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  • 1042 Trooper
    replied
    I was also an academy instructor for many years, so many of my trainees and I had already met in the classroom.

    I made it a policy in the first few minutes of riding with an FNG, to tell him, "Get me in front of a cup of coffee in ten minutes, or you're fired."

    This served a couple of needs. First, it forced the recruit, who has just spent 6 months sitting on his keester in aclassroom and, who wants nothing more to do with sitting and waiting, to sit, and wait. Many recruits are pumped so full of sunshine and "theory" on that first day, they just can't wait to go out there and arrest their first communist, thus beginning a long career of saving the world from them. They are too eager and too jumpy.

    Once we'd relaxed for a few and gotten to know one another, then we got to drive the police car! Actually, he sat and took copious notes while listening to my rhetorical questions and while I quized him on where we were, etc.

    Finally, sometimes the same shift but usually a few days later, when he / she was abouit to pull their hair out, I let them drive.

    I tried to avoid befriending my trainees but it never worked. ALl, are friends to this day - even those who had difficulties. Somehow, wr got'm through and on their own.

    My biggest nightmare (and a common one to all FTOs), was passing someone not ready - someone who fooled you and got themselves hurt or killed because you forgot to hammer something home. So, suffice it to say all of mine found me a bit insane about officer safety.

    Of course, two of mine, (if you'll pardon some bragging ) have survived and actually won gunfights (dead bad guy). Both told me later, they could still hear me shouting "WATCH THEIR FRIGGIN HANDS, GOD-D**N-IT!!!" and "NEVER GIVE UP U NTIL YOU'RE DEAD." and other gems

    I guess it worked.

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  • 1042 Trooper
    replied
    That IS bizzare! What were the odds?

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    My dept's FTO program is 16 weeks. Our dept is pretty big so the recruits have the rumour mill when getting assigned FTO's. I was an FTO from 1998-2003 at the best station in the worst district in the city. This district is so busy that sometimes you have to be a dick FTO for officer safety (two cops at the station killed in the LOD between 2003-2005) especially when your district leads the city in most homicides every year.

    So a recuit gets his FTO station and assignment in the Academy and already the rumor mill starts as to the reputation of the FTO and Station. The hardest thing for an FTO is his first recruit, first female recruit, and first lateral. After all that then the FTO develops thier style. Some FTO's are good, some are great, and some shouldn't be FTO's.

    You have to be fleixble and adjust yourself to the FTO's style especially with his/her grading style. Whatever you do don't say "last phase we did...or my last FTO said" That will get you in hot water fast. Also don't be cocky and be humble to your fellow coworkers, FTO's, FTO Sergeants, and higher ranking supervisors.

    Leave a comment:


  • EMVAMPYRE
    replied
    I knew him pretty well, he was good friends with my old partner. God, I hate motors, I love riding but would never do it on duty, especially up there. I know how you feel, mine was killed in a shooting up in Montana 2 years ago. He always dreamed of being out of the dangerous big city...

    Leave a comment:


  • mdrdep
    replied
    EM, I recently sent one back that didn't do well with stressful situations too, You work up north right? Pierre was my very first trainee years ago at Temple........Loved him like a brother

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  • LuvedMyMotor
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • EMVAMPYRE
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • mdrdep
    replied
    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).

    Leave a comment:


  • pujolsfan146
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • deputy x 2
    replied
    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!

    Leave a comment:


  • D.o.D cop
    replied
    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....

    Leave a comment:


  • NYCRJmajor914
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • Chief Wiggum
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • LuvedMyMotor
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • ArkansasFan24
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

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