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Recruit School #11: Week 18

Nov. 6-10, 2022

Author: CO recruit writer

To kick off Monday, Conservation Officer Kyle Bucholtz led us on a run for physical training. Afterwards, Dominique Clemente, supervisor for the Department of Natural Resouces’ Report All Poaching hotline, instructed training about the Law Enforcement Information Network. LEIN is the statewide, computerized information system for law enforcement.

In the afternoon, David Greydanus, retired Michigan State Police inspector, led a legal review for our upcoming cumulative law exam. Our afternoon lessons concluded with traffic direction and control. This is important so conservation officers can safely manage and reroute traffic in case of an accident or crime scene. In the evening, we studied for our cumulative legal exam and had meetings with our assigned mentor. Each recruit has been paired with a conservation officer in the field who is not associated with the academy. The mentor is available to the recruit to answer questions and provide additional support throughout the process of the academy.

Tuesday, physical training was spent in the tank. Our morning lessons were led by Dr. Michael Comer, police psychologist for DNR Law Enforcement, in a class about interpersonal skills. We learned how to effectively communicate, which is a very important tool for conservation officers to utilize. We then applied the communication techniques in scenarios we could come across as conservation officers.

Recruits load ammunition into magazines for their firearms at an indoor shooting range

Photo caption: Recruits load ammunition into magazines for their firearms.

Tuesday afternoon began with a class about the basics of civil law. We then transitioned into public speaking, where each recruit gave a short speech about a topic that interests us. After dinner chow, we took our final comprehensive legal exam. This exam is a big hurdle for the class, covering everything Greydanus has taught us so far throughout the academy. We also took our LEIN exam following the legal cumulative.

Recruits practice shooting at an indoor shooting range while firearm instructors provide coaching

Photo caption: Recruits practice shooting at the indoor Michigan State Police Training Academy shooting range while firearm Instructors provide coaching. 

Wednesday was a big day. It started with physical training, doing weight circuits around the academy building. We then began handgun firearms training in the Michigan State Police shooting range, building up to our looming Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards qualification course. Firearms occupied the remainder of the day.

A recruit shooting at an indoor range targets

Photo caption: Recruits shoot at targets, practicing close distance shooting.

Before we were dismissed for chow that evening, we were told that we would be eating dinner off campus. We loaded into our cars and were surprised when we were told to report to Lansing Uniform for our Class A and C uniform fittings. We will be wearing our Class A uniforms on graduation day. It was a surreal experience putting on the dress uniform for the first time after all our hard work throughout the academy. We celebrated with a pizza dinner at Lansing Uniform. When we returned from our uniform fitting, we were told to report to the classroom for atlas training. All our instructors were in the room and once we were seated, we received our county assignments. Today was what we have all been looking forward to and it was an amazing feeling to see all my classmates receive their county assignments and the excitement from the instructors. Today is a day I will remember for the rest of my career as a conservation officer.

Recruits shooting at indoor targets in the dark, holding flashlights overhead with their left arms

Photo caption: Recruits stand in front of their targets at the indoor Michigan State Police Training Academy shooting range. Practicing shooting in low light situations, they hold a flashlight overhead in their left hand, and their sidearm in their right hand.

Thursday morning began with a 5-mile run on the drive track lead by Sgt. Jason King, our recruit school commander. We then continued firearms training that we started Wednesday, beginning with more MCOLES qualification prep and then qualifying with our back up sidearm. In the afternoon, we shot more, revisiting low light shooting and more MCOLES qualification practice. We also qualified in some stages of the actual qualification course. Overall, the week went really well for the class. We are beginning to hit our stride as a class and are taking the remaining weeks of the academy one at a time so we’re certain not to lose focus on our goal.

Recruits holding flashlights while shooting hand guns at indoor targets in the dark

Photo caption: Recruits practice shooting in lowlight situations while holding a flashlight.

Read Week 19.