Wednesday, March 12, 2008

WEEK 5: A short but important week … getting stronger in more ways than one

Cody Chandler, a self-funded academy member who drives from Huntsville every day, says he can feel – and see – the effects of the physical training the cadets are enduring at the end of just about every day.

He has taken a whopping five minutes off his 1.5 mile run time and added 17 push-up repetitions in the allotted one minute in just four weeks.

“I’m not as fat,” he joked. “But seriously, I feel a lot better physically. I was just showing off to my wife on the webcam the other day.”

Webcam?

“My wife’s been in
Iraq for almost a year,” he said.

Chandler and his wife, who he met when both were in the Army and stationed in Georgia, were married three years ago and now have a 15-month-old son. He last saw his wife for a week in September. Chandler himself spent time in Iraq and was part of the invasion of Baghdad.

“It’s been difficult,” Chandler solemnly said. “I’m not good with this emotional stuff, but I’m thankful my family has been there to help me. The police academy has been something to keep me busy.”


And the recruit class has been busy. In a week shortened to three days by Spring Break, Dr. Anne Satterfield has been teaching the cadets the basics of mental health issues and how to identify these issues.

They can range from temporary impairment due to drugs and alcohol to long-term mental health issues.

“Officers wear a lot of hats,” said Satterfield, the Director of Employee Assistance Program at Texas A&M and practicing psychologist. “Sometimes they wear the hat of a social worker and care for people with mental issues.”

Satterfield claims that at any given time, 25% of the population has some sort of mental health issue and needs help. She adds that not all are able to get help, especially since the amount of help available is diminishing.

“There’s increased scrutiny on law enforcement officers,” Satterfield added. “They must be able to identify mental health issues and find the place for the person to get assistance. It may not always be jail.”

Interesting tidbits:

The cadets will not have class Thursday and Friday as the entire Texas A&M System is off for Spring Break … Next week, the cadets will begin hands-on training, beginning with a week of learning defensive tactics.

The cadets received their PT t-shirts this morning. The design was done by the students and they will wear the shirts everyday for physical training. The shirt slogan reads, “non nobis, sed aliis,” which means, “not for ourselves, but for others.”

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lucky for the cadets to have a little break before DEFENSIVE TACTICS start!

Anonymous said...

Cody,

Was your entry into the Police Academy a surprise to your wife? Or, did she know that you had applied?

Pretty neat that you have chosen another profession that will give you the opportunity to continue to give back!

Anonymous said...

Great t-shirt slogan! Very appropriate!