Sunday, April 27, 2008

Training Day

It's been over 2 years since I graduated from the police academy. On Monday, I will perform my first official duty as an FTO (Field Training Officer) when my OIT (Officer in Training) reports for duty. He'll be assigned to me for the first several weeks and will be graded daily on his performace. New officers are on probation for the first year and are especially vulnerable during the FTO process since they'll be terminated if unable to meet the standard evaluation guidelines.

I drove to the academy to meet him a few days ago. I and several other FTO's from various precincts arrived to introduce ourselves to the newly graduated class of recruits.

As I walked into the room I had a flashback of waiting to meet my FTO. I was nervous and anxious at the same time. I felt confident back then (finishing at the top of my class) but was still concerned about slipping up, looking stupid, or not meeting the expectations of my trainer. I knew there was a big difference between the academic success I had and the 'street smarts' I lacked. I was glad to be assigned to a great FTO who taught me more in 4 weeks than I had learned in 16 at the academy.

I had reviewed my OIT's file before I came to meet him so I knew what he looked like. I read his bio and several essays he had written during the academy. He seemed sharp, enthusiastic, fit, and respectable. When I entered the room I spotted him right away. He and many others were finishing up some paperwork so I stood at the back of the room and waited with the other FTO's. He nervously glanced at the group of us and was surely wondering which one was assigned to him.

I approached, introduced myself and gave him some brief instructions for his first day at the precinct. I felt his apprehension the same way my FTO probably felt mine. We talked for a few minutes and then I was on my way.

When Monday arrives, we'll both be out of our comfort zones. I want to be successful as a trainer and he will be my measuring stick. His ascension to solo-capable officer and performance thereafter will be a direct reflection on my training. It's a strange feeling to be responsible for another officer's safety, learning, and future career. Especially when I still feel like a rookie myself sometimes.

I hope in two more years from now I can boast about the success of my first Officer In Training(and hopefully many others to follow).


At April 27, 2008 2:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The hardest part about being a trainer is, when the time comes, being able to sit on your hands and let the trainee fumble through the task at hang. It's hard to not jump in and take control. Good luck..paybak time! Hahahaha.

At April 27, 2008 3:09 AM, Blogger Will Tone said...

Carry a ruler and smack him when he does bad. Give him a peanut when he does good. Beat the crap out of him if he disrespects dispatch.

At April 27, 2008 2:00 PM, Blogger whimsical brainpan said...

I think you'll be a great FTO! I wish you the best of luck.

At April 27, 2008 10:03 PM, Blogger Angie said...

LOL!! I agree with Will about the dispatch thing...good luck!

At April 28, 2008 1:22 AM, Blogger Dark Nights said...

Tag your it!!!

At April 28, 2008 9:51 PM, Blogger Thomas said...

I know the feeling. You get your hands on the noob and all you want to do is smack them till they do right.

Good news is that most of them come around right nicely.

Keep up the good work


At May 02, 2008 11:24 AM, Blogger Photog-Mama said...

Good luck with it all.

At May 13, 2008 5:35 AM, Blogger northsidebloggr said...

Cool. What did you do before you became a cop?

At May 13, 2008 9:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, you should definitely beat the crap out of him if he disrespects dispatch. I'm a CTO, the hardest part is stepping back and letting them do....good luck! As long as you remember he's new and has to learn somehow you'll have no probs.

At September 23, 2008 4:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Luck! I just discovered your blog and will be back. thanks for sharing your life.


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