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Week 6: Officer-Violator Contact

“Expect the unexpected”

Cadet arresting another cadet in a scenario


This past week has been very up-and-down: good and bad, fun and unbearable, but mostly just tiring. It's probably to brace us for what's to come next week - three benchmarks (test, evaluations, or whatever else you want to call them)!

First off, we did not get our boots. Everything went really well on the previous Friday, during the S/M’s Parade, but it seems we lost it by the time last period on Monday rolled around. During this particular Drill class, it seems we did not know our left from our right. And judging from the Sgt.'s comments, the troop will likely be going to graduation in runners!

Fortunately Tuesday turned out much better. We were in scenarios all day and responded to calls (all dealing with some sort of disturbance) that involved outside parties (volunteer actors) and not just members of the troop playing the roll(s) of complainants/subjects of complaint. I was part of the second pair of POs to go and for that I was glad because the scenarios got progressively harder and more complicated as the day went on. I did benefit from watching the other scenarios (the location is set up with six cameras in order to capture the entire scenario) since it allowed me to reflect on what my own reaction might have been for each given situation.

Friday was another scenario day: OVC (Officer Violator Contact). Basically OVC is a fancy term for pulling over traffic violators. It was good experience going through all the motions of running vehicle checks, employing defensive approach tactics, and in general, dealing with the unknowns of pulling someone over. The facilitators warned us that this is one of the more dangerous aspects of the job as you never really know what you'll be facing. In my case, I was fortunate as I did not come across any stolen vehicles or persons with previous criminal convictions. I encountered someone (a role-playing troopmate, no actors this time) who failed to signal, failed to comply with a stop sign, in addition to failing to produce a valid driver's licence. And even though I presented him with three tickets (I may have enjoyed that a little too much!), he took it quite well.

I realize that we have already completed a quarter of our training! But even at more than a month in, it still seems like such a tremendous task to undertake. Sometimes I wonder (and others probably feel the same) whether we'll make it through to the end? With so much ahead of us, it can be somewhat overwhelming. I have determined that it all looks better if you take it one day at a time. Accept everything as it comes and never fall into the trap of wishing you were at a more advanced stage in training. This will only make the end seem like a million miles away or 200 floors up, with no means of getting there.