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Avoid the Top 10 Rookie Mistakes

106 Comments
After riding with your FTO for a few weeks you’ll be cut loose on your own. In larger departments you may have a partner, but usually you will be riding solo.

Here are some tips to get a solid footing in your new career.






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    j0ksta2000

    over 4 years ago

    932 Comments

    Yea i have to agree with Irishcop...always remember your always being watched and recorded...but those are some great tips for rookies! now to get them to learn and use them lol

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    irishcop32

    over 4 years ago

    2 Comments

    Remember. EVERYONE has a camera and you the star of the show.

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    propbraker

    over 4 years ago

    894 Comments

    Great tips; I like the last one lol! I would have liked to see them add to step 11, to lock your car too.

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    reggieh34

    over 4 years ago

    4 Comments

    ok thanks tinman..i'll definitely keep that in mind. but at the same time, i've learned in life that sometimes u have to play the game of life in order to get to where you wanna be. I will never try to be something i'm not but I jus wanted to know if my nonchalant approach to the smaller things (like writing citations lol) would hinder me from promotional advancement in some departments.

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    meriwether1983

    over 4 years ago

    78 Comments

    I agree with robofuzz. When I went through training, my FTOs (& the academy teaches) to do something and make a decision. Even if it's not the best decision do something. Gangsters and parolees can sense hesitation or uncertainty and they will exploit it. You can make better and quicker decisions as you gain experience. I especially like number one...that's happened to me a couple of times during training.

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    1Tinman

    over 4 years ago

    616 Comments

    Reggieh34: You are your own person, and as such, you are responsible for the directions you take in life. You can become the letter-of-the-law type who will not use any discretion and still be your own person... it will be the person you chose to turn into. There may be some agencies out there that take most of your discretion away (I don't know of any), and if you get hired by one, then you have to either leave or comply with the rules.
    Reading people is a necessary skill that will help you determine what action to take. To use your example (ticket writing), I would sugest finding a starting point for yourself, a set of guidelines, until you have developed a good instinct on who will learn from a warning and who will not. I had a very good training officer that once asked me a simple question when I told him that I didn't think the violator needed a cite (she was very nice, respectful and had 2 small kids in the car with her): He asked "Was it safe?". 3 words that changed my perception until I was wise enough to make solid decisions based on experience. A nice side benefit of this 'guideline' was that it took all anxiety out of the process of deciding who was going to get cited and who was not. It helped me out a lot.
    Remember something: No one can change who you are except you. Be your own person and adapt to the rules of your agency. If a new hire doesn't act appropriately for this profession, then improvement is necessary. Some changes are a good thing and do not make you a 'robot'.

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    maxxoccupancy

    over 4 years ago

    328 Comments

    9. "Don't be a jerk." One of the few jobs where being rude to people can cost you your life. When an OSHA inspector has to consider writing up a regulatory fine, he's not putting his life on the line to do it.

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    SHARRI8

    over 4 years ago

    106 Comments

    IT IS HARD ENOUGH WHEN SOMEONE ADMITS TO A POLICE OFFICER ,,,,,THAT IN THEIR OWN HOME THEY THINK THEIR BEING ABUSED,,,,,,,PLEASE INVESTAGATE BEFORE MAKING JUDGEMENTAL REMARKS........

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    hydhejr

    over 4 years ago

    408 Comments

    Good to know info.

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    reggieh34

    over 4 years ago

    4 Comments

    im pretty sure about knowing that i want to go into police. in terms of getting promoted, is it better to be your own person or one of those officers who follow every word of the law and writes citations for every little thing??

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    clobster

    over 4 years ago

    1552 Comments

    Honestly, a lot of this advice is kind of stuff I already expected. Of course you should respect officers with more experience than you and learn from them. You'd be an idiot not to. Captken1958's advice should be one there. Discretion is important.

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    captken1958

    over 4 years ago

    8 Comments

    I'm a retired captain and instructor, I want to share with you my number one topics with new recruits. You don't get paid to let these people hurt you, alway's maintain control of your incident and watch the hands of a suspect, those hands will kill you not his face. Don't be afraid to use force when the situation calls for it. Once you have control STOP THE FORCE, don't be a news video victim.

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    Robofuzz

    over 4 years ago

    310 Comments

    Most of that stuff is great but a lot of it is too touchy-feely.

    For instance - what I saw most in rookies I trained was a reluctance to use force when it was appropriate and justified. So one of the things in that list should be "Don't be slow to use force when it's justified."

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    lyncynthia

    over 4 years ago

    6 Comments

    Yes, put your car in park and never complain about mics!!! I was out of FTO only a few weeks and while on a welfare check speaking to the people in their driveway my patrol car begins to roll...of course the wheels were canted to the left. The car began to roll and all I saw was the house across the street. I caught up to the car, but of course the doors were locked as they always are when I am on a call. The unit hit the corner of the house. It missed the main gas line by inches. Needless to say I was scared to death. I was a female rookie.....enough said! As it turns out you could hear on the audio me checking out on the radio AND putting the car into park. Upon further investigation...at the local mechanics shop there was a censor out in the transmission. WHEW!!!!

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    RayZakrzewski

    over 4 years ago

    2 Comments

    After 33+years of LE experience- believe me I have learned a lot and I think it is a good idea to work caustiously to say the least. Never be afraid to listen to a recruit for they may have some good ideas - remember when you were just starting in your job.

    Always remember that every call you answer has the potention for serious injury and/or death for there is always a deadly weapon that is present and it is YOU that brings it to the scene. Be responsible and remember that the life you save may be your own.
    P.S. I enjoy your website - keep up the good work.

    RAYZAK - Washtenaw County Sheriff's Dept. - Ann Arbor, MI

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