Officers James Smith and Victor Garrido were back to provide California Highway Patrol training during a felony traffic stop.
Albeit, an abbreviated version of the actual CHP training.
The exercise of using actual CHP vehicles took place on the Manteca Unified School District complex in the parking lot adjacent to the school farm on Thursday.
Students of the Regional Occupational Program’s Careers in Law Enforcement took part in the drill consisting of two teams – the group of felons and the arresting team.
“(The arresting team) goes into it knowing that they’re dealing with known felons from a bank robbery, for example,” said Joe Waller, who is the longtime instructor of this class.
The felony stop scenarios took place three times under the directions of Smith and Garrido. The earlier session was held for the Careers in Law Enforcement students at Weston Ranch High.
Cadets in Waller’s middle block were made up of students from East Union and Manteca High.
His third block consisted of Sierra and Lathrop High ROP students.
“It got scary at times,” said Caitlin McVeigh of Manteca High.
As a member of the arresting team, she not only had to listen to the instruction of the CHP officers but had to worry about her own survival skills.
“There was a lot to process,” McVeigh added. “At times, it was overwhelming.”
Part of the reason for that were CHP officers giving a sample size of stress inoculation. Riding along in the SUV with CHP to the felony stop was intended to get their adrenaline up.
With their prop weapons drawn, those on the arresting team had to listen for orders barked out by CHP while getting in the proper positioning while possibly facing a surprise attack from one of the felons.
At the same time, CHP tried avoid making it stressful. “We still want the kids to have fun and learn,” Smith said.
Alyssia Luke was one of the ones who got arrested.
The Manteca High student went through the process of voluntarily getting out of the vehicle and having the handcuffs slapped on.
“It was really weird getting arrested like that,” she said.
Back to the arresting team, Jacquelyn Casillas, who took cover with her weapons drawn on the passenger side of the CHP vehicle, was aware to “expect the unexpected” on the stops.
Still, she had to deal with a hidden felon in the truck with a “weapon.”
This was the second of two traffic stop exercises by the ROP class. The other day, students took part in a basic traffic stop with CHP.
Today, they’ll do a civil disturbance exercise involving riot control followed by a trip to the CHP academy on Wednesday.