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by Peter Moskos

December 3, 2015

But they made him write it down!

From the Twittersphere:The idea that the academy would keep your B.S. classwork just to f*ck you is what gets my goat. "See, we didn't actually try and teach anything but we made him write it down!" Though I'm not surprised. That's the academy I remember from 15 years ago. And I have no reason to think anything changed (and keep hearing that it hasn't)

Anyway, I tweeted (maximum 140 characters each) a bunch of lessons I learned from Baltimore's academy, back when it was on Guilford St. One guy just wrote me and mentioned that when they moved to the new academy, his class "didn't see an instructor for 4 weeks straight." Classic. And that wasn't even the worst. That would have to be the trainee who got shot.

This is all taken from Cop in the Hood.
What was the Baltimore City Police Academy like?

Overall there was little emphasis on subject retention. Very little attempt was made to relate class material to actual police work.

As one trainee said, “They’re not doing it to protect our ass, they’re doing it to cover theirs.”

The Baltimore Police Dept's book of General Orders, without index or page numbers, comes in at a binder-bursting 5 inches thick.

BPD academy instructor: “Every knows this is a joke, but I just have to teach you what the General Orders say.”

Deviation from G.O.s--no matter how smart, creative, well intentioned--potentially subject to dept disciplinary action

Yet some violations of General Orders are so ingrained as to be standard operating procedure.

At end of academy, less than half the class saw relation between what they learned and what police need to know on the street

One of few useful lessons in Balto police academy come on Day 1: “When in doubt, shut your mouth and look sharp!”

Primarily, the point of the academy is to protect department from legal liability that could result from negligent training.

Yet police patrol demands lesson wholly lacking in the academy: bold, independent, intelligent, and thoughtful actions

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