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Week 12: First Detachments

“Half-a-mountie reporting for duty”

Cadets approaching a police car

2005-09-11

Today marks the actual mid-point of our training. We've been here exactly 12 weeks and we have another 12 to go. Everything thus far has been comparable to a roller coaster ride with its ups and downs, as well as its speeds and stalls. We're always learning something new, being thrown into foreign experiences and coming up against unpredictable situations. In the last week, we were exposed to quite a bit of new and foreign with first detachments. Detachment duty was definitely a worthwhile undertaking as we got to see and experience first-hand what it would be like to respond to calls. For the first three days this week we were working shifts from 14:00 to 22:00, either as police officers or acting as complainants or suspects. I was an actor on the first day and I found there to be a lot of waiting, which made for a very long and tiring day. Although I was only acting/observing I did learn from each scenario. By watching others go through the steps and being witness to good procedure/mistakes I deemed the day to be both educational and somewhat amusing.

On the second day I was a PO and the learning continued at exponential rates. Contrary to acting, the time just flew by and I found myself looking for the those extra hours that would be paramount to finishing everything (including the scenario and the resulting file). Yes, the filework just keeps piling higher and higher. I, along with my partner, responded to two calls that seemed simple enough (joy riding and outstanding warrant). But, as we discovered, there are always so many factors and details to consider even with the simplest of calls. All the same, I found it to be an excellent learning forum as I was put on the spot to apply what we've learned in Applied Police Sciences and a number of the practical skills units. I found it beneficial on several levels: it brings together everything we've learned (of the various disciplines), and I will likely remember all this later as I was right in the thick of things. On the third day, I was an actor/observer again and I must say that overall I enjoyed these days in the sense that I could get so much done in the morning. I'm going to miss my five-mile morning run and the opportunity to actually sit down and eat my meals as opposed to inhaling everything.

Unfortunately the fun ended abruptly on Thursday morning as we were once again required to join the rest of Depot in getting up before dawn, attending morning and S/M’s parades in addition to running our troop three-mile run. Everybody was just so exhausted and drained that it seemed that everything just started crumbling. We were holding it together until after lunch (after parades and the run) when we had Firearms. It was back to shotgun manipulations and would you believe we forgot everything (or so it appeared)?! Anyway, the following day wasn't much better, luckily it was Friday.

It was only on Friday that I realized that Monday was actually a national holiday. I guess it's only fitting that we work like dogs on Labour Day! Ah, the irony! It's nothing new, really. All of the stat holidays so far have been filled with classes, homework and practical competencies, similarly to weekends and other “designated” time-off. It's a regular gong-show around here where you're lucky to get anywhere near five to six hours of sleep a night (which is definitely what got us in Firearms and Drill, this week). For this particular weekend we had the Memorial Parade this morning (a Fallen Members Memorial). While it is an honour to pay tribute to our fallen comrades, it still cut into precious time, and I spent the better part of Saturday polishing my Sam Browne. I finally got around to using the polish I spent so much time finding. Although very time consuming (4.5 hours and 20 coats of polish later) I was quite pleased with the results. I hope my boots turn out as well - that'll be my project for next Saturday.

Well, that concludes this episode of Masterpiece Theatre. I'm off now to engage in my final review for the mid-term I have first thing Monday morning. The fun just never stops!