Week 10

Back to Basics: A 17-year law enforcement veteran goes back to basic training

April 15, 2022

Knees aren’t supposed to bend that way.

Basic Academy Class 52-22 lined up at the Law Enforcement Training Academy.

I’ll get to that shortly, but first, we had our fourth written test on Monday and it went well. We learned the material in class more than a month ago, so we had to pull out our notes and PowerPoints and study very hard. Only five more tests to go! June 1 is graduation day, and I know our class is happy to be progressing closer to that date.

This week is our second week of Defensive Tactics (DTs) and we started off the week with grappling. For those non-wrestlers out there, grappling involves ground fighting defensively and offensively. We spent most of our day on the mats learning and rehearsing a lot of ground fighting tactics. We did an exercise toward the end of the day where we rotated through four stations – as one person finished the move and got away from the “suspect”, new partners immediately jumped in to continue the progression of the drill. The only rest we got was in between stations. These fight drills take everything we have to give. We were exhausted and soaked with sweat by the end of the day.

On Tuesday, we came in to start our DT scenario day. Our scenarios started out using our basic DT skills and steadily increased in intensity and complexity. I had successfully completed three scenarios and was on my last one of the day when things changed for the worst.

Basic Academy DTs
Recruits grappling during Defensive Tactics drills.

I was fighting a role player “inmate” on the floor, using the tactics I was taught to get him off of me, when his weight went down on my lower leg and we heard a loud snap.

My day ended with a trip to the orthopedic doctor, and the news was not what I’d hoped for. I have a torn ligament and likely a fracture to the front of my knee and have been placed on light duty. This is an unfortunate possibility we face participating in a law enforcement academy. Injuries happen, and this type of injury happens all the time to athletes, not just recruits. We just pray that – if we get hurt – it doesn’t cause us to be “recycled” into the next academy.

Unfortunately for me, I am getting recycled, which means that after my injury is fully healed and I return to full duty, I will pick up where I left off in the next academy being held this fall and finish my certifications. This injury will sideline me for a while and put a halt to my running for a bit. I will get an MRI soon to determine the full scope of my injury.

Recruit Hobbs injury
Deputy Recruit Margie Hobbs working on the Back to Basics blog after her knee injury.

Until then, I will be continuing this blog and follow the last few weeks of training with my class. I can’t be out on the mats with them doing DTs, but I can help cheer them on! My class is working harder than ever and I don’t want to miss it. Thank you for sticking with us and continuing to follow Back to Basics. I appreciate all of your support and I look forward to healing and completing my training.

Photos by VBSO Public Information Officer Toni Guagenti and Deputy Recruit/Public Information Officer Margie Hobbs.