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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 97483 Find in a Library
Title: Professors of the Street - Police Mentors
Journal: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin  Volume:54  Issue:1  Dated:(January 1985)  Pages:8-13
Author(s): M M Fagan; K Ayers
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
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Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
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Document: PDF
Publisher: https://www.fbi.gov 
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Questionnaries completed by 70 police officers in Kentucky, Texas, and Pennsylvania indicated that mentoring was as prevalent among police as in the helping professions of teaching and nursing; mentoring also correlated significantly with job satisfaction. Departments should facilitate informal mentoring or develop sound Field Officer Training (FTO) programs.
Abstract: Approximately 91 percent of the rookies surveyed had some mentoring. They reported that their mentors helped them increase their self-confidence as well as learn the technical aspects of police work and how to work with people. Subjects who had a definite mentor were more satisfied with their work than those who had no mentoring or diffuse mentoring. Because some rookies have no mentors and there is considerable inconsistency among even the best police mentors, some departments have implemented FTO programs. The graduating cadet leaves the academy to ride with a volunteer veteran FTO. Most FTO's train for the position and receive some incentive pay. A review of five programs revealed three major threats to FTO programs: an overemphasis on standardization, too much evaluation, and excessively authoritarian FTO's. Administrators can improve informal mentoring by teaching all officers about the importance of good mentoring, reinforcing veterans who show an interest in helping beginners, and arranging the working environment to encourage veterans and rookies to become friends. Also, supervisors should take more personal interest in their rookies. In addition to countering the three major threats, FTO programs should develop instruments to select suitable FTO's, match them with similar trainees, give minority rookies two strong FTO's, and provide opportunities for FTO's and rookies to interact socially. Items from the mentoring survey and 15 footnotes are supplied.
Index Term(s): Police department surveys; Police field training; Police training programs; Program planning
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