I happened to catch the Crime & Investigation channel on Sky this week. It’s a channel of non-stop crime investigation documentaries. I have to admit to being a bit of a crime junkie, so I’ve started watching a bit more of the channel.
Anyway, one of the programmes this week was about American rookies going through training school.
I couldn’t believe it, to be honest. It was good old fashioned military-style training. It took me right back to 30 years ago when I went to training school. Apparently, and you may not believe this, it is perfectly acceptable for instructors to shout at the students, incredible, I know.
Not only that but there is none of this touchy-feely, group hug, let’s discuss why you don’t agree with what you’re being told to do. Police students at this academy didn’t speak unless they were spoken to and any opinions they had were given to them by their instructors.
Some of the drill instructors were ex-military, oh yeah, they did drill too & daily inspections, some of them looked like they’d failed the auditions for ‘Full Metal Jacket’ & ‘Platoon’ because they were too loud. The sight of one of them shouting at the top of his voice with veins on his neck bulging whilst screaming atÃ‚Â rookie on his first day not to bother coming back for day 2 because he was such a worm, was something I thought had been consigned to history.
If students failed some part of the course, or a fitness run, they bloody well knew about it. If they didn’t buck their ideas up they were out of here, none of this ‘don’t worry son it’s the taking part that counts’. There were no groups sitting round a table discussing the merits of why they had to do what they had to do.
True to every military academy film or story, some fell by the wayside during training, most felt better about themselves when they came out the other end. As far as I’m aware, nobody went through a grievance procedure if they failed the course, no industrial tribunals were called & nobody tried to sue the academy for wrongful dismissal. But I got the impression that every one who graduated had earned the right to the badge & seemed to be pretty professional to me.
I’m not sure that is the case in the British system of training.