Well, our first Family Night was a success!
I showed-up with the kids a little early (which, apparently, everyone else had thought to do as well). After making sure my hair wasn't tossed around and my hands weren't shaking too badly we braved the cold and walked into the building. The first few moments were probably the most intimidating. All of the recruits were standing just inside the front doors, waiting to claim their arriving friends and family. All eyes fell on the people walking through the doors and it was clear there were many, "Ah, so that's so-and-so's spouse..." looks going around. I think Blue's class was eager to meet some of the spouses and kids they'd been hearing stories of for the past few weeks. I was introduced to some of Blue's group. Two of the girls came up and gushed over The Boys cowboy boots he was wearing.
We were then ushered into the gym for a brief run-down of how the evening would go and then broken-up into groups and shuffled around to different rooms to hear different presentations.
Our first presentation was from the Firearm's guys. The Boy was excited because he got to hold a Glock and put on a Kevlar vest. After that we went to hear all about the Use of Force training and see some of the 'tools' they use. I think the coolest thing that I saw all night was a knife that they use during simulation training. It's called a Shocknife and it sends an electric pulse around the edges of the blade so that when you're 'cut' it makes it feel as though you've actually been cut. It was a pretty interesting looking tool. I liked the Use of Force guys...you could tell they love their jobs.
Next was a demonstration from the K-9 Unit (which the kids loved), Vehicle Operations Unit, a tour through the Police Museum (very interesting!) and finally a presentation from the Bomb Squad. After all of that we had a few moments to grab a drink and mingle about. By that time (9:30pm) the kids were starting to implode so I didn't really walk around and chat with anyone. I got a picture of the four of us (with Blue in his uniform) and then we left.
The recruits were allowed to invite family and friends to that event so it was pretty crowded and hard to see who was with who. There will be a few more family evenings intended for immediate family members only so I'm hoping to connect with some more people then. I did end-up chatting with one lovely woman but I had no idea who she 'belonged' to. Hopefully I'll run into her again.
One thing that I appreciated was that there were NO statistics or scare tactics. One guy had a list of books that would be helpful to read if anyone wanted access to them. A few of the presenters mentioned how important family support was and to keep your officer doing the things that he enjoyed doing before becoming a cop, but it was mainly an information evening for everyone to see what your loved one has been up to or will be up to.
I'm glad that I can now picture the rooms Blue is spending his days in and the people he is spending them with.
One comment trickled down through the grape vine yesterday. A female officer made a comment to Blue about me and, I must say, it made my day. I know that I need to be more confident with the fact that I am likable, but meeting new people seems to be one area that I have a hard time getting over. I'm just happy that Blue is 6'5"...he's good for hiding behind. (Kidding)