JD's academy class has started S.C.A.T. training (Subject Control and Arrest Techniques). Much like the nights I've helped quiz him for written tests, I'm helping him practice his arrest and cuffing techniques. There's a lot more to it than slapping cuffs on someone and calling it a day. They have to ensure the suspect is standing in a way that won't allow them to escape or fight back, while being prepared to cuff quickly and fight back themselves. I can now tell you from personal experience that getting arrested isn't fun. It's awkward, intimidating, and the cuffs actually kind of hurt (we even cut up old socks to protect my wrists since he had to take them on and off so many times).
The handcuffing procedures are on not-so-physically-demanding end of the spectrum when it comes to S.C.A.T. On Friday, JD is getting pepper sprayed, which he is understandably dreading. They do this so that the recruits fully understand what they're putting someone through before they choose to use their pepper spray on someone, which makes sense, but doesn't make it fun. He's been told that they will feel the pepper spray react more than just when they're initially sprayed- including when they shower later. I feel really bad for him- all of them really- but am not dreading that as much as the infamous "redman," which is when their instructor dresses up in one of those big, full body, foam suits and essentially beats the crap outta them. And no, the recruits don't get any protective gear.
This is another "I understand the point but it doesn't make it suck any less" moment. Police officers have to be prepared to fight for their life, no matter the circumstances they're faced with, which is why their training is so intense. Of course the instructors don't WANT to hurt them, but they don't want to go easy on them either, so injuries do happen. Apparently, the last academy class saw several broken bones, including broken ribs, and one guy was injured so badly that he wasn't able to complete the academy and had to start over with the next class. Given JD's history of injuries, I have a bad feeling that I will be one of the lucky spouses receiving a call that my recruit is in the hospital.
I have 3 major fears. 1. He will get injured. 2. He will get injured so badly that he will have to start the academy over again (the second time around would be a little easier, I'm sure, but I really miss my husband and would hate losing an extra 2 months of our marriage to the academy). 3. He will get injured so badly (say, if they go for his bad knee) that he can't be a police officer at all. As much as starting the academy over would suck, I know how upsetting it would be if he had to give up his dream completely- especially at this point.
So, for the next few weeks, I will consider no news good news, and my first question when he calls me at the end of the day will be, "Are you in one piece?" I will hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and be thankful of every day that brings us closer to the end :)