So remember how I said I was going to be playing with evidence last during my Citizen's Police Academy class?
I was wrong.
I walked into the classroom and instead of a detective, there was the department's training sergeant, ready to launch into a class about use of force.
That's right kids, I got to play with guns and tasers last night.
After listening to the sergeant talk about when it's appropriate to use different kinds of force, including voices, hands, things like pepper spray and the baton, taser and gun, we got to head down to the shooting range for our chance to practice with firearms.
First, we got a quick lesson on the proper way to hold the 9-mm gun and the kind of stance we should have when we're getting ready to fire our weapon. Since the officers know me, it seems like they had no problem using me as the "example," mostly to show my fellow classmates what not to do.
Afterwards, we got our chance to try to take down the Bad Guy. We donned some safety glasses and stood about 6 feet away from our target. When the instructor yelled "GUN!" we shot. Considering I'm awful at games that require decent aim, I was worried. And I got more worried when I was the last person to go and the sergeant called the rest of my classmates in to watch me. But I have to admit, I was proud of how I did. Of the 6 rounds I fired, 4 of them hit the Bad Guy in the zone we were aiming for - we were going for the area where the central nervous system is located, think from the forehead to the throat, in the middle of the face. Needless to say, the Bad Guy would have been dead if I was using real bullets (we were using paintball-like bullets, which PDs use during training exercises).
Now, I'm not a big gun person. I mean, remember a few weeks ago? When I held a gun in my hands for the first time? So it's not like I'm going to go around shooting people up now, because honestly, while shooting the gun and hitting the Bad Guy did give me a bit of an adrenaline rush, it's not something that I want to do all the time. But I think something that's good for me to know.
After the guns, we went back into the classroom and it was time for the taser. I'd watched other people get tased before and even though officers told me it didn't hurt once it was all over, it still looked quite painful. But I signed my name by the X and volunteered to get shocked.
Let me tell you, that 1.2 seconds that I was being tased? It felt like forever! It's a hard feeling to describe. My body kind of clenched up and I couldn't move, even if I wanted to. One guy in my class described it as feeling like a million little needles were being shoved repeatedly into your body really quick. But when it was done? I felt fine. There was a little red spot where the probes had been taped to my body and it kind of felt like someone had hit me right on the shoulder blade, but otherwise I felt fine.
And apparently I didn't even get a good tasing. At least that's what the sergeant said. But you know what? It was a decent enough tasing for me to know that I don't want to get tased for real by officers, because 1.2 seconds was long enough for me.
All in all, it was an exciting night. I mean seriously, how many people can answer "I got tased and shot a gun," when they're asked what they did on a Wednesday night in mid-September.