Look I get it ok. The Academy is a stressful time, and when you’re stressed you make mistakes. I get that. Undoubtedly, the Academy will initially feel like one of the biggest mistakes you’ve made in your life, albeit temporarily.
I say temporarily, because after all of the crap, mind games, and smoke sessions on God’s green Earth, nothing can compare to the feeling of walking across that stage and receiving your
Badge in front of friends and family.
But before that, a whole lot of not that feeling is waiting for you.
Distracted... Back on topic.
Don’t be a Cadet Potato.
Who, or better yet, what is a Cadet Potato you may ask? Simply stated?
A cadet who, over the span of 6-8 months, somehow managed to be singlehandedly responsible for our class’s demise. Cadet Potatoes don’t learn from past mistakes, they’re impervious to common sense and good judgement, and are somewhat akin to a three legged dog with one eye. In the sense that you want to put them down out of necessity, but also kind of want to take care of them too.
You will have a Cadet Potato in your Academy class, and if you can’t spot him/her after about 2-3 weeks; IT’S YOU AND YOU’RE AN ASS.
Our Cadet Potato was one hell of a tuberous crop. Truly, one of a kind.
Try first weekend of the Academy; Potato and his gang of garden vegetables decided to patronize a local Starbucks establishment, under the ruse of a study group. Tests every Monday in the Academy, get used to that. Anyways, Potato and his cabbage patch gang take notice of an unsuspecting lady in the line. This lady, was said to have been on the healthy side of the scale, somewhere near plump. Apparently to the utter delight of Potato and the little spuds.
They cracked jokes on her, she overheard. She also, being smarter than a Potato, observed their study binders to be on the table. The same study binders which had their Department badge numbers on them. Unbeknownst to them this lady turned out to be like the cousin of a Sgt at the Department. She took pictures of them, and told her Sgt relative about their conduct.
How do you think our Monday morning went? Pro Tip # if you show up to the Academy in the morning, and your whole chain of command is there; to include your executive staff, and they’re smirking. You and your class are royally F@#$’d. We got the business; but I thought that it would truly be the end of ole spudnik.
But remember, Potatoes are impervious to learning from their mistakes. What they have mastered instead is the ability to do the literal exact opposite of what is required. And they do it with a grace and poise that would put a ballet dancer to shame.
I recall another epic smoke session on behalf of our resident ground vegetable. One easily avoided if he had but only listened to not only the IC’s instructions, but the Cadet Policy manual as well. What did Potato do you may ask? Well…He left his duty belt in plain sight on the seat of his vehicle, and had said vehicle broken into, losing his Police issued equipment.
That face you’re making right now, yeah, that’s how we all felt.
You can’t make this stuff up, I’m telling you.
Long story short, again we got the business on behalf of Mr. Potato, and it sucked. Smh, many more stories of this guy, put I think you get the just of it.
Something to remember as you embark on your Law Enforcement journey; your reputation is everything in this job, and it begins day one. Don’t be a Cadet Potato, for everyone’s sake.
As always this post is sponsored by the “Rookie Handbook: A quick reference guide to calls for service”. It was written by Cops for Cops, its quick, to the point, and has helped numerous Cadets Graduate, and many a Rookie make it off FTO.