Becoming an officer: One step at a time

single-meta-cal March 21, 2017

The Huntsville Police Department’s new Academy class is underway, with the 18-week process ending in July. We’ll regularly follow four members as they share their stories of the Academy.

Randell Plemons (pictured above with his father), 22, from Springville, Ala., a 2016 graduate of the University of Montevallo whose father Mark worked 16 years as a Huntsville police officer

This morning (Friday, March 17) was fun. My dad spoke to the class. I’ve heard him talk before in school for Career Days, but this was a little different.

He talked about federal law enforcement, different jobs that they do. There’s a lot of them. He spent the last hour and a half telling us about them. He’s a Social Security investigator in Birmingham now. I think most of the other cadets knew he was my dad.

For me, he was both guest lecturer and my dad. He was never one or the other.

This is the end of our first two weeks. The first few days we got yelled at a lot, but it got easier every day. They’ve been tough on us the whole time, but you get used to it, mentally and physically.

There’s been a lot of exercising. A lot. Everyone in here is going to be in really good shape at the end of it.

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And there’s been a lot of sitting in a classroom. Some days we get here at six in the morning and we do physical training. Then we do classroom stuff and every hour we take a 10-minute break and we do physical training outside or in the hallway. It keeps us awake.

We’re working on report writing and really focused on learning the laws, the Alabama laws. Title 13 (the criminal code) mainly. Some days there’s a lot of information, but you can’t learn everything in one day. You have to break it down and make time during the day.

We all have our squad assignments at the end of the day. Part of that is cleaning part of the building.

At night when I get home, that’s the hardest part. I don’t have too much trouble waking up in the morning. It’s getting home and preparing my uniform and my boots, doing a load of laundry for the next day. Then eating dinner, trying to eat a healthy dinner and not just stop at a fast food restaurant. Then still find time to study. Sometimes I can stretch out dinner for 30 minutes to get caught up on some TV while I’m eating.

I’m confident I’m going to make it. But some of those long runs, they’re rough. I have to focus and get my mind right. I’m just thinking, “One foot in front of the other.”

That’s the way the Academy has to be. It would be very hard to look at the entire big picture. You have to take it a little bit at a time.

Read Part 1 – Journey begins for cadets in 56th Police Academy