And I thanked them.
Last night I was shot in the face by a detective and hammered upside the head by a captain of police. It was all in good fun, part of the Citizen’s Police Academy, a six-week program put on by our local sheriff’s office.
I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions, but I decided to make one for 2019. This year, I vowed, I would examine any opinion I held which seemed to have little or no basis in fact, and take steps to prove or disprove it.
For example, I am an iPad hater but my wife swears by them, and thinks that I don’t know what I’m talking about. The new iPads are great. Grow up.
So I got an iPad Pro to see for myself, and my longstanding prejudice is proving mostly true. (Astropad and Luna Display may well change my mind, but it’s too early to tell.)
Same for the Apple watch. Hate it. Think it’s stupid. Except everyone I know that has one swears by it. Evangelizes for it. Now I have one, even though I haven’t worn a watch in more than 30 years. Time is not my master.
Again, the jury is out. It’s meh. But I just realized I’m wearing it now, as I type, leading me to wonder.
What do you call a dog that puts on its own leash?
You get the idea. I have strong opinions, mostly about technology, but about other things too. I’m taking action to examine those opinions, to see for myself, to arm myself with facts. With arguments I know are true. Not handed down, but experienced. First-hand.
And that leads me to getting shot in the face with a Simunition round and beaten about the head and neck with a rubber crowbar.
I signed up for the Citizen’s Police Academy program for several reasons:
Because knowing about real police equipment and procedures would help make the details in my writing more informed, and thus more believable.
Because I wanted to get to know the people behind the badges; to learn how they think, what motivates them, what scares them. Again to help my writing by making it more faithful to life. I want my lies to depict truth.
And because I don’t like the police.
Why? Because. I just don’t. It’s one more of those unexamined opinions I hold, partly based on past experience, partly based on the opinions of people I respect, partly based on stuff I see and hear; in the news, on the internet, down at the crack house (kidding).
And my conclusion so far, after three weeks of a six-week course?
I may have been mistaken.
I’m writing this in June, so I’ve had some time to think.
And I’ve concluded that the Citizen’s Police Academy really did change my mind about the police. At least the police in my home town, anyway.
I hate admitting it when I’m wrong.
But in this case it turns out I was, and I’m actually pretty happy about that.