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Question for FTOs

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Headshot_max50

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Posted about 5 years ago

 

Many of us looking to get into Law Enforcement ask questions about getting on the department, testing for a department, or qualities necessary to get a job in LE, but I haven't found much about what to do once you get hired, so my question is:


What are the attributes and attitudes you look for in a new trainee?  Once we get the job, and get through the acadamy, what do you, as an FTO, want your new trainee to be like, have, or do when you start training them in the field?


Thanks to PETE114 for all your advise thus far, and for suggesting I post this question to the rest of the forum.


 

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Rate This | Posted about 5 years ago

 

Ask questions...the more the merrier. I always arrived at work about 30 minutes early, it really impressed me when my trainee was there waiting on me. Also, you have got to be naturally curious, ambitous, for you see, as an FTO, we can tell if you're faking it.


Long time ago my FTO said "I'm only going to TELL you once, so you better learn it the first time", get ready to ask questions if your FTO is like this.

Dimebag_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 5 years ago

 

I was an FTO, off and on, for 24 of my 28 years.  These were the first two things I told a new recruit once he/she settled into the squad;


I will send you home for two reasons......... 1. Officer safety....... 2. A bad attitude (I am better than you are because I am a police officer now) towards the general public.


Listen.  Pay attention to details.  Your's and your partner's safety.  No condescending attitude towards the public.


 


Just my 2 cents worth.


 


Good luck to you.

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Rate This | Posted about 5 years ago

 

I agree completely with the above and would throw in this:


Know the department Mission Statement, their philosophy, and core values.  The entire job for that agency revolves around these things.

Th_detective_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 5 years ago

 

1. Pay Attention to details....listen, look, learn


2. Be punctual


3. Be neat and clean in uniform and personal appearance at all times (Professionalism)


4. Don't anticipate.....ask..........if you are not certain.....ask again!


5. Remember that you are a "Newbie" and have to prove yourself to the veteran officers (so don't joke around like you are an "Old Salt)..


6. Follow directions


7. Always, and I mean ALWAYS.....present a professional image to the public (courteous, calm, self-assured, in control of emotions)


8. Be proactive rather than reactive


9. take notes


10. Bring your FTO coffee at the start of the shift (hey, it can't hurt right?)


"Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected."
Steve Jobs

Retleo (MODERATOR #8)
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Dcp01604_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 5 years ago

 

As a prior FTO, I agree with all of the above.

Csi_squirrle_max600_1__max50

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Rate This | Posted about 5 years ago

 

What you learn in the academy is just enough to get you in trouble.  Listen to the FTO he/she got the job because he/she knows his/her stuff.

P1030089_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 5 years ago

 

I would like to add confidence not cockyness and dont make excuses....we know that you are new and dont know everything. My biggest complaint with trainees is stupid excuses. "I'm not from around here" is not an excuse for not being able to locate an address. If you are from the town you are hiring in be prepared on geography, you will get dispatched to 123 Main St not "across from <insert landmark here>.

Cot_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 5 years ago

 

Retleo says ...



1. Pay Attention to details....listen, look, learn


2. Be punctual


3. Be neat and clean in uniform and personal appearance at all times (Professionalism)


4. Don't anticipate.....ask..........if you are not certain.....ask again!


5. Remember that you are a "Newbie" and have to prove yourself to the veteran officers (so don't joke around like you are an "Old Salt)..


6. Follow directions


7. Always, and I mean ALWAYS.....present a professional image to the public (courteous, calm, self-assured, in control of emotions)


8. Be proactive rather than reactive


9. take notes


10. Bring your FTO coffee at the start of the shift (hey, it can't hurt right?)




MODERATOR #7

Me_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 5 years ago

 

I have an additional question. When going through backgrounds my BI told me FT is probably the most stressful part of the whole job application/training process. Additionally, I did a ride along and the officer I rode with told me that a high percentage of recruits fail out of FT.


How hard is it to fail the FT process?

Avatar_wild_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 5 years ago

 

doubleup29 says ...



I have an additional question. When going through backgrounds my BI told me FT is probably the most stressful part of the whole job application/training process. Additionally, I did a ride along and the officer I rode with told me that a high percentage of recruits fail out of FT.


How hard is it to fail the FT process?



The field training process is designed to give recruits every chance in succeeding. We haven't invested all that time and money into someone to just can them for no reason. But it is a process designed to determine whether or not you can do this job. If you are having continuing problems during this process (especially where training and re-training have occurred), then it might be time to re-evaluate whether this is the career for you.


Heroes Live Forever!

Me_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 5 years ago

 

Being from the military I had assumed PDs had the same logic as the military in regards to this. You invest a lot of money into someone or something, you want it to succeed. That's why the officer's comment kind of threw me off guard. I understand FT being a stressful time, I just wanted to see if perhaps the officer's comment was based upon hearsay or maybe the department just happened to have a few bad eggs in a short time period.

Evil_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 5 years ago

 

NEVER rationalize, ever.  If you screw up (and you will) accept it, listen to criticizism. don't make excuses and DO NOT argue w/ the FTO about anything they observe.


I hate having to sit around waiting for my trainee to get ready for the begining of the shift.  I does not reflect well in their DOR.


When switching FTO's don't say well so and so told me this.  Ideally each FTO will teach the same stuff.  However we're human and use different paths to get to the same destination.  Learn each one and choose which works best for.


You have the rest of your life to solve the problem, how long your life lasts depends on how well you do it. -Clint Smith

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Jpd_new_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 5 years ago

 

doubleup29 says ...



Being from the military I had assumed PDs had the same logic as the military in regards to this. You invest a lot of money into someone or something, you want it to succeed. That's why the officer's comment kind of threw me off guard. I understand FT being a stressful time, I just wanted to see if perhaps the officer's comment was based upon hearsay or maybe the department just happened to have a few bad eggs in a short time period.



I've seen more recruits lost in the Academy than through FT-ing.  The key is to always stay the course (hard work) after leaving the Academy and through you probationary period. 


"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
George Orwell

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
― Sun Tzu

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Jpd_new_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 5 years ago

 

A lot of good info posted here.  I like the "bringing the FTO coffee" suggestion. 


"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
George Orwell

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
― Sun Tzu

PL Mentoring Team Member

Avatar_wild_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 5 years ago

 

PETE114 says ...



A lot of good info posted here.  I like the "bringing the FTO coffee" suggestion. 



There's always the, once you pass a phase, its a nice gesture to bring food for the FTO and his crew, idea. Food makes everyone happier.


Heroes Live Forever!

Evil_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 5 years ago

 

jlu492 says ...



PETE114 says ...



A lot of good info posted here.  I like the "bringing the FTO coffee" suggestion. 



There's always the, once you pass a phase, its a nice gesture to bring food for the FTO and his crew, idea. Food makes everyone happier.



No Coffee, NEVER.  Bring me coffee and you get a NRT (Not Responding to Training).  Then again I am the exception to the rule. 


You have the rest of your life to solve the problem, how long your life lasts depends on how well you do it. -Clint Smith

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Avatar_wild_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 5 years ago

 

That's where you can see if your probationer has good observation skills. FTO drinks coffee or FTO doesn't drink coffee


Heroes Live Forever!

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Rate This | Posted about 5 years ago

 

I had one trainee, that had been hired for corrections and had been employed for over a year at our department, decide that he wanted to transfer to the road. He went thru the academy and the first night on the road, I was his FTO. We responded to about 6 calls, 2 of which were hot calls. Next night the trainee was a no-show. I made a few phone calls and found him. After the first night he decided that the road was no place for him.


FTO program works

Me_last_wk_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 5 years ago

 

Retleo says ...



1. Pay Attention to details....listen, look, learn


2. Be punctual


3. Be neat and clean in uniform and personal appearance at all times (Professionalism)


4. Don't anticipate.....ask..........if you are not certain.....ask again!


5. Remember that you are a "Newbie" and have to prove yourself to the veteran officers (so don't joke around like you are an "Old Salt)..


6. Follow directions


7. Always, and I mean ALWAYS.....present a professional image to the public (courteous, calm, self-assured, in control of emotions)


8. Be proactive rather than reactive


9. take notes


10. Bring your FTO coffee at the start of the shift (hey, it can't hurt right?)


 


I totally agree with most of these. Not sure about #10 though. lol