Sunday, March 30, 2008

Corrections Officer Academy, report 3

End of week three and I'm tired. I'm tired of slapdash scheduling. I'm tired of trying to help other trainees struggle through tests the proverbial 5th grader could pass with aplomb. I'm tired of the dust and black mold in the BOQs. I'm tired of that sweet, sleepy town of Beeville which lacks Starbucks, Target, and Wells Fargo storefronts. I'm also exceedingly tired of the drama created by my intrepid fellow trainees. A number of our sergeants (training instructors) have mentioned on more than one occasion that we will find upon starting work at the units (nomenclature for prisons) our work-related grief comes chiefly not from the Offenders (felons previously referred to as Inmates) but rather from other staff, ie, our fellow Corrections Officers.

And I believe this.

Highlights of the week

-The sergeants continue to delight and impress me with their dedication to, and amusing anecdotes about, this profession.

-Defensive Tactics: during a series of paired drills (strikes and blocks with minimal contact) I had the pleasure of working with a Chatty Cathy who, despite his self-professed ignorance of any real or relevant hand-to-hand training/experience, felt the need to deliver suggestions, criticisms, and praise to yours truly whilst we went about our terribly complex maneuvers (more of a gesture, really). The irony was amusing even if my partner was not.

-Oh, we now have 6 men crammed into one BOQ roughly the size of a freshmen dorm.

That's it really. We didn't have any real benchmark experiences or incidents. This coming week we'll be touring the prison (for those who don't realize, the training facility is nestled squarely b/t the Garza East and West units). The following, and final, week will be focussed on qualifying with the department firearms. I'm really not looking forward to some of my classmates handling loaded guns. There's one in particular who seems fixated on the department's stance on warning shots.



Saturday, March 22, 2008

Corrections Officer Academy, report 2

Hey there, kids.
I'm back home with the family for Easter weekend. We've got lots to do, including egg dying and attending a High School Musical on Ice performance. Contain your envy.

Highlights from this past week of training:

-Sgt. Torres, one of the funnier human beings I've encountered in a longish time.

-Certain members of our training class have taken umbrage (all of the umbrage - every last bit of it) at the statement "there are no stupid questions". Their strategy in debunking this wrong-thinking?
You guessed it... Ego narro , proinde Ego sum nefas
[I speak, therefore I am wrong]
A veritable onslaught of the most distressingly ridiculous questions that have ever been leveled at a group of instructors.

-CS (what one might call tear gas) is fun.
Remember playing with fireworks as a kid? Yes, even those of you in CA. Remember lighting off too many pyrotechnics within a short time and close space? Well, that's what CS is like, only a tad more intense.

-OC (what one might call pepper spray) is not fun.
Remember that time you were feeling daring so you replied "make it a 10 please" to the waiter at the Thai restaurant, and he/she in return brought you something which performed a chemical peel on the entire interior of your mouth and sinuses? Well, that's not what OC is like, unless your Thai chef was a sadist spicing your food Naga Jolokia peppers.

-I definitely need a 37mm grenade launcher...for strategic sheep purposes, of course.

-There are some really great, well-meaning, and savvy people getting into the Corrections field. There are also some really sad and unbalanced ones.


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Corrections Officer Academy, report 1


Back home after my first week and a half of academy.

My observations thus far.

1) Damn, but a lot of the trainees are young and dumb.

2) The Sergeants are a really cool collection of Corrections Officers.

3) The BOQs are filled with dust and mold.

4) DT (Defensive Tactics) is fun, and really lets you know who is out of shape.

5) The food on the unit is...certainly nourishing.

That's all for now,