Ad JS

Collapse

Leaderboard

Collapse

Leaderboard Tablet

Collapse

Leaderboard Mobile

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

FTO Worries

Collapse

300x250 Mobile

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    Originally posted by Ratatatat View Post
    Departments have one of two approaches to FTO programs:

    1). The FTO program exists to train new officers how to be safe, effective, and legal, and are structured so trainees largely succeed.

    or

    2). The FTO program exists to wash out applicants that don't meet the mold. Trainees are servile and burdensome and are to be treated as such until they pass muster.

    Lucky for me, our FTO program takes the first approach.

    I just came off a bad stretch of days. No huge mistakes, but a lot of small ones, and a few moderate ones. My FTO was clearly getting frustrated and appeared to be losing faith in me, and I've been frustrated as well. I've been down in the dumps and kicking the living **** out of myself.

    I went to my lieutenant to talk about my situation, and how I was very aware that I was behind in terms of development and wanted to make it better. He said "If you fail, it means we failed you," and said that, while the program is a minimum of 90 days, they can, and have, extended the program out 6 and 8 months if need be, and they'll use every angle they can to get the best out of me (different FTOs, different platoons, all types of training, etc). All I need to do is stick with it. He assured me that I was far from the worst they've seen in FTO trainees...and he emphasized that he was talking about guys currently on the department and not those who had failed. Apparently, of the last 30+ people they've hired in the past 10 or so years, only 3 failed FTO, and 2 of those were fired for integrity issues and not performance.

    Btw, another important facet of FTO programs is this: Who controls the narrative also controls reality. Those (often subjective) reviews can make or break a new officer....
    That's something I'm worried about. My first FTO and I really didn't gel much. I was always tense around him and he picked apart absolutely EVERYTHING about me. But his DORs are usually a lot less harsh than his actual teaching. They added a second FTO and it's kinda flipped around now: He's not as nitpicky, and he's a bit easier to talk to, but he's a much harder grader.

    However, in less than a month, I'll be switching platoons entirely, so it'll be interesting to see how that goes. Each platoon has a different culture it seems. I'm still trying to figure out which one I fit into the most.
    "If the police have to come get you, they're bringing an @$$ kicking with them!"
    -Chris Rock

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by GangGreen712 View Post


      Lucky for me, our FTO program takes the first approach.

      I just came off a bad stretch of days. No huge mistakes, but a lot of small ones, and a few moderate ones. My FTO was clearly getting frustrated and appeared to be losing faith in me, and I've been frustrated as well. I've been down in the dumps and kicking the living **** out of myself.

      I went to my lieutenant to talk about my situation, and how I was very aware that I was behind in terms of development and wanted to make it better. He said "If you fail, it means we failed you," and said that, while the program is a minimum of 90 days, they can, and have, extended the program out 6 and 8 months if need be, and they'll use every angle they can to get the best out of me (different FTOs, different platoons, all types of training, etc). All I need to do is stick with it. He assured me that I was far from the worst they've seen in FTO trainees...and he emphasized that he was talking about guys currently on the department and not those who had failed. Apparently, of the last 30+ people they've hired in the past 10 or so years, only 3 failed FTO, and 2 of those were fired for integrity issues and not performance.



      That's something I'm worried about. My first FTO and I really didn't gel much. I was always tense around him and he picked apart absolutely EVERYTHING about me. But his DORs are usually a lot less harsh than his actual teaching. They added a second FTO and it's kinda flipped around now: He's not as nitpicky, and he's a bit easier to talk to, but he's a much harder grader.

      However, in less than a month, I'll be switching platoons entirely, so it'll be interesting to see how that goes. Each platoon has a different culture it seems. I'm still trying to figure out which one I fit into the most.
      Been a few months, how's it going?

      Comment


      • #18
        I was allowed to resign and leave on good terms in August. I wasn't going to make it through FTO.

        After four months in, I, my FTO, my sergeant, and the chief all agreed that the department and I were not a good fit for one another. The jurisdiction where I worked was a very urban, extremely busy, high crime area, and better for people who are more naturally aggressive than I am.

        To be honest, I had quite a few reservations about taking that job to begin with. The town has a well-deserved reputation for being very tough, and a lot of people, including other cops, wondered why I wanted to work there. But after years of trying, I wasn't going to turn down my first police job offer. But I was just way too stressed working in such a setting; in addition to having to learn a new and difficult job, it was also a culture shock for me. To be honest, I don't know how effective I would have been even if I had made it through FTO. After about 3 months of FTO, I kinda knew that I was really attempting to shoehorn myself into a department and town for which I wasn't really suited, but I didn't want to quit.

        So, we all agreed that I would be better suited for a more suburban or rural setting with a lower call volume and in a less densely packed area, and they wanted me to leave with dignity and to try again somewhere else. And, to be honest, throughout FTO, I had been thinking the same thing. The lieutenant in charge of patrol told me that he didn't think that I would never be a good fit for a department like this one; just that it wasn't always the best department for a new officer to start his career unless he was already wired for the constant going, going, going. I wasn't the first officer at this department to find this out, and he said I would be far from the last.

        So, my point being, it didn't work out, but I'm at peace with how things turned out, I don't regret taking the job, and I know I gave everything I had. I have nothing but good things to say about the department (except that they're underfunded, but that's not their fault). There are some excellent officers and supervisors, and they were very supportive and helpful to me the entire time I was there, and they've been very supportive since I left. I'm still on good terms with everyone there. I also gained a lot of experience and learned a lot about the job very quickly, and I learned more about myself, my strengths, and my limitations.

        I'm back to working as a CO at the county jail. My goal is now to try and get a part time police job in a smaller, slower jurisdiction, then hopefully turn that part time job into a full time gig. I know I'll have a bit of an uphill battle with this in my background, but it is what it is.
        Last edited by GangGreen712; 12-06-2017, 03:55 AM.
        "If the police have to come get you, they're bringing an @$$ kicking with them!"
        -Chris Rock

        Comment


        • #19
          The big lesson here, as documented in this thread over the past several months, is not everything works out perfectly in life but it usually works out for the best.

          And nothing ventured, nothing gained. And what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.

          Let some time pass and then re-group and re-focus. Just like you wouldn't put your hand on a hot stove a second time, you'll learn from this experience and find a place that better fits your bearing.

          The low dirty truth is LE is chock full of people who tried this and ended up doing that; who got sideways at some point and had to make a change; who hit a speed bump on the road to excellence and hit a wall. Ultimately all you can do is be honest with yourself, be humble, be professional, and take it in stride.

          And don't worry too much about the "uphill battle with this in my background." You left on cordial terms. There was no unfit for duty issues or discipline problems. What they'll likely say is 'this department wasn't the right fit for him, but it sounds like the new department may be more his cup of tea." Or something like that.

          I've known many people over 25 years in this line of work. Some had perfectly neat careers- they got hired with one agency, never had any real issues, got promoted a time or two, and then one day turned in their gear, had their retirement party, and went home to go watch their beautiful grandchildren play on the front porch. But that's not reality for many others, who failed as much as they succeeded, got kicked in the teeth a time or two and had to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, and for who the dream job never became reality but they didn't give up and ended up having a respectful career and making a positive difference along the way.


          My apologies for all the clich├ęs.

          There are some things which cannot be learned quickly, and time, which is all we have, must be paid heavily for their acquiring. They are the very simplest things and because it takes a man's life to know them the little that each man gets from life is very costly and the only heritage he has to leave.

          -Ernest Hemingway

          Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.

          -Abraham Lincoln

          Don't. Don't believe. Don't believe the hype.

          -Flava Flav

          Comment


          • #20
            Departments have one of two approaches to FTO programs:

            1). The FTO program exists to train new officers how to be safe, effective, and legal, and are structured so trainees largely succeed.

            or

            2). The FTO program exists to wash out applicants that don't meet the mold. Trainees are servile and burdensome and are to be treated as such until they pass muster.

            Ratatatat: What number does USFWS or most land management agencies use? 1 or 2?

            Comment


            • #21
              More of 1 than 2 with a few notable exceptions....
              There are some things which cannot be learned quickly, and time, which is all we have, must be paid heavily for their acquiring. They are the very simplest things and because it takes a man's life to know them the little that each man gets from life is very costly and the only heritage he has to leave.

              -Ernest Hemingway

              Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.

              -Abraham Lincoln

              Don't. Don't believe. Don't believe the hype.

              -Flava Flav

              Comment


              • #22
                What are those exceptions?

                Comment


                • #23
                  Hmmm, let's see... you can start with Colorado/Utah....
                  There are some things which cannot be learned quickly, and time, which is all we have, must be paid heavily for their acquiring. They are the very simplest things and because it takes a man's life to know them the little that each man gets from life is very costly and the only heritage he has to leave.

                  -Ernest Hemingway

                  Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.

                  -Abraham Lincoln

                  Don't. Don't believe. Don't believe the hype.

                  -Flava Flav

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Is that why CO/UT always seems to have openings for BLM, FS, USFWS....

                    Comment

                    MR300x250 Tablet

                    Collapse

                    What's Going On

                    Collapse

                    There are currently 5060 users online. 241 members and 4819 guests.

                    Most users ever online was 19,482 at 12:44 PM on 09-29-2011.

                    Welcome Ad

                    Collapse
                    Working...
                    X