FOR THOSE WHO PROTECT AND SERVE.
I will start by saying if I were 35 years younger, well okay and maybe taller and a bit more fit, I would apply to a police academy. In my present state of fitness and age, I suspect they would laugh me out of the station.
I wanted to do something to show my support for our police and other law enforcement personnel. No, I would not get a permit to carry. I don't even own a gun. Don’t get me wrong. I totally support the Second Amendment. I also believe you should never carry a weapon you are not prepared to use. I don’t care if it is a gun, a baton or mace, if you are not prepared to use your weapon effectively please reconsider your safeguards. Also understand you must be prepared for the aftermath, whatever it may be. If not, well, then don’t carry a weapon.
I chose something closer to my abilities. I found myself in the local community’s citizen’s police academy. I did this as a way to learn more about police procedures. If I am going to be a crime writer, I wanted something a bit more involved than Internet research. This all came about after I signed a copy of my book, “BLOOD DEATH AND SALT”, to our chief of police. The book is dedicated to law enforcement. Even with his busy schedule the Chief gave me a few moments of his precious time, and the deputy chief suggested I look into Durham’s citizen’s police academy (CPA).
The program was a six-week course; meeting twice a week for two hours each session. This was one of the most educational courses that I have ever taken, which includes my college life. Some communities and cities have longer and more in depth courses, but they all have the same goal in mind; educate the citizens. It is also a good way to determine if law enforcement is a viable occupation for you.
Master Officer Steve and Officer Laurence conducted our class, and it did not stop with just classroom discussions. We had the opportunity to view such things as the bomb disposal teams, armored vehicles, mobile command center, 911 center, even a three hour ride along.
Yes, the course did take a commitment of time which is nothing compared to the commitment our officers and other law enforcement agents undertake every day.
Again, being honest, I think everyone should be required to take some course on police procedures when they get their driver’s licenses. I would venture to say 90% of the people out there who complain about our law enforcement have no idea of the potential dangers these brave souls put themselves into everyday on every call.
This isn't an easy job. Every traffic stop, house call, robbery, or any act of misguided people could subject them to serious physical harm. Think of that when you are sitting at your desk in front of your computer, working in a department store, or on a construction site, or even in a director’s chair.
The six weeks in the class left me wanting to learn more; however, I will have to rely on the Internet and interviews for the remainder of my education.
I grew up next door to one of the state police barracks; I had some idea of what they saw and endured. Unfortunately, like so many of us, I have been living in my own little a cocoon.
The dangers of gangs, disruptive kids, angry mobs, and acts of terrorism make the job so frightening only the best and bravest could even think of taking on these occupations.
In my younger days, I worked in a bank. We had instructions on how to keep ourselves safe. Things such as varying your route to and from work, being mindful of our surroundings even to the point of being aware of vehicles that did not belong on our street. I can tell you I experienced firsthand how these procedures could prevent unwanted results.
You will find an occasional bad apple among the police, but also among bankers, lawyers, dairy workers, stock brokers, bakers, and even our youth.
Please remember BLUE lives matter. They reflect our country’s melting pot of every race, color and creed, which includes my nephew Officer Corey. They do put their lives on the line to serve and protect us all.