Field Training Program

Upon the completion of the Illinois State mandated basic 400-hour training, each probationary officer will be assigned to a Field Training Officer, or FTO.  FTO training will be categorized into four steps, each step lasting four weeks, for a total of 16 weeks.  Probationers who need additional training may have any of those four steps extended.  The FTO program is designed as an integral part of the overall training process.  It is designed to be a consistently administered period of formal on-the-job training, coaching, and performance assessment.  The goal of the program is to develop a law enforcement officer (you) capable of delivering solo patrol services in accordance with agency policy and procedure.  FTO’s will act as teachers, assessors, coaches, and mentors, all at the same time. 
The FTO program will use a series of training tasks and assessments in order to properly gauge probationer progress.  The training tasks are divided into three separate step categories.  They are designed to provide both the FTO and probationer with specific ability oriented goals.  Probationers will be expected to successfully perform the training tasks incorporated in each step before moving onto the next step.  The training tasks are meant to act as a way to measure performance.  Because they provide only a cross section of the skills needed, training tasks will only provide one of many criteria used for probationary officer assessment.  FTO’s will use training task performance along with many other factors in providing accurate assessments of probationer performance.
Each training step carries with it a different work load distribution.  In the first step, FTO’s will carry the primary workload responsibility.  By the end of step one, the probationer will be responsible for about 25% of the workload distribution.  As training progresses, the workload then shifts from the FTO to the probationer.  By the end of step two, the probationer is performing 50%-60% of the workload.  The probationer will be performing about 60%-95% of the workload by the end of step three.  During step four, the probationer should be performing 100% of the workload.  Step four is designed to be mainly an evaluation phase where the FTO closely examines the issue of whether the probationer is ready for solo patrol.