Field Training Officers are responsible for training newly hired Police Officers. The goal of the Field Training Program is to produce competent, skilled, and dedicated officers who are capable of working as a solo officer in an assigned area of the City.
FTO’s are selected through a competitive testing process where their performance, competence and leadership abilities are reviewed. Once selected FTO’s must attend a 40 hour California Peace Officers Standards and Trainings certified training course. This course provides the FTO with the foundational knowledge and skills necessary to teach, communicate, and evaluate new officers.
The Field Training Program of new officers is divided into four phases with each phase lasting one month. The trainee will work with different FTOs during each phase, offering the trainee to learn from the different experiences of each FTO.
In each phase the FTOs introduce a variety of tasks, duties, procedures, and policies that the trainee is required to learn and appropriately apply. These training objectives are documented in a training manual. When the trainee has properly demonstrated the requisite knowledge and skills for that objective, the FTO will certify that objective by signing it off in the manual. The manual is used as a guide to make sure all of the basic fundamentals of police work are taught. The goal of each phase is to move the trainee to become more competent and self-sufficient.
The FTO evaluates the new officer on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. These evaluations are formally documented and forwarded to the shift and FTO program supervisors for review. The comments and critiques in these evaluations are used to design the following weeks training and to determine if the trainee is prepared to advance to the next training phase. These documents become a permanent part of the trainee’s training file.
After successfully completing the FTO Program, a trainee officer will be assigned to work as a solo officer in the Patrol Division under the supervision of a Patrol Sergeant or Watch Commander. They will remain on probation until they have successfully completed one year of service.