March 4, 2014
Eighty nine recruits returned after weekend furlough to begin Week 8.
The week started with the second Patrols practical. Each recruit was dispatched to respond to and investigate a retail fraud complaint. This exercise exposed the recruits to the process of interviewing witnesses and suspects. The recruits then needed to complete a report and all the supporting documentation required by prosecutors to pursue criminal charges.
D/F/Lt. Sean Furlong and D/Sgt. Duane Hickok are veteran detectives who provided instruction in the areas of suspect identification procedures and on scene preliminary investigation responsibilities. Additional instruction was also provided by Sgt. Michelle Robinson in the area of domestic violence response.
The recruits continued training in First Aid, Firearms, and Defensive Tactics. In Water Safety, the recruits were taught proper techniques to tow and carry victims through the water. They also received instruction on how to protect themselves in the event an active drowning victim becomes aggressive. This included techniques used to break free and escape from a victim who is in a panic state and posing a life threatening risk to both themselves and the rescuer.
In Firearms, the recruits are learning how to fire their weapons using close quarters combat techniques. This involves engaging targets at close distances and point shooting.
The Defensive Tactics staff is instructing the recruits on “ground escape” techniques. This training shows the recruits how to defend themselves in the event they are taken to the ground by an assaultive person. Troopers are often confronted by violent persons and forced to defend themselves and others. This training will give the recruits the tools to separate themselves from the violent person and regain control of the situation.
Also occurring last week, the recruits were transported to the Michigan Distribution Warehouse to be fitted for their Michigan State Police trooper uniforms. This day is an exciting time for the recruits as they now get to see themselves in the uniform they are working so hard to earn. All troopers, past and present, remember that moment when they were first privileged to put on the “trooper” uniform.
As Week 8 comes to an end, so does February. The recruits are one more month closer to achieving their goal. The week ended with 86 recruits present and accounted for.
February 25, 2014
Ninety two recruits reported to the Training Academy to start Week 7. The recruits only had four days of instruction due to Presidents’ Day; however, four days in recruit training is still a long week.
Legal instruction is challenging to the recruits and makes up a considerable portion of academy academics. Capt. Greg Zarotney presented instruction on domestic violence and crime victim rights law, while D/Sgt. Mike Church presented instruction on crimes against persons.
The recruits also completed their first practical exercise in Patrols. The practical was a traffic stop and the arrest of a driver with a suspended license. Recruits apply their classroom instruction to a scenario similar to what they will encounter in the field. They had to demonstrate their knowledge of criminal law, policy and procedures, and their own proficiency in interacting with people and making an arrest during the scenario.
In Water Safety, the recruits responded to a scenario involving a call for service in the training tank. The recruits had to report to the tank as though they were on patrol and were needed at a life threatening water emergency. Upon arrival at the tank, the recruits had to assess the situation, enter the tank, and employ the life-saving skills they have been taught. The scenario is designed to be realistic to what officers encounter in the field by providing limited information and creating a stress-filled environment from bystanders who are often present in a real world emergency.
Training continued in Defensive Tactics, First Aid, and Firearms as more information was given to the recruits to retain.
Week 7 ended with 89 recruits released for weekend furlough.
February 18, 2014
One hundred recruits returned to start Week 6. At the end of this week, the recruits will have completed over 25 percent of their training.
The recruits’ grueling academic schedule continues with instruction covering admissions and confessions, contraband and regulatory crimes, civil rights law, processing property, and public order crimes. Insp. Matt Bolger, D/Sgt. Mike Church, and D/Sgt. Tom DeClercq provided instruction in these areas.
The recruits completed a First Aid practical where they were required to demonstrate their ability to respond to airway obstructions and administer rescue breathing and CPR to adults, infants, and children. They also continued their training in Firearms and Defensive Tactics.
After much nervous anticipation, the recruits began the Water Safety program this week. Water Safety is challenging to all, but for some, the challenge is significant. During the program, the recruits will learn skills to save themselves and others should such an event ever arise. With the thousands of miles of shoreline and rivers in the state of Michigan, a trooper is never far from water and the potential to have to use his or her water safety skills is a very real possibility. By the end of the Water Safety program, the recruits will understand why there is no pool at the Training Academy – it’s called a tank!
Physical Training can be challenging both physically and mentally; however, this week was also challenging academically as the written tests included a Physical Training component. Also, on Friday morning the recruits were introduced to their first day of stairs and chairs. Normally a chair is used for taking a break, but not in Physical Training. The recruits will forever remember the new use of a folding chair.
Week 6 ended with 93 recruits present and accounted for.