Monday, July 31, 2017

Repetition is King

           Almost there, everybody! Week 9 was spent with the LE rangers. As much as I enjoy getting to know the different divisions and learn how they keep a National Park up and running, I was happy to be back in the saddle on patrol with the rangers. Being that it had been a number of weeks since my last workdays with them, I needed my first day of the week to be reacquainted with all of the tasks that I had taken responsibility of during my time there. After only an hour or two however, I was back at it like a cog in a running machine.

            My supervisor, along with the assistance of another ranger, put me through a number of training scenarios throughout the week so that I could familiarize myself with police procedures on a number of different levels. The first training procedure that I learned from was Building Clearing / Active Shooter situations. After detailed walk-throughs and chances to ask questions, I was required to clear particular buildings in the park on my own (most of the time, in the dark!). I found this training to be the most exciting and engaging, and it did not take me long to pick up on procedure and possess the ability to handle the situation with only minor slip-ups or mistakes.
            The more complicated training session, in my humble opinion, was the mock traffic stops. I must admit that although I obviously have the highest respect for law enforcement and envision what they do, I was not prepared for the amount of training and work that goes into a seemingly simple traffic stop. The rangers train so that they are prepared for any and all situations, and repetition was king when it came to this training. I learned that through doing it myself. I did countless “reps” of a variety of situations to understand how I can best protect myself while doing my duties as a law enforcement officer. From learning how to park the patrol vehicle and approach the suspect’s vehicle, to conversing with the driver/passengers and issuing tickets, I can firmly report that it is not as easy as it seems. Unfortunately for my supervisor and fellow ranger, that means that they had to answer to a bombard of questions from me and deal with my frustrations when I wanted to do it right but struggled.

            All in all, I have learned so much over the course of the internship and this last (more intensive) training could be completed with so much more confidence because of the basic training that I’ve been receiving. My last week at Colonial will undoubtedly be a memorable one, and I can’t wait to learn even more before I leave!

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