CORPUS CHRISTI – The Corpus Christi Police Department will begin training a new class of cadets in two weeks. The department has procedures in place to keep its officers safe in the summer heat.
“Once they come into the academy, we expect them to have a water jug beside their desk at all times. We’ll go in and inspect to make sure they have the water with them,” Sr. Officer Catherine McDonald said.
She added that cadets move to South Texas from all over the country, and many are not accustomed to this level of heat and humidity. These potential officers are strongly encouraged to start physical training early.
Cadets are also expected to carry sufficient amounts of water with them at all times.
“We give them Camelbacks. They are about 50 ounces, and we expect them to carry them whether we’re at the academy, or going on a long run. No matter what the exercise is, we expect them to have it on,” Officer McDonald said.
She uses a special formula that accounts for heat, humidity and wind to determine the intensity of workouts.
“It shows us the heat stresses that could be in the shady areas, and we place it into a category. Then that category determines how long we’re going to exercise the cadets and how much rest time they’re going to get,” Officer McDonald said.
Lastly, officers work out in pairs and are trained to recognize the signs of heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
“If they don’t have saliva and can’t spit, they stop sweating, and also if they black out a little bit,” Officer McDonald said.
Even with these procedures in place, it is ultimately up to each individual officer to stay hydrated.