Justice is blind drunk

Amber Sandlin / Sun Star Reporter
April 12, 2011

Spiced rum, vodka, blended scotch, beer and other kinds of alcohol rested on a cart in front of a white board labeled with names and tally marks, recording the number of drinks people have had. It was time for the field sobriety test (FST) portion of the police academy program. The training was held on Wednesday, April 6 at U-Park. A handful of students, university employees and law enforcement officers gathered to get drunk and provide the 16 recruits with a hands-on training opportunity. Local police were on hand to test the recruits on their ability to detect and test intoxicated drivers. Completing this test is a mandatory part of the 13-week program.

The academy teaches recruits about all aspects of police work, from crime scene investigation to weapons training to interview and interrogation techniques. They also take part in physical fitness training and attend class Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The class began in February, and the recruits are graduating in May.

Officer Kyle Carrington of the UAF police department said, “Students this year are a little bit above par,” compared to recruits of years past. The students learned how to recognize a DUI on Monday, April 4, two days before the exercise. “They are always a little nervous during the first round due to them only getting two days to practice” he said.

The academy has connections with agencies around the state and is successful in placing graduates. “Anyone who graduates from this program gets a job,” Carrington said. Graduates of the program have gone on to work as security personnel, police officers, probation workers, park rangers and more.

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