Edmonton Police Recruit For A Day

Chris Tse Edmonton Police Recruit Day

I had the privilege of being a part of the Edmonton Police Service’s (EPS) recruitment class for a day to experience some of the extensive training that they bring their candidates through.  This is one of the first times that the EPS has opened up portions of their practices to the public so I jumped at the chance to do it.  This profession is one of the most selfless ones you can get into and it was an honour to get up close and personal with the trainers, canine handlers and some of the recruits.  It takes a minimum of 8 months is required to train a recruit to become an officer at the EPS and upwards of 8 years to work in the canine unit so ultimately it demonstrates the amount of devotion each officer has to their professions.  The training is physically demanding but ultimately the psychological change is truly what is the greatest transformation for most. The EPS is a world leader in policing so if you are at all interested in this profession check out their website http://www.joineps.ca/ for more information.  They are aggressively recruiting and hoping to graduate 180 officers every year!

The day started off with a briefing and then we went straight into the obstacle course.  The thing that was repeatedly drilled into my head was a principle called auditory and sensory occlusion, when the body and the mind with such high intensity that we get tunnel vision and ignore our surroundings and specific event details. At the beginning of the obstacle course we were asked to keep a license plate number in our minds and recall it after the events had happened (I’m pretty sure BAC-552 is not permanently burnt into my brain).  Also, I was asked to recall specific details when I shot the perpetrator. Ultimately police officers are trained to access higher levels of thought in extremely stressful situations while reacting instinctively.  I’m quite sure that if I wasn’t told I was being placed in this situation I probably would have forgotten everything.  Also to note in the video, I have a 15 lbs vest on but recruits usually wear 30 lbs vests and do a more comprehensive course!  The course was physically demanding but that was to be predicted.  Being the only fitness representative there… I kind of felt it was my obligation to tear through the course like a bat out of hell!

http://youtu.be/W8ootMGqqFA

Next was the canine unit.  I’ve always had an image of a rabid blood thirsty dog with a disposition for people’s faces but I was totally wrong.  These canines are trained, obedient and loving.  They are trained to think that their jobs are more like a game of fetch but the frisbee just happens to be a perpetrator. It was amazing watching the interaction between the handlers and their dogs and how the canines are an extension of the person.

http://youtu.be/HxHaUx9UMhI

Oh did I mention I got to shoot guns?!? I don’t have any comment about this but the following: that was unreal!

http://youtu.be/uH9JoLMOuJI

This day pushed me to my limits but it is amazing how running, high intensity interval training, bodybuilding, parkour (all part in parcel of my 2013 and 2014 exercise regimen) were all involved. My mindset has always been that movement is movement: our bodies are meant to experience our surroundings to the fullest and exercise, whatever you do, should enable you to enhance it. We may define ourselves in one practice of sport or exercise but entrenching our movement patterns to any singular theory will ultimately lead to a limitation of our world view and of course injury.

I’m throwing it out there. I’d love to do some more of these types of fitness experiential blogs maybe Edmonton Firefighters is next? I’ll definitely chat about the new fitness pursuits I’ve taken on in the next while too!

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About Chris Tse

I’m a scientist turned owner of Blitz Conditioning, a Fitness Columnist at CBC Radio on Thursdays at 8:20 am, and owner of Tse Social Strategy. Follow me on Twitter or Read my full bio.

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