Denver police recruits learn to expect the unexpected

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DENVER -- Police officers have no idea what they will be dealing with on a daily basis. That is why recruits at the Denver Police Academy learn that no call is routine.

They are now 17 weeks into their 26 week academy. And it is time to put what they’ve learned in the classroom to the test.

We were invited to watch their scenario training, where they went through four different simulated calls, just like the calls police officers get every day: A suspicious person hanging out near a school, a driver that ran a stop sign, and a civil dispute where the parties are yelling at each other.

It is a chance for the recruits to apply everything they’ve learned at the academy so far, from arrest control techniques to verbal commands to just filling out paperwork.

Sgt. Kevin Bray, a lead instructor at the academy said, “at this stage in their training, we`re trying to establish command presence, getting that control of the scene, controlling what the parties need to do, making proper decisions what to do on the call.”

It is all done under the watchful eye of the academy staff, which sometimes makes the recruits nervous.

Recruit Jose Ramirez said, “not only have to deal with suspect, but you to deal with everyone else around you. have a lot of eyes on you, trying to critique you to teach you the best way to do things.”

"It`s helpful to me. It helps me understand what I`m doing wrong and how I can get better," recruit Alexis Aranda said.

They say practice makes perfect. This is the first DPD Academy in five years.

The recruits are set to graduate in October, if they pass all their tests and meet all the requirements.