Categories
Uncategorized

PCCLEA: Orientation Night

For those who don’t know, I’m enrolled in a self-sponsored peace officer academy run through my local community college: the Pima Community College Law Enforcement Academy (PCCLEA). I’m going to try to blog regularly about it, time permitting. And there may not be much time. The academy is held every Monday and Wednesday from 17:00 to 22:30, and Saturdays from 07:00 to 16:30 until 13 June 2012. And occasional Sundays depending on the training objective. These are the formal class sessions; this doesn’t include homework or study groups. In other words, my weekends and evenings are seriously curtailed for the next nine months. During the day I work a full-time job.

Tonight was orientation. It was a short one-hour session. There are 19 cadets, and each was allowed to bring up to two other guests. Almost immediately after beginning, we cadets were pulled aside into another room, and got “friendly” with the training staff for a few minutes. We got yelled at, but no physical training.

Saturday is the first “real” training day. Mondays and Wednesdays will usually be held on the Pima Community College campus, but Saturdays are at the Southern Arizona Law Enforcement Training Center, used by many local agencies as their full-time agency-sponsored academy. I’m expecting the full paramilitary treatment. In the meantime, I have to get together a list of things to bring on that day. Some I already have; others I’ll have to get, taking up even more of what’s left of my free time. But that’s the way it is, and I’m prepared for the sacrifice. In a few weeks I should have a routine down pat, making this less painful.

Categories
Uncategorized

Green Mountain Trail

On 4 September 2011, I and a group of friends hiked the Green Mountain Trail, in the Santa Catalina range north of Tucson, Arizona.

 

Categories
Uncategorized

Labor days

It’s been almost a month since my last post. This Labor Day weekend is the perfect time to talk about what I’ve been doing in that month: labor. In the first week of August, I had the opportunity to work for an old boss for a week. Technically, I was an independent consultant running my own business for that week. I even have to deduct my own payroll taxes for Uncle Sam. On 15 August, I started at my current full-time job working at a mineral processing company. The company’s mission is to analyze samples of dirt or rock sent in by mining companies to determine mineral content. The pay for my position (lab technician) is low, but it keeps the bills away and puts food on the table while I continue to pursue law enforcement. Right now my duties are fairly menial, but I’m working my towards learning to do froth flotation. I’ve seen it done. Special “flotation reagents” are added to a finely-ground sample, which is then added to water and stirred by a motor-driven impeller. Air is forced in to the mixture from below, and desirable metal actually bubbles to the surface, where it can be scraped away.

My new employers are fully aware that I’m looking for another career, and are generously supportive, letting me take time off as needed to handle job applications to various law enforcement agencies.

I’m in the application process to my county sheriff’s department. So far I’ve advanced past the oral board phase. Next up is the polygraph and background investigation. In the near future I will be in the process for two other agencies as well; one local and the other federal. If all that wasn’t enough, I’ve been accepted to the self-sponsored police academy at my local community college. The idea is that if I can’t get hired on to a police agency directly, I’ll finish the self-sponsored academy, thereby making me more competitive for future applications. I’m told that in the previous class, all but one of the graduates had law enforcement jobs waiting for them when they finished. And the odd man out didn’t get a job because he’d moved to another state.

While all this is going on, I’m also actively looking for a new, more fuel efficient car. That’s proving to be interesting, and might be the source of a cost-savings analysis similar to the 500 kWh challenge.