Think again. Having graduated your academy is merely the 1st step in what hopefully will be a long and rewarding career for you. In most – not all agencies, you may be assigned to an FTO (Field Training Officer) program.
This is where you’ll be assigned to a series (ideally) of senior officers over different shifts to be trained in your agency’s internal procedures, critical job tasks and actual street work. One of the country’s first, best, and well known FTO Programs is called “The San Jose” model.
Driving Skill: Non-Stress Conditions – Evaluates probationary officer’s skill in the operation of the vehicle under normal driving conditions.
#1. Unacceptable: Disobeys traffic laws and frequently violates policy and training reference the operation of police vehicles. Involved in chargeable accidents. Is inattentive to surrounding traffic whereby actions unlawfully interfere with same. Fails to exhibit necessary skills to safely operate vehicle. Drives in manner not conducive to police image “showboats”.
#4. Acceptable: Obeys traffic laws. Drives defensively and is alert to potential hazards. Observes policy and training regarding police vehicle operation. Is able to operate vehicle while utilizing equipment necessary to the normal patrol function (radio, spotlight, etc.)
#7. Superior: Sets an example for lawful, courteous driving; Is a superior defensive driver. Adheres to driving techniques taught by the department. Perceives potentially hazardous driving situations well in advance and reacts accordingly.
Driving Skill: Stress Conditions – Evaluates probationary officer’s skill in vehicle operation and geographic orientation under emergency conditions and in situations calling for other than usual driving skill.
#1. Unacceptable: Involved in chargeable accidents. Uses emergency equipment unnecessarily or improperly. Drives too fast or too slow for the situation. Loses control of vehicle. Does not drive defensively. Violates departmental policies on emergency driving. Becomes disoriented, unable to relate location to destination and has no concept of compass direction.
#4. Acceptable: Maintains control of vehicle and evaluates driving situations properly (i.e. proper speed for conditions). Complies with departmental policies. Aware of location, utilizes grid map appropriately and demonstrates good sense of direction.
#7. Superior: Displays high degree reflex ability/driving competence. Anticipates driving situations in advance and acts accordingly. Practices defensive techniques. Travels quickly to call by most appropriate route, good sense of direction and does not use grid map. Responds well relative to degree of stress present.
Field Performance: Non-Stress Conditions -Evaluates the probationary officer’s ability to perform routine, non-stress police activities.
#1. Unacceptable: Repeatedly requires direction and/or assistance when confronted with routine tasks. Avoids and fails to take action when situation dictates. Unable to follow directions, becomes confused or is unable to carry out a course of action. Seldom able to identify criminal activity.
#4. Acceptable: Properly assesses routine situations, determines appropriate action and takes same with minimal assistance. Able to detect and identify criminal activity.
#7. Superior: Properly assesses situations including unusual or complex ones. Determines the most appropriate course of action and takes same. Aware of short cuts and uses them to save time.
Field Performance: Stress Conditions – Evaluates the probationary officer’s ability to perform in moderate to high stress situations (violent confrontations, potentially violent disputes, abusive or antagonistic citizens.)
#1. Unacceptable: Becomes totally disoriented and unable to respond to the assignment without detailed directions. Fails to establish control or allows situation to deteriorate through the failure or avoidance of taking action. Overreacts or becomes emotionally involved, influencing action taken. Fails to be objective when reaching conclusions.
#4. Acceptable: Exhibits calm and self-control, is objective in determining acceptable course of action and takes it. Does not allow the situation to further deteriorate.
#7. Superior: Maintains calm and self-control in even the most extreme situations. Quickly restores control in the situation and takes command. Determines best course of action and takes it.
Officer Safety: General – Evaluates the probationary officer’s ability to perform police tasks without injuring self/others or exposing self/others to unnecessary danger or risk.
#1. Unacceptable: Fails to follow accepted safety procedures or to exercise officer safety practices. The following are some examples that should be considered:
Exposes weapon to suspect (baton, handgun etc.).
#4. Acceptable: Understands and follows accepted safety procedures and effectively applies them with confidence. Does not project paranoia
#7. Superior: Always works safely. Anticipates dangerous situations and prepares for them. Keeps FTO informed and determines the best position for self and FTO. Is not over confident or paranoid. Is in good physical condition.
Officer Safety: With Suspicious Persons and Prisoners – Evaluates the probationary officer’s ability to perform police tasks in a safe manner while dealing with suspects, suspicious persons or prisoners.
#1. Unacceptable: Violates officer safety principles as specifically related to handling suspicious persons or prisoners. Fails to “frisk”, confronts people while seated in police vehicle, fails to properly handcuff when appropriate. Conducts poor searches and fails to maintain position of advantage to prevent attack or escape.
#4. Acceptable: Follows accepted safety procedures with suspicious persons and
#7. Superior: Foresees potential danger and eliminates or controls it. Maintains position of advantage even in the most dangerous situations. Is alert to changing situations and prevents opportunities for danger from developing.
Control of Conflict: Voice Command – Evaluates the probationary officer’s ability to gain and maintain control of situations through verbal command and instruction.
#1. Unacceptable: Speaks too softly or timidly, speaks too loudly, confuses or angers listeners by what is said and/or how it is said. Fails to use voice when appropriate or speaks when inappropriate.
#4. Acceptable: Speaks with authority in a calm, clear voice. Proper selection of words and knows when and how to use them.
#7. Superior: Completely controls situations with voice tone, word selection, inflection and the bearing which accompanies what is said. Restores order in even the most trying situations through use of voice.
Control of Conflict: Physical Skill – Evaluates the probationary officer’s ability to use the proper level of force for the given situation.
#1. Unacceptable: Uses too little/much force for the given situation. Does not conform to department training. Is physically unable to perform the task. Does not use proper restraints. Cowardly.
#4. Acceptable: Obtains and maintains control through use of proper and reasonable force. Conforms to department training in the act of self defense and exhibits ability to utilize techniques successfully. Good physical strength.
#7. Superior: Excellent knowledge and ability in the use of restraints. Selects the right amount of force for the given situation when or if other alternatives fail. Is in superior physical condition.
Orientation Skills: – Evaluates the probationary officer’s awareness of location, direction and map and usage under normal conditions.
#1. Unacceptable: Becomes disoriented when responding to calls. Is unable to relate his/her location to destination. Is unable to use street/grid map appropriately. Is unable to determine compass directions in normal situations. Does not recognize landmarks.
#4. Acceptable: Reasonably aware of his/her location. Is able to utilize street/grid map effectively. Demonstrates good sense of direction. Recognizes landmarks to aid in orientation.
#7. Superior: Always responds quickly to calls by the most appropriate route. Does not have to refer to maps. Rarely disoriented during normal operations.
Self Initiated Field Activity – Evaluates the probationary officer’s interest and ability to initiate police related activity, to identify same and act on even low priority situations.
#1. Unacceptable: Does not see or avoids activity. Does not follow up on situations. Rationalizes suspicious circumstances. Does not have broad orientation to job.
#4. Acceptable: Identifies and recognizes police related activity. Has a broad orientation to job including low priority activity. Develops cases from observed activity. Displays inquisitiveness.
#7. Superior: Seldom misses observable activity. Maintains and catalogs pickups and information given at roll call and uses that information as “probable cause”. Makes high quality arrests and/or proper dispositions from observed activity. Thinks well “on his/her feet”.
Investigative Procedures – Evaluates the probationary officer’s ability to conduct an effective criminal or traffic investigation.
#1. Unacceptable: Unable to determine if an incident or offense has occurred that requires police attention. Does not plan an investigative strategy. Cannot define investigative goals and priorities. Does not follow legal and departmental guidelines. Cannot coordinate aspects of investigation.
#4. Acceptable: Identifies whether or not an incident/crime has occurred that requires police attention. Able to establish priorities and conduct each aspect of the
investigation. Requires minimal supervision for routine scenes. Utilizes department specialists if appropriate.
#7. Superior: Requires little or no supervision at complex or unusual scenes. Coordinates and performs all aspects of scene with high efficiency.
Problem Solving/Decision Making Ability – Evaluates the probationary officer’s performance in terms of ability to perceive, form valid conclusions and arrive at sound judgments.
#1. Unacceptable: Acts without thought or good reason. Is indecisive, naive. Is unable to reason through a problem and come to a conclusion. Can’t recall previous solutions and apply them in like situations.
#4. Acceptable: Able to reason through a problem and come to an acceptable decision based on information available. Perceives situations as they really are. Makes decisions without undue assistance. Utilizes available source material in reaching decisions.
#7. Superior: Able to reason through even the most complex situations and is able to make appropriates conclusions. Has excellent perception. Anticipates problems and prepares solutions in advance. Relates past solutions to present situations
Oral Communication: Evaluated the probationary officer’s ability to communicate clearly and concisely with the public, co-workers, supervisors and court officials in a manner that ensures that the information being verbally communicated is mutually understood. The following should be considered when determining effective communication:
#1. Unacceptable: Uses profanity, talks down to people, shows a lack of interest when listening or speaking, is discourteous. Improperly presents him or herself and speaks in a manner that would distract from the intent of the conversation or causes a misunderstanding. Uses poor or improper language.
#4. Acceptable: Communicates in a clear and concise voice using acceptable English. Speaks in a manner in which he or she is understood, simultaneously ensuring that what is said is not misunderstood.
#7. Superior: Communicates with anyone regardless of cultural, environmental or psychological factors. Removes barriers that would hamper effective communication. Seeks feedback to ensure what is said is understood. Always speaks in a courteous and professional manner.
Written: Form Selection/Organization/Accuracy – Evaluates the probationary officer’s ability to prepare written documentation that accurately reflects the intended communication in a detailed, organized manner, utilizing the appropriate form.
#1. Unacceptable: Unfamiliar with various departmental forms and fails to realize when they are to be used. Totally unable to organize information and transpose it to writing with acceptable amount of accuracy and completeness.
#4. Acceptable: Is familiar with the commonly used forms and has a clear understanding of their purpose. Submitted written work generally reflects adequate organization and contains sufficient detail so as not to distract from its overall accuracy and completeness.
#7. Superior: All written work is a complete and detailed account of information in its entirety, written and organized in a manner so that it is easily understood and incapable of being misunderstood.
Written: Grammar/Spelling/Neatness – Evaluates the probationary officer’s ability to use proper English; following accepted conventions for grammar, spelling, syntax and punctuation, and for neatness.
#1. Unacceptable: Reports are illegible. Reports contain excessive number of misspelled, misused or improper tense words. Sentence structure is improper or incomplete.
#4. Acceptable: Reports are legible and grammar is at an acceptable level. Spelling is acceptable and errors generally occur on more difficult words. Errors, if present, do not impair an understanding of the report.
#7. Superior: Reports are very neat and legible. Reports contain no spelling or grammar errors.
Written: Time Used – Evaluates the probationary officer’s efficiency relative to the amount of time taken to write a report.
#1. Unacceptable: Requires excessive amount of time to complete a report. The amount of time to complete written work precludes performing normal patrol duties, adversely impacts other officers’ safety and displaces an unfair distribution of work to others.
#4. Acceptable: Completes reports in a reasonable amount of time. Allows the officer to perform expected patrol duties, share the work-load and efficiently provide assistance to others.
#7. Superior: Completes reports very quickly as expected of a skilled veteran officer.
Radio: Listens and Comprehends Transmission – Evaluates the probationary officer’s ability to pay attention to the radio traffic and to understand the information transmitted.
#1. Unacceptable: Repeatedly misses own call sign and is unaware of traffic in adjoining zones. Requires dispatcher to repeat transmissions or does not accurately comprehend transmissions.
#4. Acceptable. Copies radio transmissions directed at his/her unit. Is generally aware of radio traffic directed to adjoining zones.
#7. Superior: Is aware of radio traffic directed at his/her unit and traffic in surrounding zones. Is aware of traffic in other parts of the city and uses previously transmitted information to an advantage.
Radio: Articulation of Transmissions – Evaluates the probationary officer’s ability to communicate with others via the police radio.
#1. Unacceptable: Transmissions not pre-planned. Over/ under modulates. Cuts messages off via improper use of microphone. Speaks too fast/loudly. Poor use of dispatch codes.
#4. Acceptable: Uses proper procedure with clear, concise complete coded transmissions.
#7. Superior: Transmissions clear, calm, concise and complete in the most stressful situations. Transmissions well thought out and not repeated.
Knowledge: Departmental Policies/Procedures/Regulations – Evaluates the probationary officer’s grasp of departmental procedures through the ability to apply understanding under field conditions.
#1. Unacceptable: Fails to display grasp of department policies/regulations/formal procedure, violates same, or makes no attempt to learn them.
#4. Acceptable: Familiar with most commonly applied department policies/regulations/
formal procedure, and complies with same.
#7. Superior: Has an excellent working grasp of department policies/regulations/formal
procedure including lesser known and seldom used ones.
Knowledge: Criminal Law /Ordinances – Evaluates the probationary officer’s understanding of the criminal statutes and ordinances through the ability to apply that understanding in field situations.
#1. Unacceptable: Does not know the elements of basic sections of the law. Does not recognize criminal offenses when encountered or makes mistakes relative to whether or not crimes have been committed and, if so, which crimes.
#4. Acceptable: Recognizes commonly encountered criminal offenses and applies appropriate charge. Knows difference between criminal and non-criminal activity.
#7. Superior: Has an outstanding understanding of criminal law and properly applies that knowledge to complex and unusual criminal activity.
Knowledge: Traffic Law – Evaluates the probationary officer’s understanding of traffic statutes and ordinances through the ability to apply that understanding in field situations.
#1. Unacceptable: Does not know basic sections of traffic law. Does not recognize traffic offenses when encountered or makes mistakes relative to which sections of the law are applicable.
#4. Acceptable: Recognizes commonly encountered traffic violations and enforces same accurately. Has good application of skills.
#7. Superior: Recognizes and vigorously enforces traffic statutes, including those seldom encountered, with outstanding efficiency.
Knowledge: Reflected in Verbal or Written Tests – Evaluates the probationary officer’s ability to answer questions based on previous instruction and/or study.
#1. Unacceptable: When tested, verbally or written, answers with 40% or less accuracy.
#4. Acceptable: When tested, verbally or written, answers with 75% accuracy.
#7. Superior: When tested, verbally or written, answers with 100% accuracy.
Acceptance of Feedback: Verbal/Behavior – Evaluates how the probationary officer accepts trainer’s criticism and how that feedback is used to further the learning process and improve performance.
#1. Unacceptable: Rationalizes mistakes, denies that errors were made, is argumentative, refuses to or does not attempt-to make corrections. Considers criticism as a :personal attack.
#4. Acceptable: Accepts criticism in a positive manner and applies it to improve performance
and further learning.
#7. Superior: Actively solicits criticism/feedback in order to further learning and improve
performance. Does not argue or blame others for errors.
Attitude Toward Police Work – Evaluates how probationary officer views new career in terms of personal motivation, goals and acceptance of the responsibilities of the job.
#1. Unacceptable: Sees career only as a job, uses job to boost ego, abuses authority, demonstrates little dedication to the principles of the profession.
#4. Acceptable: Demonstrates an active interest in new career and· in police responsibilities.
#7. Superior: Utilizes rest-duty time to further professional knowledge, actively soliciting assistance from others to increase knowledge and improve skills. Demonstrates concern for the fair and equitable enforcement of the law, maintaining high ideals in terms of professional responsibilities.
Relations with Citizens – Evaluates the probationary officer’s ability to interact with citizens (including suspects) in an appropriate and efficient manner.
#1. Unacceptable. Abrupt, belligerent, overbearing, arrogant and uncommunicative. Overlooks or avoids “service” aspects of the job. Introverted, insensitive or uncaring.
#4. Acceptable: Courteous, friendly and empathetic. Communicates in a professional, unbiased manner. Is service oriented.
#7. Superior: Is very much at ease with citizen contacts. Quickly establishes rapport and leaves people with the feeling that the officer was interested in serving them. Is objective in all contacts.
Relations with FTO/Supervisor – Evaluates the probationary officer’s ability to effectively interact with the training officer and in other supervisory/subordinate relationships.
#1. Unacceptable: Patronizes FTO, superiors or is antagonistic toward them. Gossips. Is insubordinate, argumentative, sarcastic. Resists instructions.
#4. Acceptable: Adheres to the chain of command and accepts role in the organization. Respects authority. Follows instructions and behavior is not disruptive.
#7 Superior: Is at ease in contacts with superiors. Understands superior’s responsibilities, respects and supports their position.
General Appearance – Evaluates physical appearance, dress demeanor of the probationary officer.
#1. Unacceptable: Overweight, dirty shoes, dirty or wrinkled uniform. Uniform fits poorly or is improperly worn. Hair un-groomed and or in violation of agency standards. Dirty weapon or equipment. Equipment missing or inoperative. Offensive body odor or breath.
#4. Acceptable: Uniform neat, clean. Uniform fits and is worn properly. Weapon, leather and equipment is clean and operative. Hair and shoes within regulation.
#7. Superior: Uniform neat, clean and tailored. Leather is shined, shoes spit-shined. Displays command bearing.