Welcome back. This is our last installation of articles on the 21st Century Field Training Officer. In March of 2016, NAFTO had the opportunity to present this information in classroom form to an audience of some of America’s best Law Enforcement instructors at the annual ILEETA conference in Chicago, Illinois. (more…)
21st Century Field Training; Part #2
Welcome back! This is Part #2 of our series on the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing and its impact on the field training unit. One aspect of NAFTO training, philosophy and mind-set that I have always been very proud of is the fact that we are not chained to history. I believe that at NAFTO we believe that we can take our training and experience and move forward with time as law enforcement practices evolve. I was told once that cops hate two things. We hate change and we also hate the way things are. Funny and true for most of us. I hope to ease some nerves and help clear some muddy waters for training officers out there facing the winds of change as FTOs. (more…)
21st Century Field Training; Part #1
The National Association of Field Training Officers has been keeping a close eye on the impact and effects that the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing has had on field training programs nation-wide.
NAFTO fields questions on a regular basis from departments asking for guidance or training in an effort to comply with the task force’s final report. This series of articles is meant to hopefully clarify some matters and share with our members how NAFTO can help support field training programs throughout the country. (more…)
What Shape Is Your FTO Program In?
What Shape Is Your FTO Program In, and Does It Reflect Where You Want To Be?
It has been a long time since most agencies have done any significant hiring so what will it take to be ready for the new officers when they enter your FTO training? Most agencies will just dust off the field training program they have been using for years and be excited to get the new bodies in the field as quickly as possible. Although this will work for the most part, and your agency will be happy to get the officers on the street with the same training as your field training officers received when they started out, but is that good enough for today’s policing? (more…)
Texting vs Talking
After attending the NAFTO Conference in Washington State and attending the class “Generational Differences” I not only found out how old I was, but there was a significant generational gap between me and my trainee’s. In an effort to close the gap, not in age, but in knowledge I found myself looking up Twitter, Facebook and Instagram just to see how they worked. In my futile effort to understand it all, I found a lot of people freely expressing themselves. I thought if they were willing to be that expressive on a computer then they would have no problem talking with other human beings; boy was I wrong. (more…)
Have you thanked your FTO lately?
A good training officer will provide the tools needed to a new officer so they can build a successful career
By Joshua School, C1 Contributor
What group of people are the most influential in shaping officers at a correctional facility? Who works with new officers on a daily basis? Who do veteran officers turn to for professional advice? (more…)
Leadership FTO vs Sgt.
About seven years ago I wrote an “FTO Manual” for newly appointed Sergeants & Acting Sergeants for my department. The entire manual was based off the principals and concepts I have been teaching for about 20 years as a Washington State FTO Academy instructor.
I wrote this article as an introduction to the manual. It outlines some concepts and principals about leadership I felt were basic, but important to a new sergeant. While writing the article I realized that any point you could substitute the word sergeant for FTO and it would all still hold true. I think if you read it from the perspective of being an FTO you’ll agree. (more…)
Creativity – Key for Developing Student Officer
I have observed that student officers tend to get easily frazzled with tasks that most field training officers would consider to be routine. As field training officers we should try to recognize these tasks and develop training to assist the student officers. (more…)
My First Day with a Student Officer
Without a doubt the concepts and principals of a field training program have evolved over the last 25 years. The value of a standardized program, offering the necessary guidelines and documentation, has more than proven its worth.
Probationary Release: It’s Not Easy!
Over the course of the last seven years managing our Field Training Unit, I’ve been forced to make a multitude of difficult decisions. Luckily, it’s what I have trained myself to do. I cross my fingers most every day and hope that training and experience has helped me make the right decision. I recently made yet another difficult decision. That decision was to recommend a Probationary Release for one of our new Officers in Training. This was the fifth time in my tenure as the unit leader that I had to make such a recommendation, and I took note that the training and experience I’ve had on this topic did not make it any easier to handle such a bleak decision. (more…)