On Friday 29- July The Bogota Emergency Service Youth Academy held it's Orientation Duty Day for Class 06. Due to work being done at Bogota High School this took place at Bixby School. With a different venue, and a rainy morning Program Director Sgt Craig Lynch talked of how the recruits and his Staff would react. Sgt Lynch said that part of the Academy's mission is to train the Cadets to be ready for an situation that may confront them. He continued with " We now have a chance to show the Cadets, in real time, what that means. This gives us ( the Academy and it's Staff) to practice what we teach." Through the work, and focus of his Staff and interns the Academy met the days challenge. For the recruits the Duty Day started before they left entering the building. Instructors "greeted the recruits on Fischer Ave, making sure they thanked their Parents for also getting up early on a humid, rainy, Friday Morning to help them get to the Academy on time. The recruits then lined up in the school to wait the next part. At this time they were informed of their Academy number, and asked to wait. When they were instructed to report to the
Gymnasium another instructor told them what they needed to do, and where to report to next. This needed to be done " WITH A PURPOSE, AND NOW." The assembled recruit then sat on the gym floor in information and waited. So Sgt Lynch and Coordinator Anna Geraghty "Miss Anna" brief them on what the day will be like. They were told that it is called Orientation Day because the recruits will be Orientated to learn what is excepted of them by the Academy. And it was made clear that the Instructors will do that in any way they feel will accomplish that goal.The recruits then listen to Bogota Police Captain James Sepp and congratulated them on being excerpted to Class 06. Capt. Sepp said that they were on of only 56 Students selected from also 200 who applied. He asked the recruits to work hard and listen to the instructions they will be given. Then each day will become better and they will become better as well. Before they leaders of the Academy left " Miss Anna" offered a group hug to the recruits to assure them the Academy is looking out for their best interest. She told them they will be safe, it will be hard, it will be stressful, it will be emotional, and she will always be available if needed. Then the recruits returned to the Gym floor and waited.
After seconds, or hours of internal time, the Instructors marched in to the room. They circled the recruits leaving an Instructors at key location around the recruits. Finally Instructors Perez and Coleman proceeded to the stage in front of the room and waited. ...and waited. They waited until Instructor Perez had a question. With that all of the Instructors also wanted answers, and action, and listening, and focus, and discipline, and ..... and "why is this not happening now!!!!" Then orders became faster than the words they were saying could be be heard the recruits were given orders of what to do, when to do it, followed by even more to do, and wondering why the first order is taking so long to complete. Recruits were moved of one side of the gym to the other, then back, then outside, then back inside, then to stand in formation. Push-ups needed to be done if a task was not up to standard. But if the recruit was not fast enough in getting down they had to try again, by standing up just as quick, then back down even quicker. At time three to four instructors were giving orders to one recruit, at the same time to all the recruits without pause. In the myst of the whirlwind of orders one or two Instructors personally and calmly talked to each recruit and showed them how to perform better. Whether it was how to hold the arms by their side, or how to stand comfortably while at attention in order to reduce fatigue on the young recruits. The stress of the situation did start to overcome a few of the recruits. They were allowed to step away for a moment to see " Miss Anna" or Whitney Luciano in order to claim themselves. After a time to relax the recruits then returned to formation. Maybe still scare, or confused but with a new chance to prove to themselves of what they could really do.
Ms.Luciano has joined the Academy staff to assist them with any emotional need the recruits may face. She is the Guidance Counselor at Steen School who will also help with evaluations on the progress the Student make while being a part of Class 06Then the first wave of adjustments ended and a calm was able to return to the gym. recruits then had a chance to find their bearings, get hydrated, and a small snack to restore the energy worked away in just over two hours. Then their civilian clothes were replaced with Bogota Police Emergency Services Youth Academy uniforms. The recruits were placed into one of four squads and drill instruction was began after lunch. Recruits learned how to form into neat and orderly lines, how to march in unison and how to listen to the Drill Master voice in order to know how fast or slow to move. Instructions continued after lunch but with a more stated purpose. Some recruits were talked to privately and given the opportunity to become squad leaders. They were told what was to be excepted of them if they chose this leadership position. After the recruits were pushed to their physical and emotion limits .... then stop. Calm and quiet return to the gym. Recruits had a chance to rest, take a breath, get a drink and wonder what has just happen to them. After a second group hug from Miss Anna to congratulate them on making it this far there was one more time to wait. Sgt Lynch held up the piece of paper that had the names of the recruits who would not continue as a part of Class 06. He slowly walk between the ranks saying how this is the toughest part of his job. To see these young Women and Men work so hard and not be able to continue. He stopped and faced all of the recruits and waited. Slowly he open the paper to revel a blank piece of paper meaning that the 56 recruits who entered the gym in the morning will be leaving as a Cadet in Class 06. Some cheered, and clapped other gave a sigh of relief, while some too tired from the last eight hours still could bring a smile of satisfaction to their lips.