Saturday, June 25, 2011
Bruises and Pepper Spray - SLETP
For the past few weeks, I’ve been very busy attending the Seasonal Law Enforcement Training Program (SLETP) at Temple University along with the other cadets from Cohort 1. Although I’m not allowed to go into details about what we’ve been learning in specific – if I had to sum it up in a word, I’d say it’s been rigorous. Both the academic and the physical fitness components of our training have been very demanding – but I’m glad we’re being trained as hard as we are, because it helps us be that much more prepared when we begin working. I, for example, will be graduating the law enforcement academy and Temple University near the end of August, so it’s been especially important that I absorb as much as I can while I have easy access to the instructors and am in an environment where guidance is right over my shoulder.
Just in the past three weeks I’ve come home covered in bruises from defensive tactics (which have caused strangers to stare at me oddly when I’m out in public), ruined one of my PT uniform shirts with mud and grass stains due to training, taken two very difficult exams, been shot with an Airsoft SIG SAUER pistol in the neck (I was wearing ballistic body armor, eye protection, pants and long sleeves at the time, but the tiniest bit of bare skin is like a honing-magnet for Airsoft pellets) and have been OC (pepper) sprayed directly in the face. I’m usually a night-owl, super-late-night sort of person, but I haven’t been physically capable of staying awake past 9 PM because I’m so bone-tired at the end of the day – and yet, this is the most fun and excitement I’ve ever had in my life. Every day when I come home and take off my stinky boots and sweaty body armor, I feel like I’ve learned something real, and as the academy makes one more competent, it makes one more confident as well – and confidence goes a long way in law enforcement.
In the coming weeks, I’m sure I’ll be expressing this a lot – but I cannot wait until I am able to apply what I’ve learned at the SLETP in my career after I graduate.