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Home 63rd Maine State Police Training Troop
63rd Maine State Police Training Troop
Week six was a long and challenging week for the 63RD Recruit Training Troop. Monday morning was one of the hottest days outside that we've had yet, and rushing through everything we had to do before our exam became even more difficult. After our exam, we dove right into more classroom instruction. We had the three very experienced and knowledgeable instructors teach us about high risk traffic stops. The troop was taught about the dangers posed, how to safely handle and control the situation, and the many tactics to implement. After learning how to execute a high risk traffic stop, we practiced making them for hours. We used Emergency Vehicle Operator Course (EVOC) cars out in one of the parking lots and ran through many scenarios, being tested on how we could control a potentially dangerous situation. After numerous scenarios and discussions of what we did well and things we needed to adjust, the whole troop felt much more confident in our ability to safely carry out a high risk traffic stop.
Tuesday started with an entertaining breakfast. To everyone's surprise, the troop has a recruit with great musical talent. Recruit York brought his acoustic guitar in, and played a song for us. He played a Johnny Cash song, and did it some serious justice. His guitar and singing were beyond what anyone of us could have pictured, and it was hard to hold back our smiles and applause. After Recruit York's musical performance, it was off to the classroom for instruction. We spent all day in the classroom, however, there was not one moment that wasn't captivating. Lt. Scott came in to teach us about high speed pursuits, which of course, kept the attention of the troop very easily. We went over policies regarding high speed pursuits, and discussed scenarios when they are appropriate and others when they should not be used. The troop learned how one must evaluate and weigh the risks of pursuit, and if those risks don't outweigh the risk of not pursing a subject, it's not worth putting self and others in harm's way. Lt. Scott showed us many videos of pursuits, and we analyzed what we saw. In our discussion there were comments made about how important driving skills are in regards to high speed pursuits, and how we would be given time to practice such skills. Hearing this, sparked even more anticipation, as we were then under the impression that we would be headed to EVOC sometime before graduation. Little did we know we would be given that opportunity sooner than we thought.
The next morning after breakfast, again we were told to gather our flashlights, traffic vests, and sunglasses. This time, the troop leader was told we would be taking the EVOC cars to the Norridgewock Airport. It was difficult to curb our enthusiasm, as we gathered everything we needed and packed into the EVOC cars. We drove out to the airport and were met by a team of incredible instructors. Each instructor had a long list of service, experience, and training. They were very knowledgeable and model drivers, demonstrating how to make the car perform to its maximum potential. We were very lucky to have so many instructors to help us, as the ratio was one-to-one. We each had our own EVOC car to use and an instructor in the passenger seat as we went through various exercises. We drove from morning till after dark, pushing the EVOC vehicles to give us every ounce of performance we could get out of them. The course included drills like the serpentine, collision avoidance and evasive maneuvers, turning on a violator, and advanced to high speed pursuits, high speed cornering, and nighttime pursuits. In just two days, the troop learned more than we could have hoped to know, and it was very noticeable how much our skills had improved.
Our week ended with more valuable classroom instruction. We were met by Trooper Stedman who talked to us about property crimes, and how they are a significant portion of crimes we will be dealing with. Trooper Stedman helped us understand how we can approach these crimes, and how we can better assist the public.
Week six was one more long and difficult week down for the 63RD Recruit Training Troop. With only two weeks left, there is much more to cover. The train is close to the station, but the station just so happens to be up one incredibly steep hill, and the train weighs ten tons... and the tracks are rusted. There will be no coasting these next two weeks; rest assured, we will be tired, we will be sore, challenged, and stressed…. And thank God for that, for we wouldn't want it any other way.
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