Saturday, November 16, 2019


For those that don’t know, after the Police Academy, newly sworn officers have to go through field training and are assigned to several certified Field Training Officers. These officers are instrumental to the development of new officers, they can help or harm depending on how they do things.

Field training is approximately 3-4 months in length and within that entire time, officers assigned a trainer are being evaluated via the Field Training Officer on everything that they do. Again, this stage of training is very salutary because this is where everything is in real time. 

New officers under the guidance of their Field Training Officer are handling real time calls for service and incidents that carry with them real consequences. In addition to that, the new officer is riding in a car or working a station with their Field Training Officer for between 8-12 hours a day depending on the agency shift rotation schedule.

Field training is done in steps or phases; in the beginning the new officer will assist the Field Training Officer on calls and sort of shadows, so that they can see how calls for service are handled. As the training moves forward, the new officer is expected to start taking over until eventually by the end of the training, the Field Training Officer is merely shadowing the new officer on calls as they demonstrate acting in a solo capacity. That is a pretty simple way of explaining the way the training goes however, it isn’t as simple as it is stated. 

Some Field Training Officers are TERRIBLE and do things just to piss off the new officer or act in a hazing type mindset. It is never done with ill intentions however, it can be interpreted as such depending on the officer. Those type of Field Trainers tend to have a “My Badge is Bigger than Yours” type of mindset and have gotten over on those looking to learn from them in the past. They tend to pick and choose who they do it with though, because that mindset doesn’t work on everyone and can backfire if used incorrectly.

I’ve been through three FTO periods, with three agencies and I can tell you that all of them were completely different. The law enforcement aspects were similar in nature however, the training officers made all the difference. I have had both good and bad training officers throughout my career; luckily, I have always had the gift of confidence, and the belief that I can overcome whatever I need to in order to obtain my goals. That attribute has served me very well but for those that didn’t possess it not so much. I have witnessed plenty of people resign over HORRIBLE training officers. It is all about the mindset going in, plain and simple. 
Going through field training my mindset was always as follows; take all the criticism in, what was useful adapt it to how I wanted to do things on my own, and all the rest was discarded. I played nice until I was out of training, then it was my show to run on calls for service and I could tell them how things were getting done. If I didn’t know something, I said it. Now once it was told to me, I would not be asking them again because I’d make it my business to remember moving forward. 
All wasn’t easy though, there have been a few Field Training Officers that I had to remind that they were speaking to a grown man that was not going to tolerate any bullshit! I was never disrespectful in my actions however, I was no push over neither. Our badges are the same size after all. I'm made I must have been right :) 

Some Good...Some Bad...Badges are All the Same...

 Good...Some Bad...Badges Are All The Sa