Field Training Officer Program

A Field Training Program Coordinator, assigned by the Chief of Police or his/her designee, administers the field training program on a day-to-day basis. The program consists of a sixteen (16) week training and evaluation period for newly hired police officers.

The first two weeks of training will be an “adjustment” period with general orientation evaluations. During the third to sixteenth weeks, the recruit will be rated daily, in writing.

All field training officers (FTOs) to which recruits are assigned will attend weekly evaluation sessions to discuss the progress of the recruit(s) and any specific problems. The last two weeks of the sixteen-week period will be an “evaluation only” phase, with the Field Training Officer observing and evaluating, but not training the recruit.

Newly hired officers who have been certified, active police officers within the 12 months prior to their hire as South Windsor police officers may be allowed to participate in a modified Field Training Program. The modified program and the duration of such modified program will be proposed by the Field Training Program Coordinator, reviewed by the Operations Commander and forwarded to the Chief of Police for approval. The Chief of Police may approve or deny the request for such modification.

Recruits are not to be assigned duties to work alone, nor will they be assigned to an officer who is not trained as a Field Training Officer (FTO). At the conclusion of each week, the Program Coordinator submits a weekly supervisor’s report to the Operations Commander, based on the daily reports submitted by the FTO. This will serve to chart the progress of the recruit throughout the program.

The Field Training Program Coordinator, with the assistance of the Field Training Officers, will develop standardized, written tests which they will administer weekly to cover material from the previous week’s training checklist. It shall also be their responsibility to develop and update the recruit checklist and standardized field evaluation guidelines.

Recruits are evaluated on the basis of increasingly demanding performance criteria from the third through the fourteenth week. The responsibility for documenting the recruit’s progress rests with the Field Training Officer and the Field Training Program Coordinator.

The Field Training Officer trains and directs recruit officers assigned to the patrol force, and performs the duties and responsibilities of a patrol officer. The Field Training Officer has two roles to fulfill: that of a police officer with full beat responsibility, and that of a trainer / evaluator of recruit personnel.

The Field Training Officer leads and directs recruit officers toward the attainment of the responsibilities and duties associated with the position of police officer. The Field Training Officer explains and demonstrates proper patrol procedures. He/she explains and complies with departmental goals and objectives while maintaining and fostering a positive relationship with the recruit.

The Field Training Officer establishes a business-like, yet friendly, relationship with the recruit.  The Field Training Officer objectively observes and evaluates the recruit’s behavior in accordance with prescribed departmental procedures. He/she will set a high, yet realistic, standard for the recruit through job performance, which adheres to high ethical standards.

The Field Training Officer provides on going instruction in the traditional sense, utilizing innovative and practical techniques. On a regular basis, the Field Training Officer will prepare verbal and/or written reports on the relative progress of the trainee and present the report to the training team.

At the conclusion of a successful field training program, the recruit officer will have thoroughly demonstrated the required skill and knowledge to operate as a patrol officer. It is at this point that the Field Training Officer shall make a recommendation to the Field Training Program Coordinator that the recruit officer be allowed to serve in the capacity of a probationary police officer, assuming the full duties and responsibilities that are required of this law enforcement position.