“May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.”

"This report is maybe 12-years-old. Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried till River dug it up. This is what they feared she knew. And they were right to fear because there's a whole universe of folk who are gonna know it, too. They're gonna see it. Somebody has to speak for these people. You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, 10, they'll swing back to the belief that they can make people . . . better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave." ~ Captain Malcom Reynolds

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Still alive

Quoting Mr. Twain, the rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated...

Honestly, between work, school and family over the past few I just haven't felt up to writing. Hopefully that will straighten itself out here this week - the schedule SHOULD be starting to slow down a bit.

Spent a lot of last week sitting our selection boards for new Field Training Officers - the officers responsible for training recruits just after the academy and getting them ready for solo duty. FTO's have a tremendous responsibility (and liability should someone make mistakes), and I am fortunate in that my agency tends to take the people we have doing it pretty seriously. Like a lot of departments we used to just point at folks and say "OK, you're a training officer now." but a few years ago we went through an effort as a department to professionalize the progarm, take applications and screen the people doing it. The results have definitely been worth it in my opinion at least - you don't want someone training new officers who isn't competent, or doesn't want to be doing it. I was also rather complimented, in that the supervisor who runs the program only asked a certain few of us to help him sit these boards - he doesn't want people he can't trust to not only know the job, but share an honest opinion with him. (Funny side note - he's the person who was the training officer for my FTO - so kind of an interesting generation thing going on there, but anyway...) So, it was a set of long days of interviewing people on not only policies and laws, but on "what if" scenarios. Definitely a tough job too - all the candidates were good officers, and it's really tough to have to tell someone who is motivated that they are not suited for training others (or at least at this moment they need to work on things.) Especially since working as an FTO is a big factor looked at in promotions and transfers down the road - being told "no" can certainly be frustrating I understand. Overall we managed to get some people who are going to be great at training the new officers, and we were able to give the others pointers on what can help them next go around.

This week I'm out at the range with our current academy - which is a completely different brand of frustration... I know society has changed, and the culture out here is different from where I grew up - but it still consistently stuns me the number of new recruits we get who have zero firearms experience or exposure. On the one hand it is great, because you don't have to break bad habits when you are teaching them. But it's tough also, because they tend to have no comfort level around guns either - several of the guys are still holding their sidearm like it's a rattlesnake getting set to animate and do stuff all by its lonesome, even though this is the second week for the group doing this stuff. Plus this set in particular seems to be facing an uphill struggle in thinking tactically - trying to get their minds beyond putting holes into paper & understanding that this may very well keep them or someone else alive very soon. All combined, it's left me kind of drained the past couple of days...

Anyway, didn't want to turn this into a whiny, bitchy post - just wanted to get something written. No good dog stories right now, beyond the fact he is feeling neglected since we've only been getting short bits of training in & he's in the mood to WORK dangit! Going to try to get him a good long session tomorrow during the dinner break.

Someone send a good call my way, so I have a story to blog... I'm running dry here!


Jon said...

I can only imagine thats frustrating Sean. That'd rank up there with me having to teach basic computer use before I could teach someone to do the job they got hired for.

Granted, I realize guns are... less prevalent then they were or are in some areas, but oy. They won't bite.

(Neither do computers...)

We've got a new training class, and while I'm glad its not me training, the guy we have doing it... well... yah maybe not.

MeadowLark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MeadowLark said...

Here, try this instead