DENVER -- After five long, grueling months the recruits in the Denver Police Academy are just one month away from graduation. They will be the first new officers to hit the streets in Denver in five years.
From day one of the police academy, the instructors set the tone. Sgt. Kevin Bray said, “We just try to get on them right away just to get them used to that anxiety and working under pressure. They instill discipline in the recruits, they share their own experiences, and they pass on knowledge and vital skills.
And Denver has an accomplished group of instructors.
Technician Darren McGinty has been a trainer for eight years. He said, “I always say training is best thing I’ve done on this job. I mean I’ve done a lot of really cool things.”
He teaches the recruits the rules of the road. Technician McGinty said, “You can’t arrest people if you can’t get there.” And he knows they will someday apply what he teaches them. “It’s really invigorating and you have a recruit and you’re out on a call and he uses the exact technique that you taught him.”
Technician Aaron Brill teaches cross-fit and arrest control techniques. He said, “Seeing the eagerness in their faces and their attitudes kind of rekindles it in me. Makes me wanna' go out and I wanna' go out and catch a criminal now... ah that’s right... I just play a cop at the academy now. I'm not doing it on the street. Makes you do want to go do it, keeps you excited about it.” He also shows his humorous side in the classroom.
The recruits know their instructors are giving them every opportunity to succeed, not just here in class, passing tests and meeting physical requirements, but also when they eventually become officers. Recruit Alexis Aranda said, “I’ve been really impressed with how dedicated the instructors are, they help us out a lot.”
Sgt. Leila Destaffany oversees the building searches. She’s been on the force for eight-and-a-half years. She wants to teach these recruits what she’s learned along the way. Destaffany said, “It’s a great opportunity to give them a chance to be safe when they go out on the streets, go home to their families every night. And there’s nothing more important than that."
Graduation is October 23. But will all the recruits make it that far? Watch Fox31 Denver every Tuesday at 9 p.m. for updates and exclusive video and interviews from the first Denver Police Academy in five years.AlertMe