The Police Chief - November 2010 - (Page 58)

By ronald h. Warners, Professor, curry college, Milton Massachusetts; and faculty, roger Williams University Justice Studies Training and research Institute, Bristol, rhode Island F The Field Training Experience: Perspectives of Field Training Officers and Trainees THE POLICE CHIEF/NOVEMBER 2010 ield training is universally described as the most important stage in the process of becoming an independent police officer. During this period, field training officers (FTOs) present recruits with two challenges: to learn the practical aspects of law enforcement and community service and to assimilate into the professional culture of a particular agency. The stakes are high for the recruit and the department, both of which aspire to achieve the best results, and, yet, both FTOs and recruits bring genuine concerns that are often unknown or unacknowledged. The purpose of this study is to open these concerns to the awareness of both FTOs and their trainees, in the expectation that a mutual appreciation will optimize the teaching and learning during field instruction. This study is based on the perspectives of 164 officers, 125 of whom, as FTOs, have trained approximately 700 field recruits. The study asks two basic questions: 1. What concerns do trainees and FTOs bring to the experience? 2. What attributes of both trainees and FTOs contribute to a positive field training experience? Two Field Training Models Two approaches to police field training are currently practiced in the United States: the traditional San Jose Model and the Police Training Officer (PTO) Program (also known as the Reno Model), developed by the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). The San Jose Model. Police field training before 1960 was largely unstructured. New officers received little, or in some instances, no “on the job” training. When first introduced to patrol duties, officers were assigned indiscriminately to a senior officer who happened to be working the same schedule. The “training” officer often changed from day to day, and the quality of training varied accordingly. In that most of the officers delegated the task of training felt imposed upon by this additional duty, the quality of training of a new officer ranged from “barely adequate” downward.1 58

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Police Chief - November 2010

The Police Chief - November 2010
President’s Message: The Year Ahead
Legislative Alert: Congress Passes Continuing Resolution to Sustain Federal Government
IACP Foundation: Law Enforcement Leaders Learn, with a Corporate Twist
Chief’s Counsel: Legal Training and Concerns for Conducted Energy Weapons
Advances & Applications
The Florida Criminal Justice Executive Institute: A Bellwether for Leadership Training in Florida
Training for Face-to-Face Encounters
Beyond Survival toward Officer Wellness (BeSTOW): Targeting Law Enforcement Training
New Members
Product Update
Transforming a Police Agency by Connecting Training, Performance, and Assessment to Promotion
The Field Training Experience: Perspectives of Field Training Officers and Trainees
Tips for Training with a Firearms Simulator
Survey: The Status of Field Training
Nine-Week Army Program Provides Civilian Police Force Training
Educational Programs for Fusion Center Directors
Training and Tools to Serve the Line Officer
Technology Talk
Index to Advertisers
Highway Safety Initiatives

The Police Chief - November 2010