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  1. #1
    cam9mm Guest

    What reasons do people fail FTO?

    I guess a lot of potential officers fail when they are in Field Training. I think it would royally suck to have gone through the academy, graduated, and then thought you were good to go.

    So, to all the FTO's out there, what are some of the reasons that your trainees have failed?

    The selection process is so good and stringent, that I find this to be a very interesting question, because you obviously have someone to work with who is or should be a quality person with a lot of good characteristics.

    I hesitate to ask the question, because it may have been asked previously, but there are new people to the board too, so I hope I’ll get some replies, as I think this could be something candidates might be able to learn from, as well as be interesting.

  2. #2
    Flatfoot003's Avatar
    Flatfoot003 is offline Officer
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    I’d have to say that the great majority of people who do not make it thought their FTO process are individuals who either should not have been hired or graduated the academy in the first place. At least in my experience, it usually comes as no surprise. I have run into issues like the officer not having a solid basic understanding of the English language and having that effect their ability to communicate with people verbally during calls for service or even in writing legible offense reports. It was unbelievable that someone having those issues was able to skate though the academy without the staff realizing they did not need to go out on the street, even in a training capacity, but it happened. Not to be too critical of our academy staff they do a great job, but have quite a few folks they are responsible for. This is one of the many reasons to have a solid FTO process after the academy, it's all about checks and balances. I also feel they have their hands tied at times when it comes to terminating people of a certain ethnic background in the name of “diversity”. I’m all about giving people a fair shake, but if you just can’t cut it then you need to go in my opinion, weather you speak Spanish, Mandarin Chinese or Italian I don’t think concession that would not be allowed for everyone should be allowed for those few. We have also had a couple of officers who just didn’t have the right personality for the position. Either not aggressive enough when warranted or just all out unsafe in situations. You must be able to take charge of any situation you find yourself in, however doing so without becoming overbearing is the key to successfully handling what you run into.
    Last edited by Flatfoot003; 08-20-2004 at 12:00.

  3. #3
    sigy's Avatar
    sigy is offline "I can kill death"
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    The majority of our trainees fail out for continued lack of officer safety awareness and problems with report writing. Lots of people can get hired and pass the acdemy, but the job really begins when you hit the streets. You have to be able to put together everything you've learned. After all the hiring processes and training, some people just aren't able to, so we hand them their walking papers. It's unfortunate, I'd like to have a crystal ball to weed those ones out and save my department money but I don't. You just have to make due and see if they can pass.

  4. #4
    dutch9277's Avatar
    dutch9277 is offline Officer
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    During the last few hiring groups at the department I work for, we have had at least one person fail the FTO program. I'm not a FTO, but from what I have seen myself is that they have a hard time of multi-tasking. Or they have no sense of officer safety. Some have had a hard time doing one thing when they see other officers doing it one way, but then they get documented for doing something the wrong way.
    My advise, when a FTO tells a PO to do something a certain way, do it their way. When they get to the next FTO, do it the way that they want it. Then once you are on the road by yourself, take everything you learned during the FTO program and do certain things the way you feel comfortable and feel safe.

    As Flatfoot003 stated, a lot of people who don't make it through the program, probably shouldn't have made it through the academy or have been hired.

  5. #5
    Two Bit's Avatar
    Two Bit is offline Sergeant
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    This is interesting. I never really had a chance to be an FTO. I was promoted to sergeant before I got the chance. Then I had to deal with he aftermath of officers who made it through FTO who shouldn't have been hired in the first place.

    One of the biggest complaint that I had as a supervisor was abysmal report writing. I mean awful.

    It was pretty rare for anyone to fail out of FTO. There was one or two that failed before I was hired. I remember being stunned that one guy failed after I had been with the PD for a couple of years. Then again, taking over an hour on a simple accident is a bit much. We tried like hell to bring people along in FTO. Some guys just weren't cut out for that agency. For the most part they went on to other agencies and everything worked out fine there.
    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. - Edmund Burke

  6. #6
    officermed Guest
    When I was an FTO, I probably had about 15 to 20 rooks that I ran through the mill. I only had one get shitcanned during the process. He had numerous problems, but most of them would have gotten him fired at any job. He was frequently late, fell asleep often, couldn't remember simple information ( policy, procedure, law, etc.), and was so scared of someone resisting him, that he would automatically resort to deadly force every time in training scenarios when the "bad guy" would just advance on him. Nice guy, but he needed to be an accountant instead of the real-American-poh-lice.

    Mike

  7. #7
    Birky's Avatar
    Birky is offline Dark Lord of the Sith
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    When I have trained people I find that the ones with the most diffuculty are the ones that think they know everything once they graduate from the academy. In the department I work for now I have only seen one person get canned from FTO and it wasn't for work performance there was none she never came to work after her first week of FTO. The reasons I would fail somebody from FTO are basically are officer safety everything else can be worked with hopefully.

  8. #8
    rockyraider is offline Rookie
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    FTO Failures

    I will say that ususally it is problems with the trainee such as being too laid back, non assertive, can't pick up on how things are done in a resonable amt. of time, etc... which lead to serious problems for the trainee, but I am an example of someone who is the victim of a troubled FTO program. The first agency I worked for had some FTO's who were there (self admittedly) for the sole reason to intimidate, pressure, and belittle rookies until they broke. I had one of these guys and was scheduled to get another when I finally said to heck with this place. I still don't know why some of the officers at this dept. were so hateful and looked at rookies as pieces of shi$. Many of the better officers even talked about how rediculous it was. Moved on and am very happily employed by another PD for almost a year now. My experience here is like night and day with the first PD I worked for. I was talking with a friend from the first PD and he said they were finally going to revamp the FTO program after losing approximately 50% of the rookies from the last three classes. Apparantely it came to light how much city money these guys were wasting for the simple reason of being jerks. The academy was top notch, just had some bad apples spoiling the bunch for the FTO program.
    "All that evil needs to succeed is good men who do nothing"

  9. #9
    COBRA90GT's Avatar
    COBRA90GT is offline Rookie
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    rockyraider - You have a PM.

  10. #10
    TXStateCop's Avatar
    TXStateCop is offline Officer
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    Lots of good stuff here. The biggest problem I have seen in the inability to apply what was learned in training to real world applications. I have seen several that know the statutes, policies and procedures, but cannnot put them all together and be able to make decisions on the street.

    Like others have said, the ability to effectively communicate verbally or in writing, is a major problem with too many rookies. I see a lot of officers talk a good game at the station, but doing it on the streets is another story. I have seem more than my fair share of officers that cannot communicate the basic elements of a crime in a report, nor write it in a manner in which a prosecutor can understand what occurred.

    The most entertaining and dangerous is the "gung-ho" rookie that thinks they know everything and they are going to save the world. Sometimes they like to initiate conflict and that is a big problem.

    There are too many academy programs that fall short in training and are focused on teaching what is needed to pass the state exam. They in my opinion cheat the person going to the training due to not better preparing them for real world applications. They also turn this person out on the public, who will base their opinion on what that less than stellar officer does.

    I applied to be an academy coordinator at a junior college and I was amazed that when I identified areas of training that needed to be further expanded, the program director/VP told me that it was not their job to do that, just prepare them for the state exam. I explained that we owed it to the cadets and the public to provide them the best trained officers that we could, rather than someone who was only taught what would be covered on an exam.

    I also suggested that the college develop a program where the cadet would go through a 2 year program incorporating both an academic programs and academy training, where at the end, they would have an Associates Degree and the training courses they need to take the state exam. This way, we would know that they have had their basic reading, writing, and math skills at a college level and should be expected to write reports in a comprehensive manner. Also, I suggested that this would be a lead in program to a Bachelor's Degree, where they had agreements with local Universities to conduct upper level courses and could complete their requirements for a Bachelor degree either full or part time, depending on their work schedule.

    I thought that this would be a leading program in the state and would provide departments excellent candidates and officers a great educational program. Nonetheless, I was told that they wanted to continue with their existing program and saw no reason to change. Nonetheless, since they were not interested in producing highly trained and educated officers, I wanted nothing to do with them.


 

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