As a demonstrably immature 21-year-old, I defensively adopted a more reserved demeanor in the hopes that it would be interpreted by the academy staff as reflective of a sober nature. I beat down any temptation to crack a joke in the academy with whack-a-mole determination and my effort was so successful that I quickly became known as "stress cadet”
December 23, 2013
Great mentors seem to live for the teaching moments of life. It is easy to scream at someone who makes a mistake. It takes patience to seize a mistake and turn it into a learning experience. The leader who takes you aside for a teaching moment is a real leader.
August 21, 2013
It's been said that the street cop wears many hats: psychologist, sociologist, counselor, arbitrator; electrician, firefighter, judge, jury, and even executioner. But how much formal training has he or she been exposed to in these various capacities?
March 12, 2013
I learned a valuable story from an old U.S. Army first sergeant years ago. Never plan for your next assignment/promotion when it is posted. You should have been working on this goal.
February 8, 2013
First and foremost, counseling is an art that you don't master the first time or by suffering through a boring psychological lecture. You learn by doing. You'll make mistakes, and you'll have to work hard every time you provide counsel.
September 19, 2012
Through my years of dealing with rookies, I've read far too many cavalier statements by either brash or totally unwitting rookies. Here are the most common ones that you'll want to avoid.
August 21, 2012
Teaching can be a perishable skill, so you've got to practice. There are several outlets for an FTO to practice his or her skill set. We want to keep the mind sharp by providing a workout for the instructional part of the brain.
July 16, 2012
Murphy's law is the adage that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Count on these three Murphy-isms to crop up during your first year as an officer.
June 20, 2012
The role of the Field Training Officer (FTO) is more or less defined as that of a one-on-one supervisor and trainer. They're the direct connection between graduates of the academy and self-actuated functioning police officers. The FTO has a defined mission to be the trainer, evaluator, supervisor, confessor, and many other roles.
June 6, 2012
Let's not relive the past. Listen to the recruits' questions and help them. I can recall several questions that were fired at me from the old dinosaurs of my youth. Let's go over a few.
May 16, 2012
My Field Training Officer (FTO) often compared police work to playing on a football team. He would say, "The team with the least amount of penalties wins." The analogy always stuck with me and after 10 years as an officer, it still rings true.
April 25, 2012
This blog often focuses on tactics, off-duty survival, surviving the FTO program, or making it though the academy. However, what can often get overlooked is making it through those first few years as a parent. A single-parent recruit has been given the most difficult assignment of all.
December 7, 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.
October 17, 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.
June 27, 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.
June 13, 2011