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Home 63rd Maine State Police Training Troop
63rd Maine State Police Training Troop
When the troop arrived at the academy this week, we had a lot more to unload than usual. This week, we had to bring food for the entire week, to prepare all meals on our own. At first we feared the worst, as we had grown accustomed to the great meals prepared by the kitchen staff, and did not have a whole lot of confidence as chefs. With proper planning, thrifty shopping, and using some of the logistics training we had received, we made it happen. We designated someone to plan the meals, one person to do the shopping, and designated a head cook. Meal times went off without a hitch, and no one was left hungry (although some may have grown weary of potato salad).
For two days we received instruction on interview and interrogation. As Major Wright had urged the week before, the investigation of criminal activity is a critical part of the State Police's mission, and the public expects that we solve cases. We recognize that there are two types of evidence: physical and testimonial. Just as DNA from a crime scene is important, a confession from a perpetrator can be equally valuable. Interview and interrogation techniques are now more tools for us utilize in the criminal investigation process.
To start off our instruction on OUI, we were introduced to the story of Jacqueline Saburido. On September 19, 1999, Jacqueline was a passenger in a vehicle struck by a drunk driver. Two of her friends in the vehicle were killed, one survived. Jacqueline also survived, however, is forever scarred for life. Over 60% of her body was mangled by flames in the crash. Every day is a struggle for her; she has no hands, the limited use of one eye, and is almost entirely dependent on her father. The worst part, the drunk driver was unscathed in the crash. The story of this horrible crash inspired us to ensure we took the instruction to come very seriously, as we knew one day we could prevent such a tragedy. We studied case law, statutes, detection, and standard field sobriety tests. We practiced field sobriety tests in any spare minute we had. One night the troop traveled to a local bar to improve our methods of detection, and demonstrate our SFST proficiency. We also received instruction from drug recognition experts, which was incredibly valuable, as alcohol isn't the only intoxicant that can impair a driver. We learned about various classes of drugs, what affects they would have on an operator, and methods to determine what substances an operator may have taken. Before our instruction came to an end, we were reminded of Jacqueline, and how it up to us to stop a similar tragedy from occurring in our state.
The troop had one surprise in store for them; it was called "Taser orientation". We were shown the X26, the Taser issued to the State Police Tactical team, along with many other law enforcement agencies in Maine. The troop was instructed how the Taser is used, what the effects of neuromuscular incapacitation include, and other issues surrounding its deployment. Then, we were asked who would like to volunteer to be hit by the Taser. Every recruits hand went up. When the release forms were put on the table, they were quickly picked up and signed. There was no hesitation. Recruit after recruit stood up, took a deep breath in, then out, and was held under their arms by the brother recruits. The five second "ride" felt like five minutes as the shock went through our bodies, and brought us to the floor.
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