First thing Wednesday morning, as we prepared to conduct high-risk traffic stops, Dave enters the classroom.
“Change of plans. Get your PT gear on.”
Oh. Three quarters of the class doesn’t have their PT gear, so we’re going to be forced to run in “boots-and-utes” – tactical boots, battle-dress pants, duty belts and our uniform shirt.
Except I have that little…problem we discussed on Saturday. I walk out to the hall to Dave’s office, and I hear, emanating from The Academy Director’s office the sounds of screeches which sound familiar.
They’re watching the video of my Tahoe almost flipping.
Dave comes out and I say, “Sir, I have a problem. I can’t PT and I’d love it if you didn’t ask me why.”
“Well. . . ” and I gingerly explain the nature and extent of my injury. Dave looks thoughtful.
“Have you got a doctor’s note?”
Like I’d visit a doctor over this. “No, sir, but I’d be happy to show you if you’d like.”
“Not necessary. Okay, head out there and I’ll let you know.”
I head out to the warm-up area and start some warmups. Dave emerges from the building a few minutes later and signals to me. “I’ve been told that you have to provide a doctor’s note or participate.”
“Right,” I say, “I’m headed to the campus nurse’s office.”
I walk over and explain to the nurse what’s happening. She stares at me. “Look, I used to be a high-school nurse and if you’d come into a high school with that I’d ask to see it, but you’re a grown man, and if you’re lying about this you’re not gonna make it as a police officer, so I’m gonna just give you a note excusing you until Monday.”
I thank her and make my way back over. I’m actually pretty pissed off; I’m 45 years old. If I say I’m hurt, dammit, I’m hurt. I get back and talk to Dave.
“Sir, here’s the note. May I speak freely?”
“Sir, I may be a pain in the ass at times, but my integrity is important to me. I’ve given you an explanation of what happened; I’m in the top 5% of the entire academy in physical fitness, and I’m insulted that I was subjected to a humiliating physical examination to prove what I told you.”
Dave looked at me frankly. “I know you’re telling the truth, and I didn’t doubt your word or your integrity,” he said. “I have four guys saying they’re sick; if I make them give me a note and not you then it looks like favoritism, that was the entire reason. And see your squad leader – there have been a lot of changes.”
I corner Sig Winchester. “Oh,” he said, “they chewed our asses for about 20 minutes about a whole mess of things. We’re not allowed to sit down outside during class – if there’s downtime we need to PT or study. No computers in the classroom. We’re not allowed to use the computer lab. A whole bunch of shit about the vehicles. And we’re slacking off at how we stand at attention in the hallways so we have to snap to attention and smartly get against the wall for every person we see in the halls.”
Shiyit. Two weeks left – this has got to be a PSYOP to keep us off guard, but dammit.
The high risk car stop is awesome. “Driver!” we shout from our car, while pointing a patrol rifle or shotgun or pistol at him, “Put both hands outside the car window NOW! With your left hand, reach in and shut off the engine, NOW! Throw the key outside NOW! With your left hand, open the car door from the outside, and step out of the vehicle, NOW! Put your hands UP! Higher! With your left hand, SLOWLY reach down, SLOWLY grab your tee-shirt and lift it up so I can see your waistband! Turn around, away from me, slowly! STOP! Put both hands in the air! Walk back to the sound of my voice SLOWLY!”
And so on, until he’s been cuffed, searched and placed in the back of the patrol car. Then we search the car for other people, weapons, contraband etc.
This is the cool stuff. Kent is back teaching our group; Clinton is teaching the other group. I’m still In full man-crush – Kent is awesome, and teaches us a new and far superior handcuffing technique to the one that Clinton insists is the “best” (by the way, I’ve learned that anyone here who tells you that some method is “the best” anything is a fuckin’ idiot. There are thousands of ways to do everything, and the only correct answer to how to do any procedure is “what your FTO tells you to do”.