how're you doing? Great! I'm awesome!" etc etc. The more you can feel comfortable in various situations, the better. Best of luck.

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        • #5
          It will get easier with time. I would be willing to bet that your lack of confidence has alot to do with a limited knowledge of what you are doing. As you learn more you be able to be more authoritative as you will actually know what you are talking about. Until then remeber this, if you are unsure of what you are doing, sound like you know what you are doing.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by E^2 View Post
            "The Jones' house". The instructor replied, "No, this is YOUR HOUSE".

            Good luck!

            Good times, good times with the "Jones". LOL.

            But yeah. When you go to a call, domestic or anything, its YOUR SCENE. ITS YOUR HOUSE.

            My scenarios were bad (lost everytime, but learned a lot...thats what they are made for). I was not authorative and I was always been a listener rather than a talker. My authoratative voice came with time.

            Had a domestic the other day. 5 family members in the house. Dad was ****ed, MOM was the violator. First thing I did, seperated everyone. Told everyone to be quiet and sit their a55es down. Didnt care if it was on the cold garage floor, the stair case or the broken chair. I wanted them to sit down. It controlled them from moving around, and if someone started to get up, i was able to see it and get defensive in a quick manner.


            My FTO tells me this with almost every call. PLAY THE POLICE. You want someone to do something, just tell them. If you dont know what your doing, WING IT and make it look like you know what your doing.
            Last edited by ChgoPaintball; 09-18-2008, 01:28 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by RCKoutWurGLKout View Post
              Practice talking with strangers. When you go out with others or by yourself, strike up conversations with those that greet you at stores.

              I did that on my off time. It helps

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by highwaycop View Post
                RELAX! easier said then done, iknow bot relax. You are 2 weeks in and not expected to know everything. Learn from your mistakes and dont keep making the same ones. Like E^2 said you are in charge. I had the same trouble at first and one of my instructors told me I was the HMFIC on all calls and traffic stops I had. Stand up tall, project your voice, and have cofidence in your self and skill. good luck and dont forget you will do well

                I agree with this. They are supposed to be tough and the biggest thing is that you learn from them. I had a domestic scenario I totally bombed, but you know what, my first domestic on the street I handled just fine and definitely did not make the same mistakes. You just need to figure out how you're going to do things. Some people like to get people talking and calm them down, others like to take charge and kick butt. You just need to figure out which is you and go from there. Always be prepared for the worst though. Good luck.

                Comment


                • #9
                  My officer survival scenarios start in a couple of weeks, the advice in this thread is great. Thank you.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hey man it will get better with time. At my academy we used the old dorms as apartments for domestics. I had a scnerio the 3rd week with some Wichita officers that came down. My partner and I couldn't even manage to talk our way into the apartment and the female half came to the door with a bloody nose. Had the same situation and even the same actors on about week 10 and we aced it. Being made a fool of teaches you alot. I think I learned more in the 3 weeks of situationals than I did in the other 10 weeks of the academy. It takes time man but if you never screwed up you'd never learn nothing. Just ask some of the LEO's on here about mistakes they've made after they've been out on their own. I know I've got a few.

                    Hobbsie

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                    • #11
                      Alright this is my advice to help, you would much rather make an ***** out of yourself infront of your peers in the academy than out on the road. You are expected to make mistakes. Mistakes aren't what define what kind of officer you will be, its how you correct the mistakes that does.

                      My suggestion is to volunteer to go first every scenario you can. Not only does it build your confidence, it makes you look like a stand up kind of person. Best of all, you won't be able to compare your performance to how everyone else did and it helps eliminate that stress factor.

                      To help with your "authoritive" voice, I compare it to yelling at a younger sibling (or in my case my son) you want them to do something you say it in a tone that says "I'm telling you to do this, do it NOW!".

                      Like everyone said, it comes in time. Don't be afraid to make mistakes, its how you learn! Just rest assured that someone else has done something way dumber than you can even imagine!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        A lot of it has to do with confidence. It isn't about projecting your voice as much as you think. You can talk confidently, but quietly and people with listen to what you say. Use of force is something that a LOT of people struggle with, when is the right time for _____ question. But remember, ask, tell make. Especially in the academy, if one of your peer actors doesn't sit down when and where you tell them to, make them do it however you must. Remember, you are the police, you have the right and responsibility to tell people what to do and to make them do it.

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                        • #13
                          I agree with swdep, when you feel more confident, you will look more confident. It takes a little while to get used to talking to people. In the 2nd week there is no way you will feel confident... It took me almost all of the time I have been on the road to feel like I kinda know what I am doing(I still have to ask questions almost every night I work.) Once you know the job a little better you will be able to be more assertive.

                          Have fun with the scenarios, I know we had lots of laughs after them because people did the most ridiculous things during them.

                          I realize this topic is over a month old, but hey maybe it can help someone

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                          • #14
                            When you are having troubles, think about the guy in my class that went to a civil dispute (pet in a no pets allowed apartment) scenario and ended up using DF on the guy. The instructors were not impressed! I really enjoyed scenarios, and I think you can learn alot from them. I have a very deep and commanding voice, so I'm sorry I don't have any suggestions as far as voice goes.
                            "My faith, my country and my family will guide me; nothing more, nothing less" -Gen. Tommy Franks

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                            • #15
                              More awesome reading here.
                              - Chesapeake Police Dept, VA -
                              Applied: 10/15/07
                              Written Exam: 12/08/07 - Passed
                              Physical Agility Test: 12/08/07 - Passed
                              Background Investigation: Packet Turned in 12/15/07

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