This is a story I wrote for Helium.com
When I was in the police academy in 1984, there were a total of
eight women out of fifty cadets in our class. If we all managed to
graduate, that would bring the total of female officers to eleven out of
703 members of our state police department.
To say that I had
no clue what I had gotten myself into was a very mild understatement.
The rest of the women in my class had come from police families or had
some form of prior experience.
The only thing I knew about the police
was that a ride in the back of their car was a bad thing in my old
I was twenty one years old, married, already with
three kids and absolutely the most sheltered person in the world.
Needless to say I was a drill instructor's dream, even though I
was in great shape, smart with the books and knew how to keep my mouth
shut, I had a knack for always being in the wrong place at the wrong
time with the obligatory class fool.
It was not by choice either, it
seemed every time this person decided to do something stupid I would be
right next to them and was guilty by proximity.
One day during
self defense class the fool, who will not be named, decided to show off
his self-defense expertise on me.
I was not going to have anything to
do with their foolishness so I just let them do their take down and
thought that this would end it.
To my dismay our self defense instructor was right behind me. When I got up off the floor he proceeded to chew me out and tell me that women had no place on the department because we were weak and too easy to over-power.
I was not
about to even consider arguing with a drill instructor so I just bit my
As a result of this, the self defense instructor took it upon
himself to use me as his practice Dummy every chance he got during self
He also warned me that he would be lurking in dark
corners and crevices to take me down, and if he succeeded I would have
to do extra laps and push-ups.
After this had been going on
for about four weeks, I was ready for him. One day after chow I was walking
back to class when out of the blue the self-defense instructor came
rushing out of the Men's locker room.
Without even a second thought I planted my feet, went down low and using my pivot point, I flipped him over to the ground and pinned him against the wall.
utter embarrassment when I heard a string of loud laughter coming from
behind me. I looked up to see a large group of captains, Lieutenants,
politicians and smack in the middle, our Police superintendent!
My attacker had been giving the brass a tour of our facilities and highlighting the quality of our training to local lawmakers and legislators!
I hastily tried to help my 6'4, 210 pound
instructor to his feet which just produced more laughter from the group
as my small 5'4", 130 pound frame tried jerking him back on his feet.
thought my face was going to fall off from how red it had turned.
missing a beat my instructor turned to the group and said, "this is just
one of the components of training that we do here with the cadets!" and
proceeded to guide the group down the hall.
The group gave me one more
look and slowly followed the instructor as more laughter broke out. I
think I stayed glued to the same spot for about ten minutes not sure
what to do or if I still had a job.
I slowly started to walk
back to the class, went around the corner, when I bumped smack into
my self defense instructor again.
He raised his arms in self defense
mode and I instinctively did the same. When he saw my reaction he let
out a loud belly laugh and raised his hands in a gesture of surrender.
I was about to open my mouth to apology when he said," I better never see
you behind a desk cadet!" and he walked away from me chuckling.
After I graduated and reported to my duty station for my first tour of duty someone had taped the name,
"Lambert-Linebacker" to my locker!
I am glad to say I very rarely had to do desk duty or got any lip from any of my fellow officers!
That's me rappelling off water tower number 2 Edwards Base, Cape Cod MA. January 07, 1992. Sunny and 15 degrees F, wind chill Factor minus 5. Good times! lol