Category Archives: FTO

Selecting FTOs

I am an FTO sergeant on my squad.  Today was the selection process for new field training officers.  A letter of intent, resume, supervisors’ recommendations, and performance evaluations were previously submitted by the candidates.  Interviews were then conducted by a panel of command officers and supervisors. The dozen candidates acquitted themselves well.  I was impressed with the applicants’ knowledge of our program, which is based upon the San Jose model.  During the interview, most articulated a strong desire to teach and explained the importance of adapting their style to the particular recruit’s learning needs. This is a far cry from the attitudes of FTO’s a few decades ago.  Years back, … Continue reading

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The Police Donut

So I was walking by the squad room, when one of the guys stopped me and said, “Hey Sarge, I have this theory about donuts.”  Huh?  Concerned for his mental health, I decided I needed to know more about donuts.  I sat down and asked him to explain himself.  He said, “I have an idea that police work is like eating a donut.”  Oh geez, why’d it have to be a donut. I invited him to continue.  He opined that, much like at the beginning of your employment, at first the donut is sweet and tasty and you want more.  But, he said, as your career progresses you reach a … Continue reading

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Officer Safety Assumptions and the Dispatch Center

I was bright and shiny and a little scared on my first shift in a real police car during field training.  After loading up, my FTO and I were buckled up in the cruiser in the PD parking lot.  He leaned over and prepared to say something.  I thought, Remember this, it could save my life!  Dryly, he said, “ And don’t take any sh*t from the dispatchers…” I think cops expect too much from the information provided them by the radio.  Have you ever heard a frustrated officer interrogate a telecommunicator for more details the operator obviously does not have?   It is a waste of radio time.  Just go … Continue reading

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