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  • Fired Due to Just One FTO

    I have been in the FTO program for just under 5 months of what should have been a 3 month process. I was struggling a little in phase 3, so my FTO told me he recommended I stayed with him for 2 more weeks since he was seeing a vast improvement and just wanted to make sure it stayed before releasing me to go solo. However, the department thought differently and put me down for a full month with a new FTO for a remedial phase.

    during this remedial phase, my FTO and I did not “click” at all. Over the course of the month he referred to me as “lazy”, “incapable of policing”, and “argumentative”. At one point half way through my month he pulled me aside and told me he would recommend I be dropped from the department. (Important to note this FTO is a Department Golden Boy i.e. he finds a lot of drugs and has been working here for 20+ years, so his recommendation carries some weight in the eyes of upper brass.) after he told me he would recommend I be dropped, he drove the rest of the phase and didn’t allow me to try and improve.

    At the end of the month I was given one final chance at FTO, and was told I needed to improve my scores greatly or face termination. I did just that. I got a new FTO and it’s like a switch finally flipped. I made almost no mistakes and was operating on a mostly solo level. My FTO repeatedly told me he didn’t know why I was in remedial and that he would recommend me for going solo after his month. Not once did he refer to me as lazy or argumentative.

    Near the end of the month, with just one day left in my final phase, I got pulled into the training captains office and was handed a termination notice. This came completely out of the blue and my only excuse given was “my scores were still too low” which was completely false as my scores were near perfect at that point. After I had some time to think things over and finished panicking as I was now unemployed with no warning I requested a meeting with my police chief to get some clarity on the decision to fire me.

    During the meeting the chief told me that he personally spoke with all 5 of my FTOs and they all said that I was “unsavable” “lazy” and “not cut out for this department”. I brought up that I was operating almost completely by myself in my last phase, and he told me that my FTO must have had a communication issue with me because he personally told the chief that I wouldn’t make it.

    After leaving the meeting I messaged my FTOs and asked them to clarify what issues they told the chief I was having, and was met with confusion. Turns out the chief never asked them about me at all. They all thought I was ready for eval, and had no idea I was facing termination. The only excuse the chief gave for firing me was almost word for word what one FTO told him, and he took that as gospel and lied to my face.

    I know I should say something to someone about what happened, but I don’t want to be blacklisted for other departments I apply at. Any advice?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Mmcdonald View Post
    I have been in the FTO program for just under 5 months of what should have been a 3 month process. I was struggling a little in phase 3, so my FTO told me he recommended I stayed with him for 2 more weeks since he was seeing a vast improvement and just wanted to make sure it stayed before releasing me to go solo. However, the department thought differently and put me down for a full month with a new FTO for a remedial phase.

    during this remedial phase, my FTO and I did not “click” at all. Over the course of the month he referred to me as “lazy”, “incapable of policing”, and “argumentative”. At one point half way through my month he pulled me aside and told me he would recommend I be dropped from the department. (Important to note this FTO is a Department Golden Boy i.e. he finds a lot of drugs and has been working here for 20+ years, so his recommendation carries some weight in the eyes of upper brass.) after he told me he would recommend I be dropped, he drove the rest of the phase and didn’t allow me to try and improve.

    At the end of the month I was given one final chance at FTO, and was told I needed to improve my scores greatly or face termination. I did just that. I got a new FTO and it’s like a switch finally flipped. I made almost no mistakes and was operating on a mostly solo level. My FTO repeatedly told me he didn’t know why I was in remedial and that he would recommend me for going solo after his month. Not once did he refer to me as lazy or argumentative.

    Near the end of the month, with just one day left in my final phase, I got pulled into the training captains office and was handed a termination notice. This came completely out of the blue and my only excuse given was “my scores were still too low” which was completely false as my scores were near perfect at that point. After I had some time to think things over and finished panicking as I was now unemployed with no warning I requested a meeting with my police chief to get some clarity on the decision to fire me.

    During the meeting the chief told me that he personally spoke with all 5 of my FTOs and they all said that I was “unsavable” “lazy” and “not cut out for this department”. I brought up that I was operating almost completely by myself in my last phase, and he told me that my FTO must have had a communication issue with me because he personally told the chief that I wouldn’t make it.

    After leaving the meeting I messaged my FTOs and asked them to clarify what issues they told the chief I was having, and was met with confusion. Turns out the chief never asked them about me at all. They all thought I was ready for eval, and had no idea I was facing termination. The only excuse the chief gave for firing me was almost word for word what one FTO told him, and he took that as gospel and lied to my face.

    I know I should say something to someone about what happened, but I don’t want to be blacklisted for other departments I apply at. Any advice?

    Let it go and move on. Apply elsewhere, and let the chips fall where they may.

    I hope your username isn't your real name...

    Comment


    • #3
      SOMEBODY" is blowing smoke up your butt......................& I doubt it is the Chief

      I know a lot of officers who had trouble on FT but eventually found a department where they finished and thrived.

      Move on
      Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

      My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

      Comment


      • #4
        The San Jose FTO model is FOUR phases over four months, not three.

        What was your final phase? In the San Jose FTO model, the final phase has the coach in plain clothes, riding along with the trainee to evaluate his or her performance, with no coaching, unless the trainee encounters something that he or she has never encountered before.

        For that reason, "saving" a trainee in the final phase is highly unlikely, because we're not allowed to coach them on stuff that they've been exposed to before. Recycling them to have them do their second (and final) chance at that final phase, is unlikely to yield improvement- if they couldn't do it before, they're probably not going to just spontaneously "figure it out" in the absence of coaching.

        This is why it is so important to recycle trainees that are struggling, during the phases PRIOR to the final phase.

        Comment


        • #5
          I know I should say something to someone about what happened, but I don’t want to be blacklisted for other departments I apply at. Any advice?
          Even if you have a valid complaint about what happened, no one there cares what you have to say. They just want you to go bah bye.

          Some people live charmed lives and have charmed careers but others hit a few potholes along the way. So you can brood about what happened or you can smarten up from the experience and avoid it happening again. And welcome to the That Job Didn't Work Out So Well Club; I am both founder and president.

          To be happy, we must not be too concerned with others.

          -Albert Camus

          Comment


          • #6
            Who knows? Some people aren't cut out to be police officers, some people aren't ready to be police officers, and some people aren't a good fit at the place that hired them. We PRd a guy who then joined the military, got squared away, and is now an officer at another agency, where he is doing fine. We picked up a guy who was released from another agency, and he did fine as well. Sometimes it's a matter of being in the right place at the right time.

            Comment


            • #7
              Consider it a learning experience and move on. As has already been said, there are various reasons why sometimes things just don't work out...the officer isn't ready, the department isn't a good fit, personality conflicts, the stars simply aren't aligning, etc.

              Nothing you say about this department will change anything (besides giving them something negative to relay to potential employers in the future). You're not going to change the culture of that department, you're not going to "call out" whoever wasn't being straight with you, and you're certainly not going to get a call from the Chief saying they made a mistake and begging you to come back.

              Personally, I had very a rough go of it at my first department but, after 20+ years and moving to different agencies, I can look back and see my flaws that my younger self could only get mad about. There are few officers that end up in the "golden child" category...most of us have our highs and lows and how you deal with that adversity will shape you greatly as an officer.

              I imagine that your FTO's (all of them, including the one that you didn't get along with) gave you input. Take that input to heart, use it to become better, and move on to finding another department (assuming you're still interested in LE...if not, there's no shame in accepting that the profession isn't for you).
              "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
              -Friedrich Nietzsche

              Comment


              • #8
                I wouldn't make a big stink about it if you're planning to apply somewhere else. Like you said you don't want to get black listed. As others have said you might not be a good fit for that department but excel at another one.

                I also wouldn't make any negative statements about the department or the FTO on any social media that can be traced back to you.

                Plenty of places hiring now. Good luck!





                ​​​​​

                Comment


                • #9
                  Failing FTO once isn’t that uncommon.

                  Apply elsewhere, don’t make a bunch of excuses or badmouth the department.
                  "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

                  "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mmcdonald View Post
                    I have been in the FTO program for just under 5 months of what should have been a 3 month process. I was struggling a little in phase 3, so my FTO told me he recommended I stayed with him for 2 more weeks since he was seeing a vast improvement and just wanted to make sure it stayed before releasing me to go solo. However, the department thought differently and put me down for a full month with a new FTO for a remedial phase.

                    during this remedial phase, my FTO and I did not “click” at all. Over the course of the month he referred to me as “lazy”, “incapable of policing”, and “argumentative”. At one point half way through my month he pulled me aside and told me he would recommend I be dropped from the department. (Important to note this FTO is a Department Golden Boy i.e. he finds a lot of drugs and has been working here for 20+ years, so his recommendation carries some weight in the eyes of upper brass.) after he told me he would recommend I be dropped, he drove the rest of the phase and didn’t allow me to try and improve.

                    At the end of the month I was given one final chance at FTO, and was told I needed to improve my scores greatly or face termination. I did just that. I got a new FTO and it’s like a switch finally flipped. I made almost no mistakes and was operating on a mostly solo level. My FTO repeatedly told me he didn’t know why I was in remedial and that he would recommend me for going solo after his month. Not once did he refer to me as lazy or argumentative.

                    Near the end of the month, with just one day left in my final phase, I got pulled into the training captains office and was handed a termination notice. This came completely out of the blue and my only excuse given was “my scores were still too low” which was completely false as my scores were near perfect at that point. After I had some time to think things over and finished panicking as I was now unemployed with no warning I requested a meeting with my police chief to get some clarity on the decision to fire me.

                    During the meeting the chief told me that he personally spoke with all 5 of my FTOs and they all said that I was “unsavable” “lazy” and “not cut out for this department”. I brought up that I was operating almost completely by myself in my last phase, and he told me that my FTO must have had a communication issue with me because he personally told the chief that I wouldn’t make it.

                    After leaving the meeting I messaged my FTOs and asked them to clarify what issues they told the chief I was having, and was met with confusion. Turns out the chief never asked them about me at all. They all thought I was ready for eval, and had no idea I was facing termination. The only excuse the chief gave for firing me was almost word for word what one FTO told him, and he took that as gospel and lied to my face.

                    I know I should say something to someone about what happened, but I don’t want to be blacklisted for other departments I apply at. Any advice?
                    In North Carolina, you have to have your BLET (Basic Law Enforcement Trainig), which is a 16 week course. Once you have that , you could work at any agency (you still have to go through their application process and FTO or PTO.) Your first year, the state places you on probation for 12 months, after which you get your General Certification. So in the first 12 months, an agency can let you go for virtually anything and you dont have much recourse.

                    Im guessing you have your law enforcement certification (not sure what state you are in) so you can just apply to as many agencies as possible.

                    As for the previous agency you worked for, you may want to get a copy of your file, all documentation, etc. Just so you can see who said what, and what areas you need to work.

                    Why did they not let you resign ?
                    John 15:13 - Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Brother I have been through the EXACT same situation.

                      PM me.

                      Comment

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