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NCJ Number: 200354 Find in a Library
Title: Officer Proactivity: A Comparison Between Police Field Training Officers and Non-Field Training Officers
Journal: Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:31  Issue:3  Dated:May/June 2003  Pages:265-277
Author(s): Ivan Y. Sun
Date Published: May 2003
Page Count: 13
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the differences between police field training officers (FTOs) and non-FTOs in problem-focused efforts and aggressive prevention patrol.
Abstract: A FTO is supposed to be an experienced and exemplary police officer that is selected and trained to act as a role model by teaching and evaluating probationary officers working in the field. Aggressive preventive patrol is an officer-initiated security check and is an attempt to locate citizens. Problem-focused efforts are officer-initiated field interrogations and traffic stops associated with community policing. The data used in this study were collected during the summers of 1996 and 1997 as part of the Project on Policing Neighborhoods conducted in 24 neighborhoods. Observational data from direct systematic observations of officers on patrol and survey data collected from in-person interviews with officers were used in this research. Data were collected from Indianapolis, IN, and St. Petersburg, FL. Results show that FTOs in Indianapolis and St. Petersburg were not much different from non-FTOs with regard to proactivity. Both agencies implemented the FTO program in the early 1980's. A high degree of behavioral homogeneity among officers may be attributed to the success of the FTO program in transmitting policing styles and culture from one generation to the next. The only significant difference between trainers and non-trainers was that FTOs in St. Petersburg were more proactive than non-FTOs in attempting to locate suspects, witnesses, and informants. The sample of officers as a whole was more reactive than expected. Both problem-focused efforts and aggressive preventive patrol were rare activities in Indianapolis and St. Petersburg. Implications for police administrators are that FTOs are critical for policy initiatives like community- and problem-oriented policing; goals of FTO programs should be clearly defined; and police departments should seek ways to encourage officers to actively engage in problem solving and /or aggressive patrol activities if they are preferred practices. Future research should further compare the quality of field interrogations and traffic stops made by FTOs and non-FTOs. 6 tables, 48 references
Main Term(s): Police field services units; Police field training
Index Term(s): Field interrogation and interview; Police command and control; Police manpower deployment; Police resource allocation; Police training; Proactive police units
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