We’re hours away from the start of the 2013 Writers’ Police Academy. It’s such an exciting and action-packed event that some people like Chris P. (above left) stand in line for up to a year, skipping sleep and meals, hoping to grab one of the coveted slots. Probably a wise move since we sold out in just under six days this year. Special events, such as FATS, were scooped up the first day.
Speaking of the firearms simulation training…it’s a very serious activity, where WPA recruits are faced with real-time shoot/don’t shoot scenarios. It’s intensive, heart-pounding, and to some, quite emotional. Yes, some experience hand tremors, stress-induced perspiration, and a few have even shed tears. And then there are those who never, ever crack under the pressure.
The staff of the WPA have the unique opportunity to observe personal things about our recruits, such as a look at how well they function behind the wheel of emergency vehicles.
Some do really well under pressure, expertly steering around obstacles, such as cars, trucks, and pedestrians. Others (I wont mention any names…Lee Child) should not be permitted to operate any contraption bearing wheels and an engine. Actually, I think I heard a collective sigh of relief from the citizens of North Carolina when Lee handed over control of his vehicle to Marcia Clark, deciding that being a passenger was in the best interest of mankind. Lee Child is a true hero.
WPA workshops are taught by some of the top experts in the country, which sometimes translates into hard-to-come-by seating.
Some WPA recruits grow weary of the race to grab the best seats, therefore, they often resort to extreme means to secure premium spots in the various classrooms.
But, the weapon-wielding seat hunters are sometimes met with violent resistance.
Fortunately, we have a well-trained emergency medical staff on hand at all times.
If things to rise to the point of “out-of-control” we simply bring everyone together and have a sheriff’s captain give them a stern talking-to.
Then we make them promise, under oath, to behave.
The powerful oath always works, returning everyone to their normal “lovey-dovey” state.
Still, some renegade recruits require a one-on-one discussion to prevent them from going rogue.
When all else fails, we turn the matter over to our “enforcers,” who know how to deal with special situations.
In the end, and everyone who’s attended will agree, the WPA is hands-down/hands-on one of the best doggone events anywhere in the country.
For me, it’s the smiles on the faces of our recruits that tells the WPA story, and that’s what makes the effort worthwhile.