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  • Starting FTO Tonight

    After a long 28 week (non-residential) Academy, I have persevered and graduated last Thursday. Tonight, I begin my first shift of the 12 week FTO process...2145-0815. I have never been more proud in my life, but I'm also more nervous than the night before the Academy.

    I welcome any advice and input from those who have just come off of FTO and veterans alike.

    Proud to finally be a part of the TBL,
    -PO Michael J. B.
    -Mike
    The above comments reflect the personal, off-the-record, unofficial opinions of the individual posting them only, and in no way, shape, or form should be taken to indicate any particular opinion, policy, or belief by the poster's or any other agency, governmental entity, organization, or corporation. Thank you and have a nice day.

  • #2
    Good luck Mike, I'm sure you heard it in the academy but I'll break open the line invented on the 2nd day of policing for rookies: "keep your mouth shut and your ears open".
    Just remember no matter how mean/unfair you think your FTO is, their's usually a reason for it, and they've passed people before, so there's no reason you can't pass too.
    Stay safe.

    Comment


    • #3
      Although you graduated the academy, you're still not a 'person' in their eyes, you're a 'trainee' and will likely be treated as such. Anything remotely personal or considerate in your training consider a blessing, but don't take it for granted.

      And you're right, there's a reason for being trained the way your FTO(s) are training you. Eyes and ears and brain open, mouth shut.

      Good luck!

      EDJ
      "It's a game of cat and mouse. It's a game of hide and seek. Albeit games with deadly consequences. Like most games-the better you know the rules, the more likely you are to win."

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Loki21 View Post
        "keep your mouth shut and your ears open".
        Just remember no matter how mean/unfair you think your FTO is, their's usually a reason for it, and they've passed people before, so there's no reason you can't pass too.
        Stay safe.
        Just like ELDiabloJoe said--

        My FTO kept saying "Your kill me man, You’re Killing me". and it made me soo nervous….. Its funny I use that phrase now....

        Try to replay every night in your head. Because on your first solo you are going to try to remember everything the FTO said.


        GOOD LUCK….BRO...The best is yet to come...
        "An officer has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the quality of his actions and the integrity of his intent."

        Comment


        • #5
          Congratulations on graduating, and good luck on your FTO. Just remember not to second guess your FTO,listen to what they say, and try to relax. It's nerve wracking, but you can do it!
          I disaprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. -Voltaire

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          • #6
            The main important thing is to keep your mouth shut and never second guess your FTO. There will be times you dont like the way the FTO is doing things or how he acts, but remember he/she has probably had a few recruits in the past and know how to train them. FTO's are not there to be friends. They are there to make you a street cop and instill in your mind this is the real deal and not a safe enviornment like the academy was. Once you graduate you will either hate your FTO or become good friends. Everything they want you to do, JUST DO IT. Stay safe outthere!

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            • #7
              Congratulations Mike!

              While your with each FTO, whatever they say is gospel. Each FTO has a different way of doing things and the way one FTO wants you to handle a situation may be totally different that what another FTO wants. Never say "Well, that's how FTO XYZ told me to do it"...Just do it the way the current FTO wants it done.

              Once you are off training, take the things that you like from each FTO and add them to your bag of tricks. Develop your own style and have fun!
              sigpic

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              • #8
                Never rationalize.

                If you did something wrong, admit it, don;t say "Well, I did that BECAUSE XYZ". You were wrong, learn from your mistake and do not repeat it.

                Also, be confident. If you are going to do something do not say "Well, I think I should do this", say 'I am going to do this".

                I once had an instructor tell me that he would rather have me be "Confident and Wrong", than "Unsure and Right".
                U.S. Coast Guard R since 2006.
                Petty Officer Third Class (E-4)

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                • #9
                  Thanks for all of the advice. My first night went as well as could be expected, I think. Brief inspection, vehicle check, and my FTO tells me "go ahead and hop in the driver's seat and get comfortable." Got one report for criminal mischief to a garage gate arm, a few escorts (campus job, and all), a 911 hangup, a PubRel, and a traffic stop (stop sign, and then no insurance). First night out and I'm already scheduled for court, heh.

                  Made a few mistakes (my personability skills need some work, and I gave the guy the violator my copy of the citation instead of his), but was overall given a rating of "not bad at all" by my FTO. It's certainly interesting to see how things are done differently at the department compared to what I learned at the regional academy.

                  Now I'm off until Thursday for a block of four evening shifts...Cinco de Mayo weekend on campus...I should be busy.

                  Wish me luck.
                  -Mike
                  The above comments reflect the personal, off-the-record, unofficial opinions of the individual posting them only, and in no way, shape, or form should be taken to indicate any particular opinion, policy, or belief by the poster's or any other agency, governmental entity, organization, or corporation. Thank you and have a nice day.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MikeUD View Post
                    Thanks for all of the advice. My first night went as well as could be expected, I think. Brief inspection, vehicle check, and my FTO tells me "go ahead and hop in the driver's seat and get comfortable." Got one report for criminal mischief to a garage gate arm, a few escorts (campus job, and all),
                    Wish me luck.
                    Are you a UofD officer? Reason I ask is that I used to live in Newark & worked on Main Street for a number of years. Have a lot of good memories there.

                    Few things I learned as a young officer are just remember that you'll get flooded with info on things. Stop and take a breath once in a while before reacting/saying something that might possibly be incorrect. Try not to burn yourself out trying to remember everything. It will all come in time. Main thing to remember is Officer Safety, Officer Safety, Officer Safety (this was drilled into us at the academy) and I always keep this at the forefront of my mind when working. Always be there/watch your partner's back too. It'll become a great comfort to you knowing that they'll have yours should the time come. Don't take your work home--leave time for family & friends.

                    Congrats & best of luck!
                    "... They think I'm crazy... But I know better... It is not I who am crazy... It is I who am MAD!... Didn't you hear 'em? Didn't you see the crowds?!! Oh my beloved ice cream bar... How I love to lick your creamy center... And your oh-so-nutty chocolate covering... You're not like the others... You like the same things I do... Wax paper... Boiled football leather... Dog breath... WE'RE NOT HITCHHIKING ANYMORE... WE'RE RIDING...

                    --Ren Hoek, Space Madness

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                    • #11
                      Fto

                      Mike, first of all, congratulations. Immediately prior to retiring from the Alabama Dept of Public Safety, I was the FTO Supervisor for my unit. The first thing I'll offer you, is that the FTO Program is an extension of your Academy Training. Listen to the previously offered advice to "Keep your eyes, ears, open, and your mouth shut. Okay, that does not mean, don't ask questions. You're going to make mistakes. That's part of the learning curve, do your best to not make the same mistake twice. Off-duty, at home, if your program is similiar to mine, you'll have "homework", and study assignments. There will probably be a few written tests. FTO, in most cases, is a very structured program. When you successfully complete it, you'll have the confidence and practical experience needed to do the job. Good Luck!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        How's FTO going?
                        sigpic

                        I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

                        Comment

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