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  • FTO or Instructor

    How long must one be with an agency in order to become an FTO and/or an instructor? I have heard conflicting stories on this topic. Some say it's an easy position to get, others say it's a minimum 10 year goal. I understand that one must have experience, but is a five-year plan feasible?

  • #2
    Here in Colorado you have to be a Police Officer for 3 years to go to FTO training school.

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    • #3
      With my Agency, a minimum of three years "on the road experience". The requirement can be waived at the discretion of a Division Chief.

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      • #4
        It should be on an individual basis because time in is NO guarantee that one is competent to teach others.
        sigpic

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

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        • #5
          Originally posted by mikeymedic View Post
          Here in Colorado you have to be a Police Officer for 3 years to go to FTO training school.
          Not true. There is no limitation on how long you have to be an officer to go to a school for FTO. Other than what your agency requires.

          Some are ready before others. 3 years if you are mature isn't that unheard of.

          I highly suggest checking out NAFTO. Find out what model your agency uses for FTO and take an external course such as those offered by Komisky and associates (San Jose model) and the internal course if your agency offers one.

          Be a top performer and know the whole job. Work all shifts and be a jack of all trades.

          5 years is way do-able.
          Last edited by Monkeybomb; 10-23-2009, 06:33 AM.
          The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

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          • #6
            It will vary from agency to agency. Ideally, most departments like to see you have three years on the road before you get an FTO spot. However, before I retired we had such a huge turnover (personnel getting transfers to other offices) that for while, we literally had officers still on their one year probation training the new kids out of the academy.
            Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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            • #7
              Very encouraging, thanks for the insight. Is the same true for specialty training such as Search and Rescue, Sniper, SCUBA, etc... ?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Gearilla View Post
                Very encouraging, thanks for the insight. Is the same true for specialty training such as Search and Rescue, Sniper, SCUBA, etc... ?
                Get the job first. Then worry about all the special stuff. Three years , while not written in stone, is pretty much the norm.

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                • #9
                  Depends on the dept. Time on the job is not synonymous with the ability to be an FTO.

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                  • #10
                    I started as an instructor with 5 years in the agency.

                    M-11
                    “All men dream...... But not equally..
                    Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it is vanity;
                    but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men,
                    for they act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible.....”

                    TE Lawrence

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                    • #11
                      My department it's 3 years. But depending on how many guys sign for it and who is where on the seniority list, it could take you several years of waiting to get to FTO School.

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                      • #12
                        It varies and it also depends on the size of the dept.

                        For my dept....you have to be a corporal (2 to 5 years) or higher to be an FTO, and you must attend POST mandated FTO school....usually 40 hours.

                        In regards to being an instructor with an academy, that is a lot longer. Usually to teach other officers or recruits requires a "Specialist" or a MS or M.A degree. A lot of academies also requires you to be POST certified instructors.

                        The line for this position is about as long as SWAT applicants........Hundreds of officers are waiting for this position.....
                        Good Luck and Test Well!
                        Author of: How to become a peace officer by Wayne LeQuang (google it)

                        L.B.P.D. Academy #75
                        6 month of pain, for a 30 year career.

                        visit: youtube.com "Black Monday" Great Video from LASD.

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                        • #13
                          Thanks everyone for the insight and advice. I anticipate a long road to reach this goal, but am prepared to make it a reality. Now, if I could just get hired...

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