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Advise for probationary police officer

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  • Advise for probationary police officer

    Hey guys, first time posting on here I've gain a lot of knowledge from multiple people from this site. I am graduating from my police academy in lest than 4 weeks. I'm pretty nervous for the Illinois State Exam and for my FTO program that literally starts one day after my state exam.. Just asking for some advise for the state exam, but more importantly FTO.

    I'm very interested in doing traffic so any tips/advise for case law or knowing certain IVC.

  • #2
    Don't get fired

    Comment


    • Aidokea
      Aidokea commented
      Editing a comment
      Yeah, that too.

      We've lost a fair amount of trainees over the years, for dumb stuff they did at night clubs while off duty.

      Don't speed. Don't blow red lights. Don't roll stop signs. Don't have illegal tint on your POV. Don't play loud music from it. Don't have tires that stick out. Keep your license plates and inspection stickers current.

  • #3
    Originally posted by PJ621 View Post
    Hey guys, first time posting on here I've gain a lot of knowledge from multiple people from this site. I am graduating from my police academy in lest than 4 weeks. I'm pretty nervous for the Illinois State Exam and for my FTO program that literally starts one day after my state exam.. Just asking for some advise for the state exam, but more importantly FTO.

    I'm very interested in doing traffic so any tips/advise for case law or knowing certain IVC.
    I was an FTO. In no particular order:

    FTOs are all different. They are human beings, after all. Because they are all different, you'll learn different things from all of them.

    You should know a LOT of stuff- they've been spending a lot of time putting a lot of knowledge into your head. Your training will also be more current than your FTO's training. Your FTOs will probably be better at doing things than you are, but don't be surprised if you know more stuff than they do. So it's okay to ask your FTO questions about stuff that you legitimately do not know, and your FTO may use you as a human encyclopedia at times (because they want you to demonstrate that you know stuff), but do NOT try to use your FTO as a human encyclopedia for stuff that you were just taught during academy.

    As far as pursuing traffic stuff, I'd strongly recommend that you work on becoming a well-rounded police officer FIRST. There will always be time after FTO for you to focus more on traffic. Keep in mind that traffic stuff goes hand in hand with both DUIs and dope, and both of those things can be very time consuming, which means that if you pull a traffic stop at the wrong time, you may be off the road and thus not available to cover your beat partners at all times.

    That said, the one thing that I consistently see trainees struggle with, is DUIs. So keep reading your NHTSA manual, practice your SFSTs on drunk friends or family, and when the time is appropriate, try to do at least one DUI case during FTO.

    Know where you are at all times. Listen to the radio and know where your beat partners are at all times. Answer the radio promptly when you are called.

    Show up 15 minutes early for roll call, showered and freshly shaved, with your boots polished, two working ink pens, and your uniform and all your equipment squared away. Do not wear anything perfumed, like body spray. Have everything rechargeable charged. Have good batteries for stuff that takes batteries. Have spare batteries. Have an organized file with a reasonable amount of all of your forms. Have any other supplies that you are likely to need. If you get sent to mark an abandoned car at 0400, you don't want to show up with no grease pencil to mark it with.

    In the beginning, your beat partners may not be as comfortable with sharing their personal phone numbers with you, but once they are, start collecting them and programming them into your phone, and remember or make a note of any particular areas of expertise that each of those officers possess. Nobody expects you to know everything, but we want you to be able to find the answers yourself, and everybody around you is good at something. In the beginning of FTO, you'll be asking your FTO most of your questions, but by the end, you'll need to demonstrate that you are capable of utilizing your available resources to find the answers yourself, without bugging your Sergeant, as your FTO serves as kind of a "Sergeant" role to you.

    Proof read your stuff before presenting it to your FTO- do not EVER use your FTO or any other superior officer as your own personal proofreader. Spell-check can catch a lot of mistakes, but it also does an excellent job of spelling the wrong word.

    Focus on working on your weaknesses, not your strengths. If your handwriting is crap, fix it. If you can't spell, learn. If you struggle with beat geography, study it.

    Everybody learns differently, but I've had a lot of trainees that make/trade/adopt cheat-sheets for certain things and/or find other ways to organize their work- stuff like having a big envelope containing one set of all of the forms you need for a DUI, so that you can just grab it and go, instead of having to drag your entire file around with you and search through it to find the right forms.

    Templates can be really handy for you to learn report writing. Even veteran officers use templates. If your coach is okay with you using templates to do your reports, use HIS reports as your templates. We word things the way we do for particular reasons, based upon our experience. So if you're using your coach's reports as templates, they are more likely to pass his inspection. Do this each time you change FTOs- your Phase 2 coach will probably like his own stuff more than he'll like your Phase 1 coach's stuff.
    Last edited by Aidokea; 05-26-2021, 11:15 AM.

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    • #4
      OP, if you are employed by a law enforcement agency now, you need to update your profile to reflect that. And if you have been sworn in, you need to update that too...

      Comment


      • #5
        you have 2 eyes, 2 ears and only ONE mouth for a reason
        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


        • #6
          Learn how to spell ADVICE.

          Comment


          • Aidokea
            Aidokea commented
            Editing a comment
            Bingo.....

        • #7
          Lol,.....beat me to it!

          Comment

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