It takes at least four years of college for an enlisted person in the military to become a military “officer,” which is quite a contrast from the mere nine months it takes for a police officer to earn the title. But according to a group of 10 former Austin Police Department recruits who wanted to become peace officers, just like the military, the Austin PD is training “warriors” instead of “guardians.”
The former recruits are now blowing the whistle and claiming that the type of mentality they encountered is not what they signed up for and is not representative of the greater Austin community. KVUE writes:
Summer Spisak, a 38-year-old former tech employee who participated in nine weeks of the eight-month academy last year, said instructors told her and other cadets they would “punch them in the face” if they said they wanted to be police officers to help people.
Spisak and others are now sounding the alarm for the public, saying police are being trained to view community members as the enemy and not as their fellow citizens. “It’s so different from what is portrayed…It’s so different from my expectation of the Austin Police Department,” Spisak concluded.
KVUE continued by describing another former recruit’s observations of the police training currently being implemented at the Austin PD:
Jonathan Murray, who now works in sales for Dell, said instructors repeatedly degraded the homeless and prostitutes, referring to them as “cockroaches” and suggesting they “find a transient” if they were bored and wanted a felony arrest.
Viewing sex workers as insects and the homeless as potential targets for prosecution differs vastly from the generalized public perception of officers as those who are sworn to “protect and serve” members of the community. According to the former recruits, officers of the peace should have a “guardian” mentality as opposed to the “warrior” mindset the recruits and graduates are being taught to possess.