It was a strange beginning to a whole new life for all of us. The days of sleeping in and not caring whether your clothes were clean and pressed were over. It was a new beginning of getting up before the sun and working long days. Though it seemed like a drastic change to our lives we all welcomed the challenge. That was the first day of week one. Only twenty-seven more and we would hit the streets!
Looking back now, the Academy is one of the most unique experiences of my life. It was both difficult and fun. It was challenging both mentally and physically. Over the six months that we spent in the Academy we went through many different stages and tasks. There were parts of the Academy that tested just our brains and there were parts that tested our physical abilities and still others that tested combinations of both.
The Academy was extremely challenging and demanded a great deal of commitment, but after making a conscious decision that I was going to completely commit myself and give it my all, it turned out to be one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of my life. I think, looking back on it, that anyone that has the desire and drive to be one of Houston’s finest can excel in the Academy.
Personally for me, the most challenging part of the Academy was not one individual phase or task but rather staying focused and balancing the multitude of daily tasks. Whether it was making sure that my uniform was in order (including shining my shoots/boots), or trying to make sure that I got enough sleep, there were always little chores that had to be done to make the Academy flow that much smoother.
Being the class president made the Academy slightly more challenging because that just meant there were more responsibilities to manage but I would not change my Academy experience for the world. These challenges only helped me to become a better person and build the skills that I knew I would need when I went out on the street. Being able to help manage an Academy class of 70, though not quite like dealing with people on the streets of Houston, was good preparation for graduation day when practice would become reality.
Written by Academy Class 196 President Mike Herb. Cadet Herb...I mean OFFICER Herb, is now patrolling our streets and making a difference. Officer Herb is 23 years old and has a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice. Look for future posts with Officer Herb as he experiences his first year as a Houston Police Officer.