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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Probationary Release: It’s Not Easy!

Over the course of the last seven years managing our Field Training Unit, I’ve been forced to make a multitude of difficult decisions.  Luckily, it’s what I have trained myself to do. I cross my fingers most every day and hope that training and experience has helped me make the right decision. I recently made yet another difficult decision….

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FTO Burnout – Article

Being a Field Training Officer is one of the most important assignments in each and every agency. Field Training Officers volunteer their services to their departments in order to share their knowledge and skills with the youth of law enforcement. The Field Training Officer has first crack at developing the culture, attitude and work ethic of a young police…

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