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When did you start to "get it"?


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  • When did you start to "get it"?

    I'm starting my "shadow phase" of FTO this week (weeks 11-13) and while I feel way more confident than I did on day 1, I feel like there's so much I still don't know how to handle.

    I'm lucky and have a minimum of 6 other officers on a shift with me so they can always help out when I'm stuck. But my main question is after being on your own after FTO, when did it start to click for you guys?

    Just something I've been thinking about since I'm so close to being on my own. Thanks!

  • #2
    I've only been by myself for 5 months and I can tell you that usually there's at least one new call each shift that I get. I've talked to other Officers and I've heard that it takes at least 5 years to see most calls but still there's times I'm with some guys who have worked for 15 years and they'll get a new call. Unless its a high priority call take your time and think through it, call another Officer for advice if you can.


    • #3
      I'm almost 3 years in, and MOST calls are pretty familiar now. I'd say at about 1.5 years I started to feel comfortable (not sure if that's a good thing or not).
      Bottom line is, it will happen when it happens, which is different times for different people. And I'm really just talking about when the anxiety starts to wear off. The weird thing is one day (sooner than you think), you're gonna be the senior officer on the call, and you're gonna be calling the shots. But you'll be ready. It's a very steep learning curve at first.

      Also, it's the same as any other job... fake it til you make it. To the public, show confidence and act like you know what you're doing, even if you don't.


      • #4
        Just remember the basics. No matter what the call is. make sure everyone including yourself is safe and get control of the situation. Once that is done then you can take your time. I have about 1.5 on and am pretty comfortable on most calls but it seems like once a set I will get something completely off the wall that I have little idea how to deal with. That is what Sgts' and Lt's are for, ask them and go from there.


        • #5
          Just always keeps your eyes open and don't get tunnel vision. When I first started I would drive to my calls and not look around much, until one day I saw a party that matched the description walking a different direction then dispatch gave me. In the end it ended up being the suspect. Since that day (which I'm glad happened early) I've learned to slow down, think about what I'm doing, and to keep my eyes open.


          • #6
            Sounds like you're on track. Situational awareness grows with familiarity and repitition. As the others have stated you'll be learning 'new' stuff for years. I think what Amigo said has a lot of weight.....slow down, think, eyes open. I would add that you need to keep your emotions/ego under control and never be complacent with officer safety..
            Harry S. Truman, (1884-1972)
            “Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.”

            Capt. E.J. Land USMC,
            “Just remember – life is hard. But it’s one hell of a lot harder if you’re stupid.

            George Washington, (1732-1799)
            "I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man."

            Originally posted by Country_Jim
            ... Thus far, I am rooting for the zombies.


            • #7
              Controlling your emotions is huge as well. Being new, you will have a fire under your butt to be proactive and that is perfectly fine. Just make sure you stay safe while doing so. People are going to test you and try to make you mad. I'd be lying if I said it is easy to ignore, but you have to do your best.

              Also learning how to talk to people is another obstacle many people struggle with (not saying you are). There are times where you say "sir" and ma'am", and there are times where that stuff flies right out the window. Criminals can tell when you're new for many different reasons, but talking like an academy text book is a big one.


              • #8
                My biggest issues when I started were:
                Situational Awareness, "Radio Ear", Street Names, Talking to People, My Size vs. Others...

                I am 5'6", on the smaller size, so I was always smaller (usually) than the person I was confronting, so in time, I learned to utilize verbal judo to defuse situations with my mouth so I wouldn't have to fight it out, however, sometimes that will NOT work.

                Always be aware of your surroundings and know where your other units are, as well as the bad guys! But don't get sucked up into looking around so much that you stop paying attention to what's in front of you.

                Learn street names!! Practice different ways to remember them, I used Would Frank Green Please Come Back From Going Running to remember Warren, Franklin, Green, Pennington, Congress, Bourbon, Fountain, Girard, Revolution...

                As Amigo said, there will be times when you should and will use "sir" or "ma'am"... There are times I call folks on the street "chief" or "boss" or "man" (Hey, man, what's up)... but only if I am more familiar with them (small town). There will also be times when the F word will be used as a comma so the bad dudes know what's up. Sometimes they only understand the F bomb. Don't sir or ma'am during a fight...DO use "Stop Resisting" especially if you are in the public eye... BUT don't wear yourself out talking, it takes energy away from you fighting..

                GO HOME AT THE END OF YOUR SHIFT!! WIN! Do not LIVE EAT and BREATHE this job!!! It will consume you if you let it.

                I always equate it to The Matrix.. once you are unplugged, you can't get back in... once you take the pill, your eyes are open to reality. We live in reality, everyone else lives in the Matrix.
                Last edited by jchughes05; 09-05-2014, 07:40 AM.
                The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed.

                I Am the Sheepdog.

                "And maybe just remind the few, if ill of us they speak,
                that we are all that stands between
                the monsters and the weak." - Michael Marks



                • #9
                  Really good Fellas! Thanks. Just finished FTO. Riding solo


                  • #10
                    Learn street names!! Practice different ways to remember them, I used Would Frank Green Please Come Back From Going Running to remember Warren, Franklin, Green, Pennington, Congress, Bourbon, Fountain, Girard, Revolution...
                    This brought back memories...for me it was Right On, Boys, My Players Entertain Like F***

                    Reading that back, it seems ridiculous. But it worked for me at that time.


                    • #11
                      Since this thread got brought back from the graveyard....was good to read it again. 6 years later, I’m an FTO now at a bigger busier place. STILL taking advice from the older Veterans- never stop taking advice and learning!!


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