Archive for the 'police academy' Category


R.I.P. Cone Family

Being vertically challenged can have it’s downsides- namely being confused for a middle school student by a hall monitor during my recent visit to Mr. Smackhouse’s school.  (You think a sixth grader could pack these guns to school? That’s a Class D felony baby!)

Another disadvantage for my 5′ 2″ figure can sometimes be driving without sitting on a telephone book.  This week in academy, first platoon had the pleasure of getting paid to drive fast and smart at Emergency Vehicle Operations training.  For every cone we hit on the course, we paid the penalty in push-ups.  My height deficiency contributed to a few snags I had in a backing weave drill–resulting in quite a few push ups throughout the week and many unexpected deaths in the cone family:

Despite the Cone family tragedy, EVO week was really enjoyable and with that phase completed the 7th IMPD Recruit Class is almost halfway through academy.


Tired Robot

The best of us get tired- even robots.  Other than the moniker ‘squirrel monkey’, every so often at academy I’m called “Robot”- perhaps because I’ve traveled back in time to warn my fellow classmates of their imminent destruction, or more likely a reference to my energy- which seems to have no limits.  Oh, but it does.  

This week Robot Smackhouse was tired.  The combination of academy, CrossFit, trying to be a good friend and wife, and roller derby practices had me beat with not altogether perfect timing- as Wednesday was a preliminary physical fitness test at academy. I improved my initial scores, but felt tired the entire day:

 Scores: February/April

Situps (1 minute): 50/55

Pushups (no time limit): 61/75

300 m run: 54 sec/52

1.5 mile run: 10:40/10:14

Pullups (dead-hang): 8/8

Flexibility: 21/23.75”

Vertical Jump: 15in/19.5”

 I’m questioning my ability to “do it all”, and wondering if the skates might need to collect dust for a little while.  The feisty/determined Sookie wants to do everything, but practical Sookie thinks being healthy needs to incorporate balance. Physically, I think I could handle “doing it all”, but I want to do it with my typical spunk- and the spunk was funk this week. 

I wish I was a robot.  Robo Sookie would have dinner fixed by now, and I’d be in the company of the great robots who have come before me:


Badass of the week

This weekend members of our recruit class had the opportunity to attend IMPD’s 1st annual Women in Leadership conference.  Initially, I wasn’t excited to give up my Friday, but the day proved to be very inspiring and once again confirm how much I love this job.  Among the speakers at the conference were Chief Val Demmings, who is the first female appointed to serve as Chief of Police for Orlando and also Sergeant Jennifer Fulford.  I’m nominating Jen as badass of the week on The Fresh Meat Beat, an honor no less worthy than her National Public Safety Officer Medal of Honor. You can read her story here or this brief synopsis:

On May 5, 2004, Deputy Fulford-Salvano responded to a burglary in progress call after an 8-year-old boy called to inform the police that “strange men” were in his home with weapons and that he and his sister were hiding inside a van in the garage.  Deputy Jennifer Fulford-Salvano, first on the scene, entered the garage to check on the child and his sister who were still hiding in the family van.  As deputies took positions, two men emerged from the house and fired upon them.  Deputy Fulford-Salvano became trapped in the garage between two vehicles and the assailants who were firing on her position.  Deputy Fulford-Salvano then returned fire.  Although she was struck a total of ten times, including in her shooting hand, she was able to retrieve her weapon with her other hand and continue firing until both gunmen went to the ground. The assailants were apprehended and the children were kept safe and unharmed throughout the incident. 


I am a squirrel monkey

After seven weeks of combatives training at the police academy, I’ve been told several times by other recruits that I fight like a squirrel monkey. These comments are intended to be complimentary.  Let me ask you dear blog reader-Would you be flattered if told after a fight that you resembled this cute little creature:

Surely there must be a more complimentary accolade for a vertically challenged female who fights enthusiastically?  How about “a Chihuahua with pointy teeth, but not quite a pit bull”, as another recruit described me. That doesn’t quite do it for me either.

In the past, I have been known to not take compliments well. If someone described me as cute, I would get upset because my height (5′ 2″ on a good day) always qualified me for cuteness, but rarely beautiful or sexy. The older and wiser Sookie has changed her ways, and learned to accept all manners of compliments, even being called a cutie-or a squirrel monkey. In order to accept this new, primate resemblance tribute, I did a little research on the squirrel monkey. Here are six reasons I’m willing to gracefully acknowledge this “compliment”:

  1. The brain mass to body mass ratio for squirrel monkeys is 1:17, which gives them the largest brain, proportionately, of all the primates. Humans have a 1:35 ratio. (Compliment taken- I am willing to be a smart fighter, although I need improvement in this area. I’ve got the heart, but I definitely need better technique.)
  2. Squirrel monkeys have a number of vocal calls, including warning sounds to protect themselves. (True- I’m pretty sure I grunt, swear, and make the occasional yeti call while I fight.)
  3. Squirrel monkeys’ small body size makes them susceptible to predators such as snakes and felids. (Also true-I have the bruises to prove I am susceptible to predators 2-3x my size. However, 5’2” does not an inferior fighter make. I’m learning alternate methods to accommodate- thus, fact #4:
  4. For marking territory, squirrel monkeys rub their tail and their skin with their own urine. (So if the single leg takedown doesn’t work, I can always rely on primate defense tactics.)
  5. Squirrel monkey movements in the branches are extremely speedy (I believe my blog readers are now familiar with my ninja prowess, not to be confused with my clumsiness. I totally meant to fall down on the mat; that was an intentional sprawl.)
  6. Female squirrel monkeys have a pseudo-penis they use to display dominance over smaller monkeys, much like the way the male squirrel monkeys display their dominance. (No comment)


Well geez, after fact number six, who wouldn’t want to willingly claim the ape compliment. Here it goes 7th IMPD Recruit Class- I am squirrel monkey, hear me, um, roar?


Sookie goes soft

Monday was one of my favorite days of academy so far. Our class met at Crown Hill Cemetery, which sits on the highest geographic point in Indianapolis.  During our run through the grounds we honored the burial sites of several fallen officers and viewed the city we will have the privilege to defend.  Little Sookie shed some tears during each of these stops.  It was emotional considering the sacrifice of officers who have gone before me and the immense pride I have in in the opportunity our class has to serve the citizens of Indianapolis.  See, I do have a soft side, and it’s very mushy- I could have bawled like a baby.  Here’s the view:

This We Defend.


Mama Smackhouse Assesses Police academy

The other day I was talking with my mom about combatives training at police academy.  She asked if we really “beat each other up” during our fights. I jokingly said, “Of course, I’m not there to make friends.”  My mom paused a minute, then said excitedly, “Oh! It’s just like The Bachelor!”  My mind is usually prepared to make quantum speed connections in order to understand my mom’s rapid, random conversation pace. But sometimes she catches me off guard:

“What?” I asked.

“Just like in ‘The Bachelor’. They’re there to get the guy, not to make friends.”

Did Mama Smackhouse really just compare police academy to a reality TV show in which 25 catty women compete for the attention of one man? Yes. Yes she did.

Ah yes, I can see it now- August 5, 2010- the 7th IMPD Recruit Class Graduation ceremony. Sixty nine recruits receive badges and then collectively hold our breath in anticipation-waiting anxiously to see who gets the single, red rose from Chief Ciesielski.


The Smackhouse secret sauce for Shiny Boots

I refuse for my body to get sick.  My jedi-like mind capabilities have warded off sickness for several years, so I forgot what it felt like to not be my normal self last week.  Due to bronchitis, I sounded more like Sookie Manhouse and my ninja skills were incapacitated slightly from not being able to breath.  Mr. Smackhouse offered to take me to the doctor several times, but I was pretty sure I just needed to invoke a little more Yoda power.  My mental efforts failed, as did eating twice as many vegetables as my usual rabbit-like consumption of leafy greens.  I gave in to the doctor visit after a roller derby practice where I could barely skate a 2 minute jam without collapsing. 

One breathing treatment, one shot to the butt, one very flamboyant doctor, and one prescription later and the smack in Smackhouse is back!  However, everything in my lungs is now coming out- meaning lots of sexy hocking of loogies.  I may or may not have accidentally released a combination sneeze/cough, a “snough” if you will, while I was cleaning my IMPD boots earlier this week. Yes, I wiped off the snough remnants, but then noticed my boot looked a little shinier than usual. Could it be? Did I just discover the secret sauce to shiny boots? I usually use a bit of spit, but apparently phlegmy spit is what my classmates have been holding out on me.  The next day at academy, my boots were complimented no less than three times.  Take that Kiwi Parade!  Even though I am very glad to be feeling physically better, as each day passes my phlegm levels decrease-and with it the Smackhouse secret sauce.  In honor of the newly discovered, soon to be extinct shiny boot ingredient, I’ve composed an ode to the tune of “Smelly Cat” from Friends.  Please feel free to sing along:

Phlegmy Spit, Phlegmy Spit

No one appreciates you

Phlegmy Spit, Phlegmy Spit

It’s not your fault

They say you’re no better than snot

But you shine my boots, so obviously not

Phlegmy Spit, Phlegmy Spit

It’s not your fault


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