I'd like to dedicate this blog to my father for, if it weren't for him, I would not have spent a significant amount of my childhood watching COPS, a fact that I like to think has made my job here much more effective. Working for the Indonesian National Police (INP) has been surreal if nothing else. I do 'research' by watching episodes of Castle and CSI. I prepare for class by downloading Youtube videos on the .38 special and interrogation techniques, looking up newspaper articles on kidnappings, drug smuggling, and murder, and making baggies of evidence and illicit drugs (powdered ginger tea works nicely).
It has taken some adjusting from teaching grammar to use for things like getting into college and getting groceries to, say, arresting and booking a suspect.For example, they need imperatives when it comes to chasing down and arresting a suspect:
Freeze! Don't move! Hands on the car. Hands behind your back. Etc.
I found out from the students and some of our own DOJ guys training in Indonesia that giving verbal instructions to their own countrymen, let alone English-speaking foreigners, just isn't part of arresting protocol. So, introducing the subject and giving the language needed to accomplish it was something the students found very useful.
Can your tell me where you were last night?
Would you like to tell me why your fingerprints are on this gun?
Could explain what happened that night?
He was wearing a black shirt and blue jeans.
The man who stole my purse was driving a red motorbike.
Recently, the instructors at Sebasa and I decided to let the students get creative and put all of their new English to use. We gave each of four classes a crime scenario. Their task was to write a role-play for the crime complete with the crime scene investigation, arrest, booking, and interrogation. And get creative, they did. Take a look for yourselves:
Scene: During a routine traffic stop, officers believe the man in black played a part in a recent bank robbery. Foot chase ensues.
I hope this gives you a window into what I do day to day. Roll the theme song...