December 18th, 2008

Sound Off

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

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 at  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.

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4 comments

  1. Oi says:

    Ah yes. LAPD recruits.

    December 19th, 2008 at 05:33

  2. Tony F says:

    Sounds good to me. I think that most of the SMTs should be put through that process.

    December 19th, 2008 at 18:58

  3. ted says:

    If any course or exam has a 100% pass rate then the standards are too low. There needs to be a certain number of fails. That’s life.

    Having to pass a tough basic training in any walk of life surely helps to build a sense of being part of a team as well as stretching people to get the best out them.

    As far as police training goes, if recruits can’t adapt to getting worked hard and being shouted at for a few weeks then perhaps they are joining the wrong job.

    December 19th, 2008 at 22:52

  4. Agent Douane says:

    Maybe it what you’re used to. In the Customs uniformed Anti-Smuggling branch we never had drill, we have had our share of tough instructors but back in the day, these days they’re much more corporate but watch a couple of pathe news reels here of how it used to be done, memories: http://www.hm-waterguard.org.uk/Pictures-Cinema.htm#WATERGUARD TRAINING CENTRE c1958

    December 21st, 2008 at 18:59

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