It's not often that you get a behind-the-scenes look into the life of a Stockton Police Department recruit.
Earlier this month, one courageous man decided to share his story. His first day started off with some paperwork. Much to no one's surprise, he was asked to sign a waiver. This, he said, exempted the department from liability should he become injured during his training.
The training would not be easy. Getting through the orientation would be the easy part. Passing the physical fitness component and scoring well on the gun range would be a different story.
Later, the men and women were taken to an outside area that had saw horses, a 150-pound dummy and two 5.5-foot walls. They were later asked to climb the walls and drag the dummy to safety. The person who was leading the training told the recruits that they were free to leave at any time.
Mental toughness is a big part of the job, and the Stockton Police Department is not interested in hiring quitters.
This was just the first in a series of orientations that will be taking place in the upcoming months. Earlier this year, voters approved an increase in sales tax that would allow the department to hire more than 100 new officers.
Not everyone who steps into orientation will pass. Some will fail the written exam, others will fail the physical fitness and/or background check.
Others will simply quit.
As the day progressed, the group was divided in half. Some were tasked with carrying the dummy while others were led to the wall. From there, they needed to pass four timed fitness tests. Those who completed the tasks in the allotted period of time would pass, those who did not, would fail.
The recruits who do pass are then invited to take the written test.
The people who started with the dummy were reportedly given some valuable advice. Don't take breaks, don't stop and stay in a constant state of motion. Everyone said it was much heavier than it looked.
Officers said the dummy drag is the easy part. Most people have the hardest time getting over the wall. A lot of recruits just don't have the necessary upper body strength.
That was just the beginning. The timed tests got harder as the day progressed.
Representatives from the Stockton Police Department say they look forward to the next orientation and to bringing more skilled men and women onto the force.