Welcome to the belated recap of week 3 for the Citizen’s Police Academy at the Enid Police Department.  I normally post these earlier in the week, but by waiting I was able to include some additional material.

This week, started off with Lt. Fuxa explaining the extensive amount of training that new officers must go through.

DSC_0001He explained how expensive training can be.  If a new officer is not certified, they send you to the CLEET Academy.  When you go to the academy in Ada, they make you sign a promissory note stating that you will be in law enforcement for a certain amount of time or you will have to repay them for the training.

If they are already certified, they will go straight to what they call the F.T.O. Evaluation Program.   They go through policy training, CPR & First Aid training, city geography, ethics, and many other things that essentially make it a mini-academy.  “Even people who have lived here all their lives have problems with city geography,” said Lt. Fuxa.  “It’s something that is hard for everyone.”

When they are out in the field training with another officer, they will be under observation.  Each day the training officer will fill out evaluations on the trainee.

The FTO program entails about 720 hours of training.  When you combine that with the nearly 600 hours they spend at the Academy it adds up to pretty close to a whole year of training.

They then went into details about what they are issued and what they carry when they are on duty.  This is probably best expressed in pictures.  They issue Glock 9mm, but they can carry whatever they want.  They give them tasers, ballistic vests, their belts, OC Spray, and all the other things they will need.  One interesting thing that I learned is that they have to provide their own flashlights and their own ammo.

GunsChalayna with the AR-15...she liked it very much.Hat and radio unitNight stick & CuffsDepartment issued beltBullet Proof VestLt. Fuxa explains the finer points of the bullet proof vestRyan Jackson playing with a fake gunTaser shot anyone?Pepper Spray

After we got to get touchy-feely with all the cool stuff on the table (retail value nearly $4000), we got to listen to some 911 calls.  The first call was pretty tame.  Bloody guy in the street, another man with a gun.  Caller doesn’t want to get involved.  Hangs up.  They end up arresting three guys.

Then, we listened to the next call.  It sobered up the room very quickly.  The call regarded a 4 year old child in the dead of winter, who had fallen into a pool.  He was unresponsive and was not breathing.  For 6 agonizing minutes we listened as the EMT on the line coached the parents through CPR.  You could have heard a pin-drop in the room and the echo it would make.  The majority of the CPA is made up of adult aged people who have children.  Each and every one of us had knots in our stomach and lumps in our throats.  Finally, the call terminated because crews arrived on the scene to relieve the parents.  I, and many others, assumed the child had died.  But we were informed that he was life-flighted to Tulsa and pulled through.  I am not ashamed to admit that by the end of the audio, I was nearly tearing up.  Others were as well.  Academy member Ryan Jackson walked by after our next break and said, “Wow, that was rough.”  Exactly.  It was rough.  I believe that 6 minutes of the academy had the single biggest impact on the members of the Academy thus far.  We got to hear the panic.  We got to hear the terror.  These guys deal with it every day.

Next up was Sgt. Randy King.  He discussed the detectives.  There are two types of detectives in the department.  Adult and Child.  Obviously, the Adult Crimes deal with a very wide array of crimes.  From homicides, thefts, fraud, etc.  The detectives that deal with children crimes.  Heinous stuff.  The worst of the worst.

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I took a picture of Sgt. Randy King, but it turned out fuzzy. So here is one of Lt. Gary Fuxa instead, lol.

Sgt. King showed us a video of a gentleman who stole over $90,000 out of a cash office of a major retailer here in town.  He was also shown on video changing the price of merchandise and then purchasing it for pennies on the dollar.  The man is now behind bars, courtesy of one tiny mistake the guy made during his crime.  Forgot the gloves.

During the question portion with Detective King, I asked a question that I thought needed to be shared.  I asked about employee related theft vs customer related theft.  I stated that major retailers and their loss prevention departments pay more attention to employees than they really do customers.  I knew this because of my own loss prevention training and in discussions with other loss prevention managers of major retailers.  Detective King said, “No….that’s not true.”  In a follow-up email he was able to explain that his answer was based on a recent study that showed that there were way more shoplifting related apprehensions versus employee related apprehensions.  He did admit that employee related crimes were usually higher in value.  This is a link to his source.  Sgt. King stood by his answer, but I will also stand by what I’ve been trained by corporate loss prevention experts.

To keep the sober and somewhat somber tone of the evening going, we were showed video of what was at the time a rather well known incident.  It was a high speed chase in which the Enid Police Department was chasing a wanted felon who was known to be dangerous and needed to be taken off the streets in a very bad way.  The result of the chase was a captured felon.  But the unintended consequence, was an incident in which a police unit was slammed into by an Oklahoma Bible Academy bus.  The children were scared, upset, as were their parents.  But that did not stop them from forming a circle and praying for the officer.  His car was destroyed.  All that remained was basically the area in which the officer was sitting.  Nothing else.

The incident was under a lot of scrutiny at the time because of the high speeds of the chase.  Lt. Fuxa talked extensively about how during a chase it’s very easy to become too focused on what you are chasing.  He talked about how it was very easy to get tunnel vision and lose your surroundings.  This was the case in this incident.  While it’s horrible that the incident happened, the department can now show this video to educate other officers of the dangers of high speed pursuits.  What happened in one moment, can now be used as an educational tool to perhaps help others understand how dangerous these situations really can be.  I found this to be a very big thing of the department.  They were taking something that perhaps was a very negative event and turning it into a positive to improve the department.  It was very impressive of them.

I should also say, that they were very apprehensive about releasing the video for me to show to you.  But again, I think it’s very good of them, as do they, to do it to show the public that they do take mistakes but they try to learn from them.  Plus, I think it gives the public a perspective of something that you don’t get to see in Enid a whole lot.  Please remember that everyone in the video is fine, there were no deaths, anyone who was potentially injured was treated and released without dire consequences.