Friday, September 26, 2008

Pineapples, peppers and bananas...

I just got back from the neatest training. I was in a small town a couple hours away learning about public safety and crowd control. However, rather than just theory, this training was hands on and practical. I was able to dispatch units who were doing scenarios with unruly crowds. It was interesting because I was dispatching from a van that was parked so we could actually see what was happening. Normally, as a dispatcher, I am in a room far removed from the action, and only have contact with the units via radio. In this case, because it was training, we got to be right beside the action. It was so educational and interesting, and practical in terms of some of the events I have dispatched for. I learned a whole new vocabulary and saw this vocabulary in action. So, in the future, if I'm dispatching for an event where crowds are a concern, I will understand what actions are being taken and what is involved. 

It was also nice to be included in training that directly involved the police. Since our centre has been taken over, we almost never have opportunities anymore for this type of thing, so this was definitely a treat. It is also neat because you get to put faces to some of the names that you've been dispatching for but never met. 

Maybe next year I'll volunteer to be part of the unruly crowd. Then, I'd be throwing rotten fruit, and shouting things and pretending to be a disgruntled activist. The ultimate make believe really (except for the part where you might get thrown to the ground or arrested for your actions!!). Oh well, at least it's only pretend!! It's fun doing this type of work. I've done it before with another unit and just loved it. It almost seems like you are in the middle of a movie or something. 

Either way, it cements the fact that I don't ever want to be part of a real life crowd that is unruly. The end result might not be so pretty, and although training is fun, in real life, it's not something I aspire to. For some reason, a criminal record is just not something I ever really want to have!!

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