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  • Large Departments/FTO Requirements

    Do large departments such as Aurora, Joliet, Rockford, etc., require that you learn the geography of the whole city of just a couple beats? I think Chicago just requires you know your district, knowing every district in some of these cities could be impossible.
    Those who have struggled with failure more appreciate success; than those who succeed but never themselves test.

  • #2
    Originally posted by 3531Marine View Post
    Do large departments such as Aurora, Joliet, Rockford, etc., require that you learn the geography of the whole city of just a couple beats? I think Chicago just requires you know your district, knowing every district in some of these cities could be impossible.
    I'll let the LE guys who have a better idea than the rest of us answer this question but I have heard that Aurora is very demanding and expects you to learn the streets very quickly. They are known for having a very tough FTO program, with a fail rate of nearly 50%. This might also be why you get 5 preference points simply for being a resident of Aurora... they want someone familiar with the city.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by 3531Marine View Post
      Do large departments such as Aurora, Joliet, Rockford, etc., require that you learn the geography of the whole city of just a couple beats? I think Chicago just requires you know your district, knowing every district in some of these cities could be impossible.
      I know that Aurora requires you to learn the whole city. It's split into 3 areas which are broken down into districts, and usually 1-2 officers work a district, but that's not enough because they are short staffed. For example if both district 2 cars are down on a call, then another district car within that area has to take district 2's call if one goes out. That's why you must know the entire city. It's not hard because the streets run straight in 100 block order, for the most part.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by niutrav09 View Post
        I'll let the LE guys who have a better idea than the rest of us answer this question but I have heard that Aurora is very demanding and expects you to learn the streets very quickly. They are known for having a very tough FTO program, with a fail rate of nearly 50%. This might also be why you get 5 preference points simply for being a resident of Aurora... they want someone familiar with the city.
        You are 100% correct!

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        • #5
          You should know all the streets in your town that you work. In Chicago, you should know the area you work, your District and surrounding areas. I don't think this is stressed enough , at least on CPD. Isn't a day goes by that I don't hear some guy tell on the radio " XXX EMERGENCY!, I have a foot chase." Then when the zone asks "Where are you XXX?" Dead silence. Don't know where they are, can't articulate where they are ( "west alley of 5600 block of south Winchester"). There is absolutely no reason, working any suburb, that you should not know the town.

          If a car calls for an assist, call down on a stop into a neighboring town, or you get a call for an address out of your normal patrol area, you would be expected to know how to get there or where you are. Not only that, but imagine how dumb you'd look if you get flagged down and someone asks how to get to a certain address and start unfolding a map on the hood of the car to find it. I'd think "Glad I'm not at that address dying."
          Last edited by ChiTownDet; 03-30-2011, 09:13 AM.

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          • #6
            I think the hardest part in Chicago is knowing where they installed those dead-end flower planters. I grew up in 022, and they started popping up all over the place. I can't imagine responding to a call, turning down the block, and finding a huge cement flower bed. That is seconded by the short streets that you never hear about. I'd have to use Google maps or something to respond to a domestic at 2930 S. McDermott Street.
            "We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence to those who would do us harm." - George Orwell, April 4, 1942

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            • #7
              Like Det stated, knowing the streets in your town are vital to officer safety, not only in your district but the surrounding districts around you. A good FTO will test you as you are going through your cycles. Having worked at least one shift in every district in the city, I often quiz myself the first portion of the tour if I am not familiar with the area. It is a very bad feeling when you are chasing a man with a gun and you have no idea where you are. You have to familiarize yourself with the street map off duty and constantly look at the street signs while you are on duty.

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              • #8
                You are correct about the areas and districts in Aurora. However, you do not need to know the entire city and there is no way you ever could. Also it is very hard to learn and only about 60% of the city is in 100 blocks. The rest are crazy residential streets that take along time to learn. A map book is very helpful while in FTO and after you finish a GPS is a great tool.

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                • #9
                  I'm talking about how things apply to FTO. I work in a larger town, but I can only tell you how we do things. In FTO you need to show you know the major streets, the hot spots, and that you are able to find other things on the map book or map program. More or less show that every shift you are picking up on things. Hell I've been on my current PD 5 years and still have to look up streets. We got 20 year vets on that will get lost in new subdivisions and have to ask Dispatch for cross streets. Yes, it is very important to always be aware of where you are, and always look at your street signs, but when your town has 600+ streets, it can be tough to know all streets off the top of your head.
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