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  • FTO training

    I was wonder for thoses who are FTOs how do you treat the recruit you are training? Do you try to be friendly and help them be comfortable? like be one of the "cool teachers" back in high school or college and train them in a way so it would help them adjust better? or do you just go by the book and train them what they need to know without trying to get to know the recruit and all? I think it would be better to try to be more friendly it will help the recruit open up more and not be afraid if they make a mistake. For me personally i learn better from a friendly but professional way then someone who is the be quiet and do what i say and only talk when it is necessary type. Its easier to admit a mistake and try to learn from it when the FTO will say its ok to make mistakes and not jam it down your throat.

    Also was wonder how you would like ur recruit to act and how you plan the first couple days.
    Thanks
    Last edited by NYCRJmajor914; 06-12-2007, 10:25 AM.

  • #2
    Not an FTO but

    1. Shut up an listen and pay attention.

    2. You will prolly get a wide variety of FTO's and personalities. My 1st FTO was removed from FTO status for continually banging out sick and I was put with another FTO. I learned more from the second FTO in 2 days then I learned from my 1st in 2 weeks
    Just shut your damn hole




    Dead Souls-----They keep calling me

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    • #3
      FTO Training

      Originally posted by NYCRJmajor914 View Post
      I was wonder for thoses who are FTOs how do you treat the recruit you are training? Do you try to be friendly and help them be comfortable? like be one of the "cool teachers" back in high school or college and train them in a way so it would help them adjust better? or do you just go by the book and train them what they need to know without trying to get to know the recruit and all? I think it would be better to try to be more friendly it will help the recruit open up more and not be afraid if they make a mistake. For me personally i learn better from a friendly but professional way then someone who is the be quiet and do what i say and only talk when it is necessary type. Its easier to admit a mistake and try to learn from it when the FTO will say its ok to make mistakes and not jam it down your throat.

      Also was wonder how you would like ur recruit to act and how you plan the first couple days.
      Thanks
      Prior to my retirement from the Alabama Dept of Public Safety, I was an FTO Co-Ordinator for my Division. Our program is ten weeks in duration, very structured, well documented, and based largely on the San Jose California Police Dept model. The successful completion of the FTO Program is a condition of continued employment. Many agencies employ varying FTO Programs, but the goal is essentially the same. That goal is to provide a "real life, real time" training experience for the Recruit Officer. The FTO should, and I believe this, strike a balance between being too friendly, or too severe. He/she must realize that the Recruit is going to make mistakes. They key is in not repeating a mistake. Obviously, the FTO encourages his Recruit to ask questions. The first week of many FTO Programs is a "Limbo" week. The FTO and the Recruit more or less get to know one another. Past that the documentation begins. Homework assignments are given, usually daily. Written exams take place weekly. Is there pressure on the Recruit? Absolutely. Keep in mind that the goal of any FTO Program is to provide the agency with basically trained Officers who can exercise discretion, work with a minimum of supervision, and serve the public they're sworn to serve.

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      • #4
        I prefer somwhere in between. If you are too severe the trainee tends to go into stress mode and shut down. The whole focus of their day becomes trying not to upset me. On the other hand I'm not trying to be their buddy either and I let them know right away when a mistake has been made. It's a fine balance and they need a certain amount of constant pressure. It allows them to get used to working under stress. So i guess the answer to the initial question is yes and no.

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        • #5
          Mine and I got along pretty good. The first night he told me some stuff in the code and procedure book to read. The next night he asked me a couple of highly analytical questions which I'm proud to say I answered correctly. This went on for about a week, and then from then on we just spoke about whatever came to mind and backed each other up. Mostly, we didn't talk a lot about law enforcement.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ArkansasFan24 View Post
            Mine and I got along pretty good. The first night he told me some stuff in the code and procedure book to read. The next night he asked me a couple of highly analytical questions which I'm proud to say I answered correctly. This went on for about a week, and then from then on we just spoke about whatever came to mind and backed each other up. Mostly, we didn't talk a lot about law enforcement.
            We both had teaching degrees which I thought was ironic.

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            • #7
              In my FTO days I was known as the "ax man"...that is...trainees who were having big problems came to me and I usually could document why they should be terminated. HOWEVER....my personality is very low-key, fun-loving and with the right trainee, training was a blast. I particularly loved having the trainee who had his "stuff" together, and on a graveyard shift, I could tell him to, "wake me up if something happens". OK, that's just a little "tongue-in-cheek", but you get the idea. First month, I'm the teacher...I don't like to have to tell you the same thing twice, but things are so often NOT the same way twice, so first month, you get a pass. If I get you in the 4th or 5th month, I expect you to know how to handle 95% of the shift. I don't mind taking over when necessary, but I LOVE it when I don't have to. I'm not there to be your buddy, but, again, personalities being what they are, I did have trainees who I considered "friends", but I had to keep it professional.

              When I was the new guy, the tone was, "Yes, sir" all the time. Don't ever think you know more than your training officer and for God's sake, treat people like you'd want to be treated. You have immense power to take their freedom away. Don't abuse it.

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              • #8
                My style is friendly but we're not "friends." There needs to be a bit of professional seperation (student/teacher) but comfortable enough to have open communication.
                Two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead.

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                • #9
                  How about after the FT? do you become friends with ur recruits and still look over them for a while? or do you just get your next recruit and not worry about the one you just trained?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Chiller View Post
                    Not an FTO but

                    1. Shut up an listen and pay attention.

                    2. You will prolly get a wide variety of FTO's and personalities. My 1st FTO was removed from FTO status for continually banging out sick and I was put with another FTO. I learned more from the second FTO in 2 days then I learned from my 1st in 2 weeks
                    I just went through the second scenario you just described....
                    You have the right to remain silent, but apparently you lack the skill to exercise that right.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My FTO's were hardcore and we certainly were not friends.

                      Luvedmymotor, Funny you mentioned being the "ax man". Because I had the "ax lady". She was the BEST!! They have a job and that's to make you the best you can be and to BE SAFE doing it. The FTO program can be stressful, but it is a good stressful. If you didn't "catch on" or weren't cutting it in any of the requirements ie rpts, officer safety etc etc you failed.

                      Don't stress NYCRJmajor914!

                      In re: of being friends afterwards...you bet!
                      This profession is not for people looking for positive reinforcement from the public. Very often it can be a thankless job and you can't desire accolades, because those are not usually forthcoming. Just do your job to the best of your ability and live with the decisions you've made.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Chief Wiggum View Post
                        My style is friendly but we're not "friends." There needs to be a bit of professional seperation (student/teacher) but comfortable enough to have open communication.
                        This sums up my thoughts on the matter. I try and help the recruit relax just to the point that he is able to function and make decisions and learn. Not too relaxed but not tied up in knots.
                        I like to have fun on the job but at the same time he needs to realize he has to learn and not repeat mistakes. He also needs to understand that when the time comes for me to tell him to do something, and it will, he needs to do it.
                        Prov 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have a set speech I give all new trainees. Then the first thing I tell them in the car is, "Okay take a deep breath, let it out, relax". Training is stressful enough, while I expect them to mind their P's and Q's around other deputies I want them to be comfortable in the car. I have a huge amount of information to teach them in a very short time. While my actual technique varies to the actual needs of each individual trainee, I think you have to strike a balance. Like somebody else said friendly but not a friend works best. After training, yes I treat them all as my grown children and will always look out for them. That includes several that now outrank me, and a few who god bless their soles are no longer among us. I have found the hardest thing about being a F.T.O. is losing one, even though their no longer trainees, and even though they went into something you asked them not to (in my case motors).
                          Today's Quote:

                          "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."
                          Albert Einstein

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mdrdep View Post
                            I have a set speech I give all new trainees. Then the first thing I tell them in the car is, "Okay take a deep breath, let it out, relax". Training is stressful enough, while I expect them to mind their P's and Q's around other deputies I want them to be comfortable in the car. I have a huge amount of information to teach them in a very short time. While my actual technique varies to the actual needs of each individual trainee, I think you have to strike a balance. Like somebody else said friendly but not a friend works best. After training, yes I treat them all as my grown children and will always look out for them. That includes several that now outrank me, and a few who god bless their soles are no longer among us. I have found the hardest thing about being a F.T.O. is losing one, even though their no longer trainees, and even though they went into something you asked them not to (in my case motors).
                            mdrdep, I know exactly what you are talking about! I have had the same experiences you've had, though the one I lost was not on our department at the time, but the one he went to in order to get out of LA.

                            Sometimes it depends on the trainee you have at the time. Some people do not do well in a "touchy feely" enviroment and need to be pushed. I had one of these 8 months ago, and unfortunately for him, he could not handle the stress of patrol and is back in the jails waiting for his second go round. (Watch out mdr, he wants to go to your station or the 'Bu) Some trainees need a little extra explaining and showing for the light to go on. Now, this does not mean that I hold their hands and show them constantly, but I work a little harder with them in a "non-threatening" manner.

                            I had a recent trainee who is now one of my best friends, and I love getting to work with this deputy when ever possible. I also enjoy spending time out side of work with them, and as a mater of fact, my second FTO is one of my best friends, and our families get together quite frequently.

                            Heck, my Number 2 Rule of Patrol (Number 1 being go home alive) is to have fun. If you aint having fun, why are you here? While patrol is dangerous and stressful, it is also the most fun I have ever had while getting paid. I want my trainees to understand this, and if possible, to see this for themselves. "Learning can be fun" my kindergarden teacher said, and I agree with that.
                            Carpe Noctem

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by NYCRJmajor914 View Post
                              How about after the FT? do you become friends with ur recruits and still look over them for a while? or do you just get your next recruit and not worry about the one you just trained?
                              Oh yeah,,,the ones who make it become pretty good friends. You can get to know someone pretty well working as close as you do for 10 hours a day. It's also very cool when your former trainees get promoted.

                              Comment

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