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FTOs: Guardians at the Gates
October 17, 2011
The Field Training Officer (FTO) stands as the guardian at the gates leading to Copland. The FTO is the link from the academy to the realities and harshness of real-life applications. They oversee how you apply all of the principles you've been taught and determine whether you're worthy of carrying on the burden of these to the next generation.
When to Leave a Department
October 10, 2011
Police careers are much like any other career in life. Consider giving up your seniority, time invested toward tenure, vesting towards retirement, and some stored benefits. Starting over is the real bite!
Your First Complaint
October 3, 2011
When you go to IA, be professional. The movie scenes of the renegade cop who stomps in, puts his feet on their desk and proclaims that they should "prove it" is bad movie acting. Go in and listen! Fully understand what has brought you in front of them.
Know Your Trigger Point!
September 27, 2011
Anger will only divert you from tactical awareness. You'll become a Neanderthal and lose your professionalism. If you whip the pudding out of some mouthy inebriated social misfit, all you've done is become a criminal.
Never Settle for Just Good Enough
September 20, 2011
Detectives build their case on your preliminary report. Prosecutors decide whether to move forward with the case based on your report. Insurance companies, probation officers, and others will use your work product to help them with their roles. Pay attention to the details; it will pay off in more ways than one.
Avoid Diploma Mills for Your Degree
September 12, 2011
There are always those who try to circumvent the system and purchase their degrees. For me, this is an integrity issue. If you took the low road on one requirement, what else have you shortchanged us on?
September 6, 2011
There are times where a good laugh will get you over a bad day or through a tough call. I would advise you to take the job seriously but don't take yourself seriously.
Should You Gain Law Enforcement Certification On Your Own?
August 29, 2011
You may complete the academy, but won't be certified until a law enforcement agency employs you. In some states, this completes the certification process. In others, you'll have to attend additional law enforcement training for completion. Because you haven't been a cop, you may not have received specialized training that requires full law enforcement clearances.
Do You Carry an Individual First-Aid Kit?
August 23, 2011
You must be prepared to handle a "blow out" of bleeding. Tourniquets, hemostatic agents, and dressing should your main priority. In other words, prepare for self-aid or buddy aid for serious trauma survival.
Get Your Proper Rest
August 15, 2011
Listen to your colleagues and, most of all, listen to your body. On the day you want to go out, if you need your rest, grab some. Your rest and recuperation from the stresses of the job, shift work, and life are worth the investment.
The Dangers of Badge Bunnies and Holster Sniffers
August 8, 2011
They claim they're looking for a friend — a strong, handsome young man in uniform. Add to that description a good steady job, good pay, and benefits. Wait, I thought they were only looking for friendship. They want to hang around, show up in your life and sooner or later potentially ruin your career and life.
Dealing with Politicians
August 1, 2011
Most of the politicians want to know you and get the name-and-face thing down pat in case they can use you. Yes, I said use you. Be professional and courteous, and don't speak outside of the department's policy and procedures.
Even Pros Practice
July 26, 2011
Just like some golfers, we often talk about all of the cool ways to avoid practice, hoping the latest fad in some magazine will make us the pro we want to be without putting in the work.
Show Your Pride with a Professional Image
July 18, 2011
Learn to manage the little things, which are the foundation for more important things in life. Preparation for duty equates to pride in yourself and your performance. Preparation sends the message that you're a professional and a force to be reckoned with.
Facing the Realities of Life
July 11, 2011
The cruelty of man toward his fellow man never ceases to amaze me. How and what some do to others is sad, senseless, and boggles my mind at times. You've got to deal with it and drive on with a grip on reality.
How to Handle Residency Requirements
July 5, 2011
If you're applying to an agency, read the fine print. I mean the really fine print. There are some police agencies that require you to prove you've established residency for up to two years prior to submitting an application. Others require you to move into the jurisdiction within a year of your hire date.
Games To Enhance Your Performance
June 27, 2011
A recruit may wonder if he or she will ever get some down time. My job is to drive you to develop a fine knowledgeable officer, rather than someone wanting an easy pass. Training is hard work, even if it's a game.
Thinking Like a Cop
June 20, 2011
One of the biggest transitions a recruit must make is to start thinking like a cop, rather than Joe Average Guy on the street. I'm not talking about speaking in police tongues such as 10 codes, jargon and criminal codes.
FTOs Must Embrace a Change Agent Role
June 13, 2011
I've always believed that the FTO should be the first one registered for training. If they are to pass on the knowledge, they have to be the sharpest. They need to be the ones leading way to embrace and implement change for the good.
Take Your Training Seriously
June 8, 2011
Don't tell me, "If you want me on the clock, you'll pay me for it." I know many officers who have to pay out of their own pockets and take time off to attend top-notch training. Take control of your destiny. Planning to excel on the streets takes investment from you.
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