Last week I wrote about the ‘Legacy of the Jersey’. Yesterday I was stunned to see a news story about a law enforcement training academy showing the trainers using a rubber chicken as part of recruit training.
I am embarrassed when I watch this video. Embarrassed for the recruits, for the University, for the trainers, for the academy and for the profession. I am also bewildered. I am bewildered as to how an educational institution, an academy director, instructional designers or any of the trainers can justify this as type of activity as quality law enforcement training. The explanation in the story was, “The test is a bit of fun to challenge a cadet’s “demeanor, focus, and sense of humor.” It appears to be fun for the instructors running the drill, but I fail to see how the activity in any way teaches professional demeanor, focus or sense of humor. There is no context to the activity, which appears to simply be an opportunity to haze the recruits.
What is the message about the profession that is being sent to the recruits and to the public who watch this video? At a time where law enforcement is continually in the spotlight and we are being questioned constantly about our training and our professionalism this only serves to provide fuel to the critics.
As a law enforcement trainer you are in a key leadership and influence position in your agency, and in the profession. Please take this responsibility seriously.
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