What a great experience I had in my first five days on the COS Hanford Campus. On Monday, October 17, I reported to the Hanford Education Center as the new Director, Police Academy and Training Program. What is that you might ask? Well, I'm the guy who gets to manage the Police Academy (yes...the guys and gals who are all dressed the same and seem to be running everywhere they go). I also oversee a number of advanced officer classes for the local law enforcement community and a Regional Law Enforcement Skills Center. A full-time job keeping it all together, and that is where my week began.
Driving onto the campus on Monday, my first full work day, I was excited about my assignment because Hanford is my hometown. I graduated from Hanford High School, but have not lived in Hanford for 30 years. It was like coming home. As I pulled into the circle drive, I could not help but be struck by the beauty of our campus. I have been to the campus many times since it opened in 2010, but this time I was here to stay. It was almost like seeing the campus for the first time. What a great setting for all of us to work and learn. Of course, as with the first day in any new assignment, there were meetings with my new staff and Dr. Hollabaugh, new faces to meet, an office to organize and the day was quickly gone. A good day.
On Tuesday, I got to experience some of what makes the Police Academy fun...the firing range. Our class was at the range for a full day, where they had to qualify with both the shotgun and handgun on a difficult course. I do not know many police officers who don't enjoy range time and our students are not any different. I watched as one after another took their turn running the course and counting their targets. They had lots of practice before their qualifying runs. Another good day.
On Wednesday, we began a Perishable Skills training for local police officers. Over the next two days, officers got to use our police vehicle driving simulators (Nintendo gone wild), Force Options equipment (Shoot or Don't Shoot), and they practiced pursuit driving on the outdoor skid pad. Our state-of-the-art technology allows officers to experience real life situations in the classroom, which better prepares them for their work. While the training is very serious, I saw lots of smiles throughout the days. The good days just kept on coming.
Before I knew it, it was Friday and my first week as the Director was almost done. Some time with Dr. Hollabaugh and a welcome visit by Brent Calvin, COS President, brought my day to a close. As I sat in my office late Friday afternoon, looking out at our beautiful campus, I thought about my first five days in Hanford. My quick conclusion...Five good days with many more to come.
See you on Monday!!