Many years ago we had a training sergeant who used to come out with some corkers.
At that time recruit training was done in regional police training centres. Several forces banded together to send their recruits to a specific training school in their region. Courses were residential, some were single sex, some were mixed. I happened to go to a single sex training school which meant I came out the fittest I’d ever been as extra curicular activity was restricted to studying & sport.
One of our local training sergeants had spent years at training school before coming back to the force as a, er, trainer – its amazing how many officers have built careers out of avoiding front line policing.
Anyway, he was well known for his turn of phrase.
I was on one of his courses at HQ once when he was extolling the virtues of one of the police manuals. I forget which one it was, it could have been ‘Blackstones General Police Duties’ or something like that.
So, we’re sitting in a classroom up at the headquarters training block.
Sgt Manning is pacing up down in front of the class, Blackstones clasped tightly in his hand.
“My recommendation to you, & one I suggest you take seriously, is that each & every one of you goes out & gets a copy of Blackstones. This is the bible of policing. It contains all your powers, police powers of arrest, police powers of search, all your legislation, your criminal laws, your points to prove, everything you’ll ever need as an operational police officer is contained somewhere within the pages of this book.”
He slaps the cover of the book as if adding gravitas to his words.
“Once you leave here today, get down to your local Waterstones, Dillons or Smiths & get a copy or place an order. Use this book as your bible.” He slaps the cover again then quickly flips through the pages. “I can’t stress enough, get this book, if there’s one thing you take away from this course this week, its the importance of getting Blackstones. Use it, refer to it, learn from it. Keep it on your locker or oin your case. It will be your best friend.”
He pauses, turns to the class & holds Blackstones high like a triumphant Trojan father holding up his first-born before the masses.
“People,” he pauses for effect, “get out there buy this book, or another one.”