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FTP Failure to engage - asking help from fellow FTO's

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  • FTP Failure to engage - asking help from fellow FTO's

    Background on FTP: Graduated the academy in November and has been in field training since. FTP shows confidence on his radio transmissions, locations, codes, he takes/gathers all relevant information for reports in non-confrontational situations and is current Army Reserve.

    Scenario 1:

    Cruising around the county and FTP locks in on a vehicle doing 57 in a 45 mph zone. FTP yanks the wheel hard, 3 point turn around and guns the gas to catch up to suspect vehicle. Suspect vehicle dips into a community center (grabbing curb, etc.) and FTP just keeps driving on by like he saw nothing. When asked why he stopped chasing the vehicle, he just shrugged his shoulders and continued driving.

    Scenario 2:

    FTP takes a criminal mischief/property damage report of a suspect vehicle doing donuts in an open field tearing the crap out of the yard/grass. Complainant has a fairly detained description of the driver and has a picture of the suspect vehicle. Its a solid photo and easily recognizable vehicle if it were located. Fast forward to the next day. Stopped at a stop sign and to our left is the suspect vehicle. I say, "That's your vehicle." FTP responds, "Yup." Vehicle turns beside us to where we can see the driver and I say, "And that's your driver." Mind you the vehicle is still covered in mud from the day before. FTP flips on his blinker, turns right and goes about his driving like he didn't see anything. Fuming mad at this point in time I grab the radio mic and tell a unit behind us the suspect vehicle is heading his way if he could locate it for us we are turning around. I tell the FTP to get his crap together and find that vehicle. Vehicle is located and FTP approaches the suspect. FTP is so scared at this time he is stuttering his words and trembling afraid of the confrontation. I let FTP struggle for a while and I finally have to step in and suspect admits and confesses to his dumb choices.

    Scenario 3:

    Unwanted guest call. Father is at his wits end with his son who he kicked out of the house two weeks prior. Father had pre-paid for a hotel room for the son and the son was staying there until he got kicked out for all of the drug paraphernalia that was located in the room. Father said he woke up and found his son had snuck into the house overnight and he wanted him gone. Son is 6ft2 and about 270lbs, obviously bigger than any one else on the call. We go upstairs (4 units total) and FTP goes into the room, positions himself between the bed and furthest wall from the door and just stands there. No kick on the bed, no verbal communication to the son, no poke on the shoulder, no nothing. I let him stand there for probably 3-4 minutes just waiting/hoping for some sort of reaction from the FTP. Still no initiation from FTP towards the son. Finally the rest of us go grab the sheets off the bed, tell the son to get up and get the eff out of the house. He does, goes quietly and problem solved.

    All of these scenario's happened within the last week. Towards what should be the end of his Field Training (its getting extended). Now I've been an FTO for 5 years now. I've had FTP's fail to initiate contact or go hands on with suspects before but its always been worked out after some counseling and remedial training. This FTP does all the right things in training scenarios, I believe because he knows he wont get hurt, yelled at or generally won't die. Real live he freezes up, becomes nothing more than a statue, stutters and forgets everything that is taught to him.

    Can anyone either post, or message me any suggestions as to what has helped you in the past if you have had any similar issues when training. Together a few of us FTO's in my dept. have talked about it and we are struggling to come up with a solution other than just letting this FTP get into a slobber-knocker of a fight and see if he quits or uses it as a stepping stone to succeed.

    Thanks,
    DiveCop7940




  • #2
    Honestly it sounds like he/she is not cut out for police work. If they keep freezing up like that when it counts, they are going to get themselves hurt eventually, or a fellow officer hurt. I wouldn't want to work around someone like this. He/she is still on probation, why not just fire him?

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't think talking to him is going to do any good. At this point what your trainee needs is to get into a good old knock down drag out brawl. Either the light switch will turn on, he will get it and grow the balls he needs, or he will stay in permanent wimp mode and you will know it's time to recommend rejection on probation.
      Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

      Comment


      • #4
        I would say third strike.... you're out.
        Train for tomorrow, for you never know what it will bring to the fight.
        In the school of Policing, there is no graduation day.

        Arguing on the internet, is like wrestling with a pig in mud. After a while you realize that while you are getting dirty, the pig is actually enjoying it.
        Do Not Disturb sign should read, Already Disturbed Proceed With Caution.
        Even if the voices aren't real, They have some really good ideas.

        Comment


        • #5
          Termination. He's not going to get it. He's a safety risk to everyone else. Would YOU want to work with him as a partner? Do YOU want to be responsible for him for the rest of your career?
          Now go home and get your shine box!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by DiveCop7940 View Post
            . Towards what should be the end of his Field Training (its getting extended).
            There is your operative sentence..................................

            I agree it should be the end of his training....................

            Comment


            • #7
              Sounds like he needs to be cut loose. Have you spoken with his prior FTOs about his performance or lack of improving in the other rotations? Have you tried the old fashion one on one chat and just tell him point blank he better get his crap together or he won't be passing training? Document everything on the DOR and phase evaluations and recommend either cut him or extend him but doesn't sound like extending will solve his problem.
              Where'd you learn that, Cheech? Drug school?

              Comment


              • #8
                Some things can't be corrected in field training. This guy seriously has issues that are not conducive to police work. The longer this kid is on the street, the more danger he is to himself and others. These types rarely get themselves hurt though. They get their partners hurt. If he's allowed to continue, somebody will be seriously hurt or killed. It's as simple as that. Not everyone is cut out for the streets.

                Sit the kid down. Tell him that he's a danger to himself and others. Tell him it's time to move on to something else. The last kid I had the conversation with was visibly relieved to have it come to an end. He even said that his FTO period was the most stressful time of his life.
                Originally posted by kontemplerande
                Without Germany, you would not have won World War 2.

                Comment


                • #9
                  If they won't terminate him now, then seek out every confrontational situation and hot call citywide. Push the trainee to be the contact officer. He'll either step up and start performing or give you enough to terminate.

                  Have a come-to-Jesus meeting with him, too. If you can get him to admit he's scared of getting physical, he'll probably self-deselect. If he's avoiding engagement because he's afraid of getting a bad eval, he needs to know that mistakes are not only expected, but new situations are the only way he'll get good at it.
                  Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

                  I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ateamer View Post
                    If they won't terminate him now, then seek out every confrontational situation and hot call citywide. Push the trainee to be the contact officer. He'll either step up and start performing or give you enough to terminate.

                    Have a come-to-Jesus meeting with him, too. If you can get him to admit he's scared of getting physical, he'll probably self-deselect. If he's avoiding engagement because he's afraid of getting a bad eval, he needs to know that mistakes are not only expected, but new situations are the only way he'll get good at it.
                    This^

                    I make my living on Irish welfare.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hopefully your administration backs you up. Unfortunately not all do.
                      I make my living on Irish welfare.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I like what ateamer said. It sounds like a confidence issue.

                        However, from an FTO standpoint, have you tried realistic physical scenario based training? That's something we went over in FTO school. Find a "subject matter expert" (meaning the biggest, meanest DT instructor you can find) and set up a fake "hot call" for him. Have him get his butt kicked, see how he responds, and document it. I know you said you did scenario training, but I'm talking setting up a real physical beat down (only no risk of serious or lasting injury in the training environment as opposed to on the street).

                        Either he will surprise you or he'll get knocked around enough to have a wake-up call. I've known a few cops who were quite good at inflicting painful lessons in DT training without causing any lasting injury. He really should've learned that lesson in the academy, so it sounds like you're working from behind.
                        Last edited by DepTroop; 02-15-2017, 09:13 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          To the OP: If you feel that it will be productive you can try and set up some simulations that will involve high stress encounters and see how he handles them. However, he may not react in the same way because of knowing that it is a simulation.

                          In all honesty, this person probably needs to be let go. It really sounds like this is a situation that isn't going to fix itself or get better. It does, however, have a high likelihood of getting himself or someone else badly injured or killed. He is not reacting properly to confrontation/stress. Keep in mind, though, that this could also go in the opposite direction. His inability to react properly may swing the other direction and he wind up grossly over-reacting to a situation.

                          You can't save 'em all...
                          Anything worth shooting is worth shooting 3 or 4 times.

                          M-11

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                          • #14
                            If he can't be washed out for whatever reason, just save everybody the wait and promote him to LT now...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Does your department swap out FTO's in a phase system? Not to make excuses for the trainee or shed you in a bad light OP but maybe he needs a new FTO? Or has this already happened and he's making the same mistakes? If so then I agree he should be cut loose, as he is too much of a liability. We evolve as we experience new things and some take longer than others, although some never change. We had a guy once only wrote parking tickets, avoided confrontational situations and never initiated a single traffic stop. Needless to say he didn't make it past the probationary period.

                              Comment

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