Saturday, February 7, 2009

Once a Cop, Always a Cop

My first week back at the police department was a little like making your first parachute jump after spending a couple of years on the ground. It isn't hard to remember the important stuff, but you need help with some of the details.

For everyone who thinks I'm too old to be a cop, see if you can pick me out in the above picture from my first law enforcement job. (Yes, I'm kidding for crying out loud.)

During this first week, I had over two hundred revisions in policies and procedures to review, hours of videos to watch and several days of all types of training. We hit the range so I could once again qualify with my Glock and the shotgun (which I did) and I had to become current on my taser training. When I was first issued my taser after Iraq, I volunteered to let them shoot me with the probes so I could experience the full five seconds of 50,000 volts. No, it wasn't fun, but everyone else got a kick out of watching me bite the dust.

I also had to successfully pass the wellness or PT test that my department requires twice a year for all officers. The PT test includes a bench press, leg press, sit-ups, sit and reach flexibility exercise, body fat measurement and a timed walk or run. I passed with excellent scores in every category which is good for an old guy like me.

I needed a little refresher training on the in-car computer, but I will surely need some pointers after I start writing reports next week. Still, most of the systems are the same and it won’t take long to get back in the groove.

After I finished the training and received all my gear, I drove my patrol car around the city to become familiar with the changes in the landscape. Some buildings are gone, new ones have been built and a lot of businesses have changed their names. I saw some things that really surprised me, including our newly designed hospital.

I responded as backup officer to a couple of disturbance calls and linked up with cops I hadn’t seen since 2007. It’s good to get back with such an outstanding and professional group of people.

Almost everyone I saw made the same two comments in the same order. The first one was to welcome me back and the second one was to ask me how long before I would retire. A lot of the older officers will retire in the next couple of years, so it was a natural question. My response was simply that, since I will be 60 years old on February 28, I promised them I wouldn' stay on the job longer than five years.

Just like the Army, I’ll know when it’s time to take the police uniform off for good.

* * * *

I have received some inquiries about the book and it is in the hands of the publisher. Hopefully, it won’t be too much longer before it's available.

Thanks for asking and I hope you like the new header. I moved the C.O.B.R.A. Team header to the team website.

Charles M. Grist

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