Field Training Officer (FTO)
A Field Training Officer (FTO) is an experienced or senior officer who is responsible for the training and evaluation of a probationary police officer (PPO).
New officers are only allowed to work with an FTO for a predetermined amount of time, or until the field training staff determines the PPOs are ready to work on their own. Field training for police officers typically lasts 12 to 18 weeks. PPOs have multiple field training officers. PPOs spend several weeks on different shifts and some time working with each specialty area of the department.
The duties of the FTO involve being a role model, clearly communicating the expectations of training, teaching the PPO the policies of the department, correctly applying concepts learned in the classroom to field training operations, and evaluating the PPO on his or her progress in the program. Ultimately, the FTO is responsible for making sure shift duties are performed safely, properly and completely.