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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98007 Find in a Library
Title: How Police Officers Perceive Their Field Training Officer
Journal: Journal of Police Science and Administration  Volume:13  Issue:2  Dated:(June 1985)  Pages:138-152
Author(s): M M Fagan
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 15
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews the literature on field training officer (FTO) programs to supplement academy training and reports on a study undertaken to discover how FTO program participants describe and evaluate the process.
Abstract: The Fresno Police Department's study of its own FTO program, for example, revealed that personnel were generally satisfied with the program. Eisenberg's study of a Virginia program, however, highlighted several potential problems, including overemphasis on technical skills and FTO's who are too young, too inexperienced, or who judge recruits on the basis of personality. In this study, 42 police officers in a large midwestern city were questioned about their department's FTO program, which has been in operation since 1978. Interviews were conducted with the FTO director (a lieutenant), 1 other lieutenant, 3 sergeants, 13 FTO's or ex-FTO's, and 24 ex-trainees. Questionnaires were completed by 15 ex-trainees and 6 FTO's. All the officers agreed that the FTO program was a good idea and was an improvement over the old method of orienting rookies. Trainees and trainers acknowledged that the program provides young officers with self-confidence, technical knowledge, and other useful tools. Most FTO-rookie relationships were peer-like; however, some identification occured. Most of the rookies looked up to their FTO and wanted to emulate him; most FTO's said their trainees reminded them of themselves. Respondents' suggestions included introducing smaller training classes so that fewer FTO's are needed, extending the program from 12 to 16 weeks, and training FTO's to evaluate more consistently. Seven references and three tables are included, as are the questionnaires.
Index Term(s): Literature reviews; Police personnel; Police training attitudes; Police training management
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