What Shape Is Your FTO Program In?

 What Shape Is Your FTO Program In, and Does It Reflect Where You Want To Be? It has been a long time since most agencies have done any significant hiring so what will it take to be ready for the new officers when they enter your FTO training?  Most agencies will just dust off the field training program they…

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Texting vs Talking

After attending the NAFTO Conference in Washington State and attending the class “Generational Differences” I not only found out how old I was, but there was a significant generational gap between me and my trainee’s.  In an effort to close the gap, not in age, but in knowledge I found myself looking up Twitter, Facebook and Instagram just to…

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Leadership FTO vs Sgt.

About seven years ago I wrote an “FTO Manual” for newly appointed Sergeants & Acting Sergeants for my department. The entire manual was based off the principals and concepts I have been teaching for about 20 years as a Washington State FTO Academy instructor. I wrote this article as an introduction to the manual. It outlines some concepts and…

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Creativity – Key for Developing Student Officer

I have observed that student officers tend to get easily frazzled with tasks that most field training officers would consider to be routine.  As field training officers we should try to recognize these tasks and develop training to assist the student officers. For many field training officers one of these simple daily tasks is operating the emergency equipment in…

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My First Day with a Student Officer

Without a doubt the concepts and principals of a field training program have evolved over the last 25 years. The value of a standardized program, offering the necessary guidelines and documentation, has more than proven its worth. When I started teaching the 40 hour FTO academy roughly 20 years ago it was not uncommon to hear from students who…

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