Hey everyone, welcome back to Bionic Bug podcast! You’re listening to episode 17. This is your host Natasha Bajema, fiction author, futurist, and national security expert. I’m recording this episode on August 18, 2018.
Last weekend, I attended the Writer’s Policy Academy in Green Bay Wisconsin. I experienced two days of interactive and educational hands-on experience led by police detectives and officers. It was amazing. There were so many cool courses, I didn’t know what to choose from. We got to see several demonstrations including the Green Bay firefighters putting out a real fire in the burn house and a dive team searching for a baby dummy in the river. I’ll include pictures in the show notes.
- I kicked things off on Day 1 with a three-hour course called Murder, Death and Mayhem. In this class, I learned about homicide in the U.S. Did you know that the U.S. has a very low homicide rate per capita compared to other countries? Death by firearms accounts for about 72% of all homicides in the U.S.
- In the afternoon of Day 1, I participated in the Pursuit Immobilization Technique, a high intensity class where we got to pursue a suspect in a vehicle chase and immobilize the suspect’s car. Turns out after 10 years of driving in D.C., I was a natural. I was able to make contact with the other car without flinching and pulled off one of the best maneuvers of the day. You can see the video in my show notes.
- My final class of Day 1 was called Shoot, Don’t Shoot Firearms Simulator, another high intensity class. This was an eye-opening session where we played the role of police officers and had to decide within the fraction of second whether or not to use deadly force. Again, I was a natural. My scenario involved taking a pit stop at a liquor store and coming face to face with a man wearing a ski mask and holding a paper bag and a gun. He was just coming out of the store and a bit stunned to run into me and my partner. I yelled at him to drop his gun and put his hands in the air several times. He didn’t respond. As soon as his gun hand twitched, I took him out with three rounds to the chest. All those hours of playing Call of Duty really paid off.
- On Day 2, I took a class on K9 dogs and their handlers and got to meet a retired handler and his German Shepherd. It was fascinating to hear his stories. The biggest takeaway is how effective dogs are compared to guns in getting suspects to surrender. But because they cost so much money to train, it’s difficult to convince the public they’re worth it.
- In the afternoon, on Day 2, I took a SWAT: Dynamic Door Entry/Breaching class where we learned the various methods of gaining entry and searching the premises for bad guys. I had the opportunity to try on a SWAT vest. It weighed 50 pounds without the pistol and ammo. There’s a picture in the show note. I’m posting it hoping not to hear any more wise-ass comments about my trigger finger. The fake gun is heavy and it was easier to hold that way. I also attempted to breach a door with a ram. Much harder than you think. My first day back at work after returning, my arms and hands were sore from the experience. Now that was a first.
- I closed out my experience with class on Behavioral Clues at Crime Scenes taught by a Forensics Psychologist. Wow, that was fascinating. We learned how to stage crime scenes. My biggest takeaway was that most criminals are pretty dumb.
I’m recording another episode tomorrow to cover tech headlines. I won’t be recording again until September since I’m going on my last vacation of the summer.
Let’s turn to Bionic Bug. Last week, Lara moved in with Maggie while she waited for repairs to her townhouse from the fire. She learns about the plague and watches the video footage captured from the beetle on the night of Sully’s death. She gets another message from her stalker. Let’s find out what happens next.
The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the National Defense University, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.