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  • Aidokea
    replied
    Originally posted by Bing_Oh View Post

    Congrats. Now comes the hard part...

    A bit of advice. Pay attention during the academy (assuming you're not already certified). Then, pay twice as much attention during FTO...this is probably the most important part of your "official" training. Once you're off FTO, find a mentor...an officer with experience and knowledge, preferably one you work with on a regular basis, who can act as a "big brother/sister" and answer questions. You don't learn everything in the academy or on FTO and a good mentor is worth their weight in gold to a new officer. Finally, don't be afraid to get into stuff...this is a profession where you learn hands-on, and even small stuff can be a learning experience (and inevitably leads to bigger stuff).
    I'll take that a little bit further.

    Nobody is going to expect you to know everything, even after you've been on the road for many years. But during FTO you ARE going to be expected demonstrate your ability to utilize your available resources to be able to find the answer to the questions that you have.

    To that end, it is important to know that just about everybody you will work with, is an expert in something. Find out who is an expert in what, and start collecting their phone numbers and programming them into your phone. During first phase of FTO, your coach will be your primary resource, but even during first phase, it's not too early to start finding out what other people know and collecting those phone numbers. Meal breaks are a good time to do that. Most officers are not bashful about telling you what they're good at.

    The other end of FTO is often a shock for trainee officers. Your coaches will actively coach you during the first three phases of FTO, but during fourth phase, your coach is not there to answer your questions- they are just there to evaluate your performance as you do 100% of the job. A lot of new officers get the idea that they need to be doing 75% of the job at the end of third phase, and then work up to 100% during fourth phase. But there is no "working up to it", because fourth phase starts off with you doing 100% of the job on day one. If you can only do 75% of the job at the end of third phase, you're going to have problems in fourth phase, because your coach won't be coaching you. And those problems aren't going to get solved by recycling you into fourth phase a second time, because your second fourth phase coach is just there to evaluate you. Recycling third phase would have solved that problem, but for a variety of reasons, some officers that aren't able to do 100% of the job, enter fourth phase instead of being recycled third phase. Often, the difference between success and failure during fourth phase, is the trainee officer's ability to utilize your available resources. Even if your coach isn't going to be there to answer your questions during fourth phase, that doesn't mean that your fellow officers can't answer your questions. That's where all those phone numbers come in handy.

    Leave a comment:


  • DeaconSteve
    replied
    Glad to know it's all coming together for you.

    Leave a comment:


  • PeteBroccolo
    commented on 's reply
    While doing go-fer work around the station, do not be "that guy" that, in modern fashion, is on his cell phone, checking out crap on the interschnette, during down-time. Instead, get onto the Agency interweb, or, if old-school, dig out the binders, and read through the operational and administrative policy and procedure manuals. Review your Municipal, State, and any applicable Federal legislation that you will be dealing with. Offer to help out other members. Don't be an idiot.
    Welcome to the circus!

  • WaterSwatter28
    replied
    Originally posted by Bing_Oh View Post

    Congrats. Now comes the hard part...

    A bit of advice. Pay attention during the academy (assuming you're not already certified). Then, pay twice as much attention during FTO...this is probably the most important part of your "official" training. Once you're off FTO, find a mentor...an officer with experience and knowledge, preferably one you work with on a regular basis, who can act as a "big brother/sister" and answer questions. You don't learn everything in the academy or on FTO and a good mentor is worth their weight in gold to a new officer. Finally, don't be afraid to get into stuff...this is a profession where you learn hands-on, and even small stuff can be a learning experience (and inevitably leads to bigger stuff).
    I will absolutely take this advice to heart, Bing. I am not certified, so yes the academy is the next step. They will have me doing some clerical work around the department before my academy class this fall. Odds and ends stuff. I’m not sure if I will be able to ride along with a patrol officer or not before I head off to the academy. Some departments around here do, some don’t. I will know more when I officially start in a couple of weeks.

    The individuals i have have met thus far have been very high quality people. So I can only assume whoever I am assigned to for my FTO will be a good instructor. I tend to prefer learning hands on, so this is good news to me. I am very excited to learn and absorb all of this new information. You’re suggestion for a mentor is a good idea. I also don’t think I will have to look far for someone to be willing to take me under their wing. This is all a very big, and well earned, accomplishment and I cannot wait to start my journey in law enforcement. I’m sure I will be reading and posting threads on here as time goes by, and I am very thankful for members like you who divvy out quality, unbiased information for individuals like myself.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bing_Oh
    replied
    Originally posted by WaterSwatter28 View Post
    Update:

    I have accepted an official offer from department A! I have my start date scheduled and I could not be happier with my decision. I can’t thank all of you enough for the words of wisdom you have shared.
    Congrats. Now comes the hard part...

    A bit of advice. Pay attention during the academy (assuming you're not already certified). Then, pay twice as much attention during FTO...this is probably the most important part of your "official" training. Once you're off FTO, find a mentor...an officer with experience and knowledge, preferably one you work with on a regular basis, who can act as a "big brother/sister" and answer questions. You don't learn everything in the academy or on FTO and a good mentor is worth their weight in gold to a new officer. Finally, don't be afraid to get into stuff...this is a profession where you learn hands-on, and even small stuff can be a learning experience (and inevitably leads to bigger stuff).

    Leave a comment:


  • WaterSwatter28
    replied
    Update:

    I have accepted an official offer from department A! I have my start date scheduled and I could not be happier with my decision. I can’t thank all of you enough for the words of wisdom you have shared.

    Leave a comment:


  • WaterSwatter28
    replied
    Originally posted by Aidokea View Post

    That is not "large", by any definition of the word. That's still a very small police department. The NYPD has over 40,000 sworn.
    This was in reference to my area, and in comparison to the first department I mentioned which is very, very small. I was stating larger compared to 7k residents.

    Leave a comment:


  • Iowa #1603
    commented on 's reply
    We just had a deputy hired to our 11 person Sheriff's Office who had been a deputy at the neighboring 150 person sheriff's office.
    While he was looking at probably 7 more yrs in the jail , he will be on patrol immediately with us (there will be an FTO phase of a few weeks since he has no patrol experience)

    The kicker is he must repay the original agency for the cost of his academy training.......and he is more than willing to do that..............it will be in excess of 10K

  • Iowa #1603
    commented on 's reply
    Yep

    In Iowa there are MAYBE 6 agencies above 100 people but the range is quiet wide

    You have a bunch of 1 to 7 person agencies , then a few 7 to 10 person agencies with a couple 20ish and a few 40 person

    The 40 to 100 person agencies are very few..........maybe statewide.

    Largest in the state is the State Patrol with about 400..

    I worked for the department of Corrections which had about 4000 but is non sworn

  • westside popo
    commented on 's reply
    Agree! It's all relative to the area you're comparing it.

    In my area the large department is about 200 sworn.
    Compared to the state it might be a mid sized department. Nation wide, it's a small department.
    Last edited by westside popo; 07-04-2019, 10:30 PM.

  • PeteBroccolo
    replied
    I say, whichever says, "Here's a spot on our Department, and your start date, c'mon in!", then grab that ring and get going. Successfully complete your Academy, striving for your best performance, without killing yourself, or being "that guy" that the rest of your (classmates? troopmates? whatever) hate for being an ahrzewhole. Pay attention to your Field Trainer and the old horses without being a suck-up jawkarze. Work hard to make your Agency, partners, community, and you, better and safer. IF you figure that the grass SEEMS greener elsewhere, sure, patch-over after a few years, but make sure that you have sought sound financial advice for your future retirement. Do NOT try to work at more than one Agency, whether Police, EMS, or, Holy Crap for Gawddesykes Fire, in an attempt to achieve a decent income, because if it comes down to wearing more than one badge just to eat, get a real job.
    YMMV, and convert for Canadian advice, but good luck to you, you poor beggar!

    Leave a comment:


  • Iowa #1603
    replied
    Originally posted by Aidokea View Post

    That is not "large", by any definition of the word. That's still a very small police department. The NYPD has over 40,000 sworn.
    In many areas of the country a 40 person department is a large agency.



    The vast majority of the 18,000 police agencies in the United States are under 20 officers

    Leave a comment:


  • Aidokea
    replied
    Originally posted by WaterSwatter28 View Post
    larger dept. with a population of well over 20k. Over 40 sworn positions.
    That is not "large", by any definition of the word. That's still a very small police department. The NYPD has over 40,000 sworn.

    Leave a comment:


  • Aidokea
    replied
    Take the first job offered to you, unless you have an absolutely SPECTACULAR reason not to.

    Leave a comment:


  • Zeitgeist1
    replied
    Originally posted by Bing_Oh View Post
    You shouldn't be considering "greener pastures" when you're not even in the fence yet. Quite frankly, there are plenty of new LEO's who discover that the job isn't for them (or their new department decides the job isn't for them)...thinking about moving on before you even prove that you can do the job is a guaranteed way to shoot yourself in the foot. "Greener pastures" thinking is for officers who have some experience under their belts, who know the department they're currently working for, and who are looking for something else.

    Starting out, you should be concentrating on (in this order) getting hired, getting trained, passing FTO, and using the first few years to learn how to do the job. If you would happily work for either department, then you should take the first one who hires you and follow the steps above.
    +1000. I worked at a large urban dept. I have a friend that worked at a small rural Sheriff's dept. He had training I could only dream about. As a Detective, I called him more than a few times to get his opinion.

    Leave a comment:

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