Field officer training series focuses on strong fundamentals

Over 60 local law enforcement personnel from various agencies to include Navy Police, Judiciary of Guam, and the Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency participated in a training that helps lay a solid foundation for incoming officers.


What is a field training officer? An FTO essentially serves as a guide that all new officers are expected to follow. They are responsible for cultivating and nurturing the new officers into becoming the type of officer the community deserves. Recently, a weeklong training was held.


Sgt. Maggie Naputi from the Guam Police Department is one of the coordinators, and she told KUAM News, “This is a unique opportunity for the Guam Police Department and our law enforcement counterparts.” She added, “The Officer Safety and Wellness Program that focuses on the development of the complete employee. So we are thankful to have this training series funded by the 2019 Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Grant.”


It’s the second time that Graham Tinius, coordinator from the National Association of Field Training Officers, has been on island. “What we are doing with the multiple agencies that are in this course is providing structured nationally-recognized training to develop the best field training officers that we can because our FTOs are the first officers that get their hands on developing our new officers,” he explained.


It’s in this comprehensive curriculum that they are learning how to develop the officer in all facets of being a police officer, adding that they will grow within the department and better serve the community. And when it comes to policing across the country? Tinius says it’s basically the same.


He shared, “We’re responding to the same calls, we’re facing the same challenges – recruiting, retention, development, mentoring and coaching…these are issues that police departments in the us are facing.”


Paul Hasselberger, who is president of NAFTO, explains that this training aims to address these issues that GPD and the other law enforcement agencies are experiencing. He said, “The understanding is treating the officers and ensuring our employees are treated properly with the support and resiliency wellness resources. It makes them better employees which translates to better services to the people that we serve and it trickles down so that our community is getting the best from our officers.”


The training series wrapped up friday, with a manager’s workshop.


“It’s been a fantastic class. We have over 60 officers from, I believe, 8 or 9 different agencies in the course. Everyone is really involved, there’s a lot of great discussion, I think people are excited to be here and they’re going to be excited to go back to work to put some of the things they learned into practice,” he said.


Upon completion, the officers received certification.