Well, I'm through. For the 30th time, I have passed my retainer.
Yeah,I've been a cop for 37 years, but until 1984, cops didn't require formal training, except the once yearly firearms qualifications. Ronnie Reagan, in 1984, got a law passed that required all active police officers to receive regular training, and for state and local police agencies to establish training academies for both street cops and correctional officers. The state and local governments didn't figure out all the "whats and wherefores" until later, and it wasn't until about 1987 that I went to my first, formal Defensive Tactics training. At that time, it was a 40-hour course and every officer had to go through it and receive certification.
Hell, by that time I had been a street cop for seven years. For many years, there was some question if all of us veteran cops would have to be sent to a training academy to receive formal certification that we could do the joob we'd been doing for many years. The state POST Council in Louisiana made some very strict rules that dealt with the process, and if we could prove that in the course of those years we had received training equivalent to going through an academy, we would be "grandfathered" and be "recognized" as police officers.
One of the smartest things that I ever did was to ask the Louisiana POST Council to give me a certificate recognizing me as a "grandfathered" officer. They did so, and that certificate became a past of the records I kept in my personal files. That little certificate has saved me a lot of heartburn over the years. As long as I keep my training current, I'm golden. The original idea was that eventually all of us old dinosaurs would retire and fade gracefully away, but so far, several of us are still hanging on.
But, looking around the training area today, I recognize that I am a rara avis, one of the rare birds that is still hanging on. It's been a long time since I first learned how an arm-bar takedown is performed, and today I executed one, if not perfectly, then well enough to pass the test. Along with the various wrist locks, leg sweeps, baton techniques, kicks and punches that are not only effective, but are designed to keep the agency out of court and the individual officer from being sued.
I woke up sore this morning, and may have an Aleve moment tomorrow, but for another year, I am good to go. Re-trainer is done and in the record books.