Hi Guys,

This question is for anyone from someone who just finished FTO to seasoned professionals and of course FTO trainers.

I am 33 years old, spent the last 7 years of my life as a Banker. I start with my new dept. in early Jan. It is a small town northwest of Lubbock. We have 4 officers including the chief and a population of 2000.

I was told I would receive two weeks of FTO training (Half my training will be with a seasoned certified FTO and the other half will be with an officer who is not certified as an FTO but has 2 years experience in the town. I asked why the FTO program was so short and he stated it was because the call volume is so low. (Approx 2-4 calls every two weeks) He told me that whenever I do get anything, to call and he will come out and teach me case by case.

We do have two highways that run through town. One of which runs from NM to Amarillo and is a big drug running hwy. Most of my activity will obviously be traffic. Traffic and Domestics are taught in the academy as the two most dangerous activities a LE officer works with on a daily basis.

So, finally my question. LOL. What advice would you guys have for me. I will always be working by myself (we do have 1 deputy and state trooper on at a time so we do have back up it just may not be quick)

To the FTO's...What sort of mistakes do rookies commonly make?
To the rookies out there...What kind of lessons have you learned or mistakes you made that you never thought of before actually hitting the streets?
To the seasoned officers. Being that I will be running lots of traffic (At night) and the knowledge of it being a heavy drug running hwy, what sort of things should I be looking for to not only keep myself safe but to have a good idea if they are drug trafficking?

I know this was a really long post but I appreciate everyone who takes the time to answer me. I hope to one day have the experience to help out others.

Thank you