Wednesday, March 2, 2016

FTOs Set Career Course for New Officers

Field training officers play a significant role in the future careers of their apprentices, and the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas offers a course to make it the best experience possible for new officers and their trainers.

“The main objective of the course to help field training officers understand the profound significance of their role in training,” said Rick Whitehead, an instructor for the course. “For new officers, it creates permanent attitudes for their careers. Our job as trainers is to help them succeed, not fail.”

The four-day training, which is held annually, is designed to put field training officers and supervisors through the same stresses and pressures facing recruits to change the mindset from one of “critiquers” to one of “facilitators.” The program focuses on training and evaluations techniques, personalities, learning styles, ethics, instruction methods, leadership styles, mentoring, program and policy development, case law trends, and specific documentation requirements.

“FTOs should be teaching to all three styles – seeing, saying and doing,” said Whitehead. “The FTO program should be supported by every level of administration, and practices should be included in the standard operating procedures of the department.”

Documentation is also important to make the training bulletproof. This practice includes documenting the error, explaining the remediation of the error, and ensuring that officers understand the policy, procedure or practice.

The program is open to FTOs and supervisors of field training programs. It is one of several special programs offered annually by LEMIT to convey innovative concepts, techniques, and knowledge that can be implemented quickly by law enforcement agencies. Mr. Whitehead also offers a New Supervisor Field Training Program, now being adopted by agencies across the country. Among the upcoming offerings are:

  • Crimes Against the Elderly, April 13
  • Crossing the Yellow Line – Serial Killers, May 25
  • New Supervisor Course, July 11, 2016

For more information about the FTO or other programs, visit the Special Programs page at LEMIT