Thursday, September 26, 2013
Day in the Life of a CDCR Cadet
Inside CDCR — It’s the training day no California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) officer will ever forget. Today is one of the most uncomfortable and intense days of the 16-week CDCR officer academy at the Richard A. McGee Correctional Training Center.
It’s chemical agent exposure training day and Delta Company’s time has come. On this day, Delta Company is in its 14th week of training and they’re just about to graduate.
After graduation the cadets will join the CDCR ranks as full-fledged officers, which means often encountering some very intense and overpowering moments. This exercise prepares the future officers for those very moments and so they are able to maintain their composure and get the job done.
First, the cadets prepare for the chemical agent exposure with classroom instruction. Academy instructors educate the cadets as to what will happen to them with each of the three different chemical agents they’ll encounter.
“We basically know what to expect,” Cadet Vanessa Melendez said. “Our throat tightening up, our chests, our skin is going to be irritated… It’s all mindset.”
Some of the cadets have approached the impending exposure much more casually, and competitively. continue reading...