POLICE Magazine

AUG 2018

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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14 POLICE AUGUST 2018 How To to proper use of force, driving skills, and more. None of these are easy subjects to master, so it helps to have a study buddy. "A tactic that works really well with re- cruits is getting together in groups to study and practice," he says. "I'm routinely asked to open up the fitness room so they can workout or train after hours. If they are having difficulty with things, the support of their fellow classmates can really help." 3. Maintain a good attitude. "Have a good attitude and be prepared to work," says Martin. "ere will be a lot of informa- tion thrown at you in a short period of time. We do phase testing, so they will be tested at different points throughout the academy on what they have learned to date." Likewise, attitude is something in- structors pay attention to. "e attitude recruits take in training is also one they will take in field training and on the job," he says. "We want to see that they are lis- tening, learning, are prepared to work, and have a good attitude." 4. Develop good study habits. Dead- lines are a necessary evil in every job; they are also part of the academy, where there will be assignments to complete and papers to turn in by a specific date. is task is much easier if candidates organize themselves prior to entry. It's helpful to begin using a planning tool and calendar daily before the first day, so recording ac- tivities and checking a planner daily be- comes a habit. ere are also many online resources that can supplement course materials. Know where they are and rely on them. Participation in law enforce- ment forums online can also extend your peer network during your education. Says Martin, "My recommendation for studying is the same thing I always told my own kids. After school, take a little time to rest and do something fun, then buckle down and start studying." 5. Be well rested. "Recruits need to be alert during the academy. I know many students work their way through the acad- emy, and that makes it more difficult. But if they can be rested before they come, it will help them avoid mistakes," he says. "Being rested will help them with listen- ing and learning." 6. Be on time. Martin says, "Timeliness is another thing every instructor tries to stress. I tell recruits, 'Always be early.' Be improve upon these standards while you are in the academy. You don't start at one level, and then you're done," he says. "We expect you to improve from your applica- tion date to your graduation date." Physical conditioning in the acad- emy is easier if officers get into the habit of working out every day. Recruits need strength, flexibility, and cardio training. Martin adds there are great law enforce- ment workouts available online. "Most state agencies have fitness stan- police academy is there to ingrain officer responses in terrible situations. "is job is dangerous. It is stressful on family and friends. It includes long work hours, dealing with news reporters, and horrific situations," says Lt. Patrick Mar- tin, formerly an officer with the Greenfield (WI) Police Department and now the di- rector of training for Corrections and Spe- cialized Law Enforcement at Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC). He adds, policing isn't for everyone. "THE ENVIRONMENT THEY WORK IN IS GOING TO BE STRESSFUL AT TIMES, AND THEY NEED TO BE READY FOR THAT." —LT. PATRICK MARTIN, DIRECTOR OF TRAINING FOR CORRECTIONS AND SPECIALIZED LAW ENFORCEMENT, MILWAUKEE AREA TECHNICAL COLLEGE PHOTO: ALEX LANDEEN dards and post them online. Start with those and move up from there," he says. 2. Partner with fellow students. Polic- ing isn't a solo sport. It is best if officers work as a team. Teamwork is also an es- sential element of academy life. Fellow students can help you train and study after hours and provide needed support when you feel like giving up. Students may be studying everything from the stat- utes in their state, to weapons handling, e academy puts candidates to the test to weed out those who lack the mental and physical fortitude for the job. Some recruits will wash out or quit; that's just reality. A recent U.S. Department of Jus- tice study found 14% of recruits will not graduate. e failure rate is higher in some big-city departments. In Los Ange- les, for example, 450 out of 1,750 or 26% of prospective officers have failed to gradu- ate since 2012. What can recruits do to ensure they are not among the prospective officers who wash out or quit? How do they make sure they master the skills required for today's demanding police environment? Martin offers 10 tips to help recruits successfully navigate the rigors of the po- lice academy. 1. Prepare physically. is tops Mar- tin's list. He points out that to be accept- ed into the academy, recruits must meet minimum fitness standards. But achiev- ing these goals will not be enough to move through the academy. "You have to

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