WOW! Once again an extremely interesting class. Oh, and the food they serve is fantastic, too.
Let’s see, first of all, we were instructed in traffic stops – what to do, what not to do, etc. We heard some funny stories about some of the stops the officers had made. When you pull someone over, it’s proper procedure to line your patrol vehicle a little to the left of the car you’ve stopped. I know everyone thinks it’s so the officers can see what the driver of the stopped car is doing and while that’s a concern, it’s actually to keep drunks from hitting you as you’re outside your vehicle. Even police officers aren’t safe from the drunks on the road!
The proper procedure if you’re the vehicle being stopped, is to sit with your hands on the steering wheel until the officer comes up beside your vehicle. When the officer is next to your window, then you can take your hands off the wheel and roll down your window. Be polite and do exactly as you’re asked to do and you may be lucky and only get a warning.
Whatever you do, don’t reach over and open your glove compartment to get something. Especially when the officer is yelling for you to put your hands on the wheel and draws his weapon. Don’t continue to reach into the glove compartment where your own gun is in plain sight of the officer and take out your badge to show him, even if you are an out-of-state policeman who’s had way too much to drink in the first place! And a badge won’t help you out of a situation like that. You lose your job anyway.
Next, it was time to get into the policeman’s vehicle to see all the instruments available and what they do upon stopping someone. It looks like the cockpit of a 747. First they run your plates. Doesn’t matter what state or even country you’re from, they can see if you have warrants or unpaid tickets, etc. before they ever leave their vehicle. A good thing for you and the officer both is that the entire stop is recorded via audio and video.
Each of us in the class had our own vehicle plates run as we sat in the patrol car. The moral of that story is, if you have an outstanding warrant, run someone else’s plates. I’m not sure what the outcome of that situation was. I’ll wait to see if the person shows up next week or if we see them in jail when we do our jail tour!
K-9s were next. This was really fascinating. These dogs are bought from other countries. The first question was why? Why not buy them from an American breeder? Seems the AKC has bred out the aggressiveness in American dogs so they must look for them elsewhere.
Why do they use German Shepherds? Because they’re in the middle. By that I mean, at one end of the spectrum you have Labs and Bloodhounds who extremely intelligent noses but aren’t as aggressive. On the other end, you have the vicious dogs like Pit Bulls who are aggressive but whose noses are less intelligent. German Shepherds are in the middle.
We were treated to two different dogs. For the first dog, drugs were hidden in a desk drawer in an office. He was brought into the room and he immediately began to search and sniff. Didn’t take him long until he sat down in front of the desk drawer and looked at his master.
After the office scenario, he was taken outside to a vehicle where more drugs had been planted. He made a trip completely around the vehicle and came back to the driver’s side door. He could smell the drugs (in a plastic bag) inside the door with the door closed and the windows rolled up. Once he again he sat to tell his master what he’d found.
His third scenario consisted of drugs being carried by a perpetrator (an officer in this case) through a field and dropped in the field. Doggie found them by following the scent to where the drugs were located.
Second doggie was used at the vehicle with the drugs in the driver’s side door. This dog was not trained to sit. He made a trip around the vehicle and once he had located the drugs, he began clawing and digging on the vehicle to get inside where he knew the drugs were.
After the drug scene scenarios, came the attack portion of the demonstration. One lesson here – don’t run from the dog, you’ll never make it and you’ll suffer less damage if you just lay down, cover your head and wait for somebody to pull him off you. Seriously, folks.
One officer put on an arm guard to demonstrate. He was the “villain” in the get away car. He drove his car a little ways, then jumped out and started running across an open grassy area. The policeman pulled his vehicle behind the villain’s car and opened the dog’s door. The dog was on the “villain” within seconds and it never let go. Our “villain” tried hard to get away, even kicking and hitting on the dog. It never turned loose. If the “villain” had not had the arm guard on, his arm would have been severely damaged.
The moral of this story is don’t mess with these dogs. They’re the ones who’ll live to tell about it!