Thursday, September 10, 2009

Confessions of Ellora's Cave authors you'll meet at RomantiCon 09

"I hit a policeman with a nightstick and didn't get arrested."
--Francesca Hawley

And now for “the rest of the story…” as Paul Harvey used to say. How did I get to hit a police officer with his night stick and not get arrested? Well, if you thought I was learning how to be a domme with a submissive male lover who works as a police officer, you would be wrong. It’s nothing as sexy as that. Unfortunately.

The truth is that about a year ago I attended a two month Citizen’s Police Academy offered by the local police department in my town. Going in I had visions of Police Academy: Citizens on Patrol, but it was way more fun AND more controlled than that.

The second class I attended was all about force. We learned about how an officer assesses each situation whenever he/she deals with a suspect. This is referred to as the "Use of Force Continuum." So the theory here is that as the subject/suspect escalates his/her behavior then the force used by the officer to meet that threat must match or exceed it. The sooner a subject is under control the better, but sometimes you walk into a situation that is already in the red zone where deadly force is required.

We started out with discussion and watched some video tape scenarios - and these were actual incidents involving police officers. In at least one, the officer lost his life as a result of what transpired, so it's very sobering to realize that one wrong choice could result in a death, either of the suspect or the officer. Then we got to the practical stuff. They took us down onto the mats in the gym area for some light "training." After a discussion and work with handcuffs, we moved on to use of the night stick. New officers start with a collapsible baton before they qualify for the one you see TV beat cops wearing. So a collapsible is what we used. First the Lieutenant demonstrated on a volunteer – who happened to be a member of the police force.

I thought to myself. Oh, okay, I can do this. I ended up as the second one in line. Frankly, I think everyone else took a step or two back so I ended up second but...oh well. So the first up was one of the men in the class. THEN the instructors drop the bombshell - you have to yell at the volunteer “perp” to tell him to drop.

I'm thinking... Oh crap and visualizing that plump, black lady cop from the Police Academy movies. You know, the one with the whispery, prissy voice until she gets scared or pissed? I tell myself,” well girl, you better use your SCA Herald's voice or you’re going to look like a freaking idiot.” I know how to shout, I just usually don't do it in front of people cause it makes me nervous to be the center of attention.

The police officer who volunteered to get "whupped" had a big thick pad covering him, so he was perfectly safe. In fact, he said he barely felt anything as we were hitting him. I watch the first guy up. He yells and connects with the approximate leg location pretty well. As I'm watching, I process mentally and realize this is just a rap shot to the leg, which I’m very familiar with because I watch SCA fighters on the battlefield often. So I held the baton up above my shoulder, a bit like a baseball bat but I used only one hand because I also had to place my opposite hand in front as protection - just as if I were holding a shield in my hand. I was told that I needed to whip the weapon around and aim for the outside of the “perp’s” thigh.

I took a deep breath and yelled…loud, "Get down." Then I brought the baton around and down. I nailed it pretty good. I did it twice and I enjoyed every minute of it. I finally get why SCA fighter's enjoy fighting - I just don't want to take a shot in return. Ever.

So that’s how I got to hit a police officer with a night stick without getting arrested!

Thank you Francesca Hawley for being my guest blogger today! Below are some links to excerpts and blurbs for her books! ~~ Jeanne


Francesca Hawley said...

Jeanne thanks for the opportunity to share "the rest of the story" with you and your readers!

Crystal Kauffman said...

I would have loved to see you wholloping on him! I'll bet you did it with gusto :)

Francesca Hawley said...

Yes, Crystal I did. I surprised myself. I had a TOTAL blast. The following week we went to the shooting range and I did pretty darn well there too!

Savanna Kougar said...

Francesca, oh, that was too cool! I would have like trying that and learning.
Oh, the shooting range. I did that once with a friend. It was great!