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Home 63rd Maine State Police Training Troop

63rd Maine State Police Training Troop

Week Five

Week five started with more important classroom instruction. This time, we had some of the most knowledgeable traffic instructors come in to teach us about motor vehicle law. We all learned many new things, even those of us who have patrolled before. It was hard not to be impressed when each of the Troopers could recite statute and violations off the top of their heads; it definitely inspired each of us to work hard, as we too want to be as knowledgeable one day.

After our motor vehicle law classroom instruction, we had an awesome experience awaiting us. Three more experienced Troopers came to the academy, and each of us got to ride along with one of them. We rode along for one night, and the next afternoon. Some of us had never ridden with a Trooper before, some of us have, but each of us took a lot away from the opportunity. While riding with the Troopers, we looked for motor vehicle violations (both moving violations and vehicle defects) and decided what vehicles should be pulled over. We got to observe how the Troopers made their approach to the vehicle, interacted with operators, and discussed enforcement options. After each block of ride alongs, we debriefed as a group. There were many common themes and observations. Those of us who've worked the road before, noticed a lot more geographic freedom than we were used to, as we had either patrolled a small town or a county. During our ride alongs, we crossed many county lines, and even patrolled the interstate. We observed how professional the Troopers were, and treated all operators with fairness, compassion and respect. Even when it came time to issue a citation, we all noticed how operators thanked the Troopers. We asked many questions, as a lot of what we saw seemed very new to us. Through asking many questions we gained a wealth of knowledge. We felt even more prepared, and impatient to hit the road on our own.

Wednesday morning after breakfast, we were expecting to hit the classroom again. To our surprise, Trooper Willette gave the Troop Leader the keys to the van. We were told we had ten minutes to load it up with the food from the kitchen, grab our flashlights, traffic vests, ear and eye protection, and gun cleaning kits. We scrambled to get ready, not even having the time to think of what was coming next. Then we were issued our firearms (new HK 45's), and told to load into the van and drive to the Augusta firearms range. The excitement was palpable, as we all knew we were in for some intense training.

At the range we were met by three top-notch firearms instructors, who told us over the next three days, they would be building our skills from the bottom-up. We started with the basics, doing a few qualifications, practicing proper stance and positioning, sight alignment, and most importantly, trigger control. We were issued bushmaster rifles, and started to get familiar with them, again starting with the basics. We shot from sun up to sun down, repeating drills over and over again. Building on those basics we moved to advanced drills, shooting at steel, shooting while moving, and shooting greater distances. With our new abilities, we were put to the test. We shot while under stress, moving, and wearing gas masks. We had to be quick, yet not sacrifice accuracy. These difficult drills built up confidence in our newly acquired abilities. It was very noticeable how much we improved in such a short amount of time, thanks to incredible instructors, and repetitive practice.

This week was an incredibly fast-paced week, and we learned a lot of critical skills. With only three weeks left in this training program, we were assured there is still much more intense training to come. The next three weeks will no doubt be a challenge, as there will be a lot of difficult training crammed into such a short amount of time… But this Troop can handle anything.

Week 5 Photo Gallery