Battered Bruised and Beaten
Wednesday was a fun but painful day of fighting tactics. We learned kicks, elbow strikes, knee strikes, and punching. We all enjoyed the opportunity to beat up on one another and I have the bloody knuckles, raw elbows, and bruised ribs to proove it. We took turns holding a punching pad across our chest while hunched over as other classmates delivered knee strikes to the chest. Some of the blows were strong enough to lift me off the ground but some of the women were sent back into the padded walls or onto their backs. After a tiring four hours of fighting, we got to try out our issued riot gear and practice crowd control.
Half of our class acted as rioters while the other half wore riot helmets and carried plexiglass shields. I started out on the riot squad and marched onto the field, set up a skirmish line with 20 others, and slowly advanced on the rowdy crowd while commanding them to disperse. The crowd showered us with a barrage of tennis balls, plastic watter bottles, and frisbees as we got closer. Our job was to divide the crowd, identify and arrest the ringleaders and disperse the crowd. We then traded places and acted as the rioters.
Next, we got to practice some officer rescue scenarios by driving patrol cars and pulling the fallen officer from his car near a rioting crowd. The exercise was complete with smoke grenades and plastic handguns. Our holsters had been empty up until Wednesday when we were all issued a plastice handgun.
This was a long and tiring day but we still had an afternoon exercise session to complete. We were pretty sure the sergeant would take it easy on us since we were all battered and sore from the morning fighting. Well, we should have known better; our sergeant is determined to make us the most physically fit group to ever attend the academy so he planned a six mile run halfway up South Mountain. It was pretty warm outside and many people really struggled to make it up the mountain. Just when I think I've had the most exhausting day at the academy, another one like Wednesday is there to take its place.