As a new officer you will not only be expected to do everything any other officer is expected to but you will also be excused from doing everything they do. Confused yet?
Day Two on the Job
“Two Lincoln six, I’ve got one running southbound through the block! BMA, black puff coat, six foot, holding his waste band!” The radio blurted out this transmission like a ballgame announcer describing the game play by play. My adrenaline kicked into overdrive. I looked over at my training officer in the passenger seat. With his cell phone pressed to his ear for yet the twenty billionth time today he gave me the side eye. I continued to stare at him while awaiting the command to “Go! Go now!” He calmly ended his phone call after an excruciating three seconds and gave me the green light.
“Two Lincoln Six”, the officer panted through the mic. “I’m IFO 124 Sixth Street and he’s eastbound through the block to rear.” I could hear the sound of other officer’s sirens blasting through her open mic as they pulled up to her location. I didn’t need directions. I knew where I was going but I still got there just behind everyone else. As I pulled our car to the curb and jumped out, my training officer held me back by saying, “Stay with the car.” Stay with the car? What in the actual hell?
I looked down the sidewalk and could see officers with their guns drawn. They lined up in formation to enter the yard the suspect was last seen in. The action was about to go down and I had to stay by the car? I felt like a baby. The K9 officer pulled up and got out his pup. The sergeant put the dog in the lead and he and four other officers began to search the first back yard. I saw one officer hop up on top of the fence itself in order to get a bird’s eye into the yard. I was chomping at the bit.
The officer on top of the fence suddenly yelled, “He’s right here!” while simultaneously dropping down out of sight. I heard a lot of thumping, scuffling and “Stop resisting!” before the line of officers reappeared with the bedraggled suspect in tow and a black firearm secured by the last man out. I begrudgingly watched while the team sergeant smiled and patted the lead officer on the shoulder, no doubt congratulating her on a job well done. I pouted. Then he started towards me.
“Kid, I know its no fun sitting on the sidelines and watching but there are some things you don’t need to be a part of just yet. You have a long career ahead of you. Lets keep it that way.”
I realized in that moment that I had no idea how to articulate all the nuances of a foot chase and taking a combative suspect into custody. My sergeant knew it as well. I was so new that I still had no idea how much I really didn’t know.
– excerpt from New in Blue: Surviving Your Police Training
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