Week Three: Here's Your Gun, Be Careful Out There

Sgt. Gaynor of the River Hills Police Department explained the hiring process today, compared to "back in the day."

Week Three began at the River Hills Police Department.

Sgt. Michael Gaynor began with a tour of the facility, and an explanation on some key differences in training today, compared to the past.

When the police academy started, it was who you knew. You needed a job, knew a local chief, and he'd say, "Here's your gun, good luck." Today, it's a 10- or 12-week course, hours of on-the-job training and reports and testing."

During our history lesson, we also learned that officers used to live upstairs, above the police department when the facility was shared between the police and fire departments.

The Equipment

Along with our tour, we got to check out some of the equipment that even a smaller police department like River Hills carries, including riot gear.

Officers carry assault rifles along with Vietnam-era M16s. Both are mounted in between the front driver and passenger seat. There's also an additional rifle in the trunk. Along with the rifle, the trunk houses a riot shield. This shield won't withstand a shot from a rifle, but can take most smaller gun fire.

And then there are teddy bears.

Officers in most of the North Shore departments carry teddy bears for children. Gaynor explained that too often children are forgotten. Officers show up for a domestic abuse situation or a car accident, and if there are children involved, they can be very scared. He said a teddy bear can make a world of difference in calming that child down.

Finally, we were able to listen to a few funny police stories, including Gaynor's wrestling match with a snapping turtle. A child's hockey stick was useful in removing that behemoth.

Next week, we head back to the for use of force training.

Alex Tarr May 21, 2011 at 12:30 PM
Hiring process If you child wants to be ever hired by police or FBI, get him off Facebook now. Every post will be investigated. A picture of "smoking pot" is sufficient evidence to disqualify you. Field Training. Police academy graduate is not ready yet for service (as usual). Even sworn officer from one department might have hard time in another. For one, their practices might be very different. For two, each department have different equipment, 10-codes, each town has different ordinances, geography and problems. General discussion 1) If you see cops with drawn guns, get out of the way. Don't try to hug them, or rush to them as "one of them good guys", don't follow them from behind to watch. For one - cops don't know that you're good guy, but are ready to shoot; for two - bad guys want to shoot cops too and you don't want to be in a way either. 2) It's not legal to shoot someone over any property (big surprise, huh!). 3) One can ask local cops to shoot coyotes or animals. (What I cannot shoot damn squirrels in my own backyard? Apparently not in Fox Point. I still wonder if it is legal or not to shoot them with an air rifle though...)
Alex Tarr May 21, 2011 at 12:30 PM
Quotes (it was a boring class but the speaker was a lot of fun to listen): 4) "When I'm off duty, I carry concealed firearm thanks to WI legislature giving me an exception to the Concealed carry ban. But when I am off-duty, I carry it to defend myself and my family and not general public. ... And other gun owners who aren't cops should be doing same too - minding their own business when packing". 5) "We don't need no holding cells. We can secure anyone for hours in our conference rooms at the back of the building" 6) "Everything is recorded. I know it and play it to the camera. It's fun when defence attorney and a judge ask me how I couldn't control that tiny 20yrs old female and I play the video of her fighting like a wild animal, with steel heels kicking and throwing stuff all around and they have to agree with me".


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