“Let’s do this over, Recruit Hayes. Ask me for my ID again.”
“I’d rather not. It’s not a very flattering picture.”
“Well, Ma’am. I still need to see your ID.”
“And I’m still not going to show it to you. I think I’ll have a look around.” I walk away, towards the VIP quarters, where even the recruits are not allowed to enter without permission.
“This looks interesting. VIP quarters. Think I’ll have a look.”
Recruit Hayes follows me, stuttering that he needs to see my ID while I have my run of the place.
I yell, “What are you going to do, Hayes? Let me have the run of the whole building? What are you going to do when someone else decides not to show you their ID? Have you even thought about what you’re going to do when someone doesn’t comply with your request?”
By now, a group of recruits have gathered and they’re standing wooden and mute, like DeNiro’s hospital mates before the miracle.
“What about the rest of you? Hayes asked me for ID and I didn’t give it to him. What are you going to do?”
I walk away again. Another recruit comes after me repeating the request for ID. I still refuse and nobody restrains me.
“People, you better start thinking! What are you going to do -- here at the Academy and out on the streets. You better start thinking about what you’re going to do in every situation, when somebody doesn’t do what you tell them to do.”
I walk away and tell them I’ll see them in class tomorrow at 0800. They stand there like empty, unplugged refrigerators – doors open but no lights on.
I ask Corporal Spitzer to help me provide the recruits with a winning solution the next morning. Corporal Spitzer is big, broad, strong and has the command presence of a Marine (which he formerly was) DI.
I’m 5’1” and my I wouldn’t call myself broad or particularly strong (that’s why I’m nearly always packing). I’m also a female in my 50s. I understand the social and cultural impediments to a male recruit laying hands on me. I also know a dame can kill a cop in the amount of time it takes to complete a Mozambique. The recruits need to understand this.
Corporal Spitzer and I enact the same scenario I’d put the recruit through. Only Corporal Spitzer, in full Alaska State Trooper uniform, takes my left arm when I start to walk away from him. I begin screaming like a banshee in an insane asylum, fall to the ground and start rolling around like I’m being attacked by a swarm of killer bees.
Corporal Spitzer maintains his grip on my arm, “helps” me to my feet, and begins “escorting me out of the building” while telling me in short declarative sentences what he’s doing and why. I try to wrench free several times and yell “colorful” obscenities while the Corporal remains in complete control. The scenario ends as the Corporal walks me to the door.
“What are you going to do, people? You’ve been here five weeks. Start thinking, in every encounter, what you’re going to do if it doesn’t go down as planned.”
“Visualize it. Replace yesterday’s scenario with the one you’ve just seen. Play it out in your mind with you as the officer. Great athletes don’t replay the missed foul shot that lost the game. They go back to the line, shoot a hundred sinkers and go to sleep visualizing the bend of their knees, the graceful pump of their arms, the perfect arc, the sweet sounding swish.”
“In every scenario, in every situation, in every incident, answering every call – think about what might happen and what you’re prepared to do about it.”
I look into the recruits’ eyes and see flickering awakenings.
I develop some nice bruising from my fun time with Corporal Spitzer. I show it to him. He begins apologizing then breaks off to say,
“This is another chance for the recruits to learn.” I take the suggestion he gives me back into the classroom.
The next day I bare my arm and display my vivid bruises to the recruits.