Trainers Blog

Blue Knights with Lt. Dan Marcou

Blue Knights
 with Lt. Dan Marcou

On patrol you are not looking for something, you are looking for everything.”  A long-time Field Training Officer told this to every recruit he ever trained.  He hoped to encourage them to be proactive and maintain a wide-open mind, during every contact. He did this because experience had taught him that one good cop can make a difference. (more…)

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Trainers Blog

Officer Safety: Inside and Out

Officer Safety: Inside and Out
By Sgt. David J. Harris

As the FTO Coordinator for my agency, it has been quite some time since I had a Student Officer in my car.  Recently that opportunity presented itself.  I found myself recalling all of the skill sets required to an effective FTO.  One thing that stood out to me is just how many things I need to know about the inside of the car-that has absolutely nothing to do with the Student Officer! (more…)

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Trainers Blog

The Importance of Wait Time

By Sgt. David J. Harris

In my previous article I discussed the reasons for FTO’s asking their trainees, or student officers, the “why” questions.  While I do believe it is critical to ask questions, it is just as important to permit our S/Os the time to answer them.

It is well documented in classroom settings that teachers ask their students questions and typically allow one second for the student to respond.  I don’t know about you, but unless they are asking me for my birthday or to recite the alphabet (in order), I would require some time to think about the question before I was able to respond.  The ability to correctly answer a question in 1 second typically requires memorization, sometimes referred to as rote recall.  The alphabet, multiplication, vowels are examples of subjects we learned in school and committed to memory.  How can we truly expect our S/Os to answer questions if we do not permit them the time to do so?

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Trainers Blog

Why Ask the “Why” Questions

By Sgt. David J. Harris

As a Field Training Officers, we are required to assume many roles, sometimes referred to as the ability to “wear many hats.”  Mentor, counselor, instructor, coach and evaluator to name a few.  One of these “hats” requires training and, in my humble opinion, experience.

As we all know, FTO’s are expected to evaluate the performance of the student officer (S/O) and not the personality.  How can an FTO properly evaluate a specific performance if they do not know “why” their Student Officer did what they did or did not do? (more…)

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