Monday, January 19, 2009

Check in with the new class!

The next class of academy recruits is here! Check in with the new recruits at new blogs:

Friday, December 5, 2008


With Ron Sloan, Director of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (keynote speaker)

Pinning on of the badge by my wife

Very pleased to announce that the Denver Metro area is a safer place now that there are thirty four new deputy sheriffs and police officers. Every one of us passed our final POST exam. Graduation was a blast and it feels great to have finally made it.

I really enjoyed myself in the academy; this has been one of the greatest experiences I have had in my life. I am glad to be finished and feel ready to take on the next stage - Field Training (FTI).
As our friends from our neighboring departments move on, us Jeffco Deputies will remain for a three week detentions academy. This is preceded by a week of observation training in the jail. After this we will begin FTI and thus our careers.

I am grateful for the opportunity I have had over the past 20 weeks to share my experiences with you. I hope I have given you an insight into what it takes to become a law enforcement officer, it’s a crazy ride with a lot of challenges, and my head should stop hurting by Christmas!

If you are trying to get into the academy for the next class, do not give up, no matter how hard it may be it is all worth it when you reach this stage.

I would like to thank Deputy Johnson, Deputy Hoffman and Lieutenant Wygant for seeing us through this whole experience. You never gave up on us and gave us a 100% all the time. Thank you to all our instructors, so much effort was put into all aspects of our training, I really appreciate everything.

Drunks, taser and court

It has been a while since my last blog, and for that I apologize. The last couple of weeks have been very busy! We had our final test last Wednesday, and POST exam today! I did well in my last exam scoring a 92%, and as I write this I am waiting to find out the results of the POST test, fingers crossed! I actually feel good about the test, if I missed 30% and get a fail it is because I fell asleep half way through!

This is the last day of Academy, five months ago, this day was so far away, and now we are here. I am so excited. Tomorrow I will be a certified Peace Officer in the State of Colorado. It feels really good.

I want to tell you about some of the stuff we have been doing this last week or two, as I haven’t had the chance to do so yet.

Firstly our DUI wet bar was a lot fun. Getting drunken people to do roadside tests was very educational. We had practiced these techniques in the classroom on each other and had learnt what signs to look for that would indicate intoxication, with out the use of a breathalyzer. This was all well and good but didn’t really make sense until we performed these exams on the intoxicated.

Taser was a kick in the butt! You can take that as a literal statement. Getting fifty thousand volts of electricity running through your body is an experience you don’t forget too easily. We got some great video footage of the event, some of which is not family suitable as you can imagine.

Mock crime scenes, probably one of my favorite exercises of the academy; it incorporated everything we had learnt thus far into one simulation using actors and props. We were divided into groups and dispatched to our scene. The whole scenario was played out from start to finish; we could utilize our arrest control techniques, weapons if we had to, and then eventually process the crime scene, interview suspects and write our reports.

From dispatch to clearing the scene took about four hours. The report writing for the scenario took another five hours. A week later we had to go to the Jefferson County court house where real DA’s played judges and defense attorneys, we took the stand and they ripped us apart, well they ripped my class mates apart, I didn’t get called up. It was really cool to see the whole justice system in action from start to finish.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

T-minus 12 days!

12 academy days left and its graduation time! We are so close I can taste it. I can’t believe we are here already. It seemed like only yesterday we were in business attire. The past 18 weeks have flown by.

We are completely finished with the skills side of our training, last Thursday was our final testing for arrest control. We do still, however, have a couple of hurdles ahead of us before we got that badge pinned on our chest. We have one more PT assessment, a five second taser ride (voluntary), and the Lookout Mountain run. Besides that it’s all downhill from here.

Crime scene investigation is the topic for this week. We have 24 hours of everything from crime scene preservation and documentation to finger printing and photography. It is really a lot of fun, and I’m learning a great deal. Investigations are something I would really enjoy doing later on in my career. The whole process fascinates me, the investigators we have here at the Sheriff’s office are very talented and I enjoy studying previous cases that they bring into our lectures for us.

Thursday and Friday is DUI class. From what I understand we have some live subjects come into class, they get drunk and we get to deal with them. I hear it is a very interesting couple of days. I will let you know all about it, and just in case you were wondering all the positions for drunks are filled so save yourself the time of filling out an application!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Qualifying Lap

We are now wrapped up with driving. It was a great week. I feel I learned so much in the five days we were at the track. We took the POST (Peace Officer Standards of Training) exam on Friday which consisted of a written test and a driving exam.

The driving test was a timed course around the track; we had to get one lap in within 4:10 order to pass. Sounds easy right, just hang on and drive fast; well it wasn’t that straight forward. Along the track five separate courses were set up for us to drive through. We had the reverse serpentine, shuffle steer, and lane change to name but a few.

If you hit a cone at any stage you have to get out of the car and fix it, doing this will cost you about ten to fifteen seconds, if you hit more than one cone the chances are you will not qualify in time. Also, you cannot drive off of the track or roll over the center divide at anytime, any violation is an automatic disqualifier.

The good news is we got lots of practice and excellent training, I am happy to say that I completed the course in 3:36, not the fastest time but top three of my group. I was talking to one of my class mates about the training that we have received here at the Academy. From the driving to the firearms instruction and everything in between, it would cost us thousands to do this privately! It truly is an honor to go through the Academy. If you are trying to get here or have been offered a place here, then give it everything you have as there are a hundred people who want to take your place.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Driving is awesome. I’ve heard plenty of people say that this is the most fun you have in the Academy; I’m beginning to see why. We are learning so much and we have only been driving for two days.

High speed braking at 60 mph is probably my favorite right now, that and the reverse serpentine. The reverse serpentine is either done on a straight course or on a “snake” track. Cones are set up about every thirty to forty feet and we have to reverse around them without knocking any of them over.

We start off slow and eventually have to pick up speed. The idea behind this and a lot of what we have done so far is to get us used to not only the dimensions of the car but also its limits. The reverse serpentine for example, if you get going fast and push the vehicle you will spin out, which is not only fun but very educational!

Our instructors are very laid back and really promote an atmosphere for learning. Friday we test for driving, and Thursday night we have high speed, pursuit driving. The pursuit driving we get to chase an instructor around the track at night with lights and sirens.