Friday, April 24, 2009

FTO Process

Once an officer has finished the police academy they usually participate in a Field Training program. This is, ideally, a structured training regime of all the tasks an officer will be expected to perform in the field and in the station on a regular basis. The training will be geared towards teaching the officer to work a single officer patrol unit alone. Most of the time simply handling those calls for service as they are dispatched will provide sufficient opportunity over a period of several months for the new officer to gain experience and expertise.

If the call load is slow or not of sufficient variety for the Field Training Officer to observe and train the Rookie in all aspects of the job, the FTO may simulate various responses and other police activities. These activities should be done with the utmost safety in mind. My preference is to do them at the police station or training facility using red guns.

Each day of field training should be documented by the FTO, reviewed by the Rookie Officer and filed in the employee training file. There should be a progression of competence or remediation if there is not. All remediation attempts should be documented to justify termination or demonstrate proficiency. Field Training should last not less than four months but up to a year would be ideal. Each Trainee should have at least two different Field Training Officers during his training cycle. This will minimize personality issues and show the Rookie different appropriate methods of performing the job tasks. Proper training of new officers is essential to the long term health of the agency; that's what the SGT Says.

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