Last night (at my Citizens Police Academy class) I held a gun in my hand for the first time. It wasn’t as heavy as I expected it to be.
The baton, on the other hand, was MUCH heavier than I expected it to be. It was a retractable baton, so I got to whip it out and close it back up again (which took a little more force than I expected it to), which was kind of fun.
I also held a taser. I had no idea what a taser looked like before this class…it sort of reminds me of a Star Trek phase pistol.
Last night’s lecture was on “use of force,” so we learned about the different levels of force (1-5) the police can use and what has to happen at each level to justify that particular kind of force.
Then we had a lesson on self defense. When it comes to self defense, remember this sentence: “It’s not over ’til I WIN!” We saw various tools police used to defend themselves (pressure points as well as how to fight off an attacker) and then got to practice a few.
And finally, we saw a couple of videotapes of a couple of actual police stops (police officers have video cameras in their cars, so when you’re stopped, the entire incident is recorded…that way if you claim the officer didn’t treat you right, somebody can go back and look at the tape). The videos we saw were a little upsetting…in both cases we saw how fast things can escalate out of control. These were just routine traffic stops and in one situation the guy who was stopped pulled a gun on the officer…in the other situation the guy started a physical fist fight with the officer and ended up not only pounding him repeatedly over the head, he got the officer’s gun (fortunately, the gun was jammed…otherwise the officer would’ve been dead).
So last week I came away thinking, “yeah, I could be a cop” (because I could pass the test)…this week I know there’s NO WAY I could be a cop!