KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The 174th entrant officer class at the KC Regional Police Academy is just a matter of weeks away from graduation.
As part of the academy training, officers are required to complete four rounds of practical integrated exercises, also known as P.I.E.
This week, entrant officers are on P.I.E. #3, which is more complex than the last one.
Entrant officers are required to respond to 911 calls with actors and figure out how to handle the call.
"We try to test them on what they've been taught up to this point," KCPD Sgt. Jason Gammill said. "We are to the point where we have taught them pretty much everything they need to know to graduate the academy, now we just have to fine tune those skills."
Entrant officers Michael Leger and Dominic Bristol completed two calls Thursday regarding a report of a suspicious car on a property and a report of a burglary.
The pair have a lot to remember once they arrive at the scene.
"For me, I do a lot of mental repetitions along with studying so like, 'OK if this happens I'll do this, and if this happens I'll do this,'" Leger said. "And then you're always going to have that call where you were like, 'Oh I did not see that one coming.'"
The officers must remember many small details such as what questions to ask, how to position themselves and what information to take and give to people while responding to a call.
Leger said the academy training is a lot of hard work, physically and mentally, but he's in it for the long haul and for the people.
"If it's talking to somebody walking down the street or you're taking a report from somebody, you're trying to help them, that's why I think most people get into this job," Leger said.
The stakes are high as entrant officers begin the home stretch of their testing and race toward graduation.
For officers like Kleighton Vitug, they know all the hard work will be worth it.
"I'll be honest with you, it's very challenging, a lot of studying and working out and running and push-ups, but it's also rewarding at the same time," Vitug said.