Field Training Officer Program

Program Details

The Aberdeen Police Department field training officers (FTO) program consists of a 13-week program where new recruit officers are paired in the field with a trained officer who evaluates the recruit officer’s progress every shift.

Evaluating Progress

The recruit officers are also given a FTO manual that consists of 10 chapters that cover all aspects of police work such as accident investigation, policies and procedures, officer safety, domestic violence, and other topics. Both the recruit and FTO sign off each week that the chapter was reviewed.

Recruits are graded on 31 different areas observed on a daily observation report.

Recruit officers are rotated every three weeks to a different shift and a different FTO officer so that the new officers are exposed to all three shifts and work with every officer within the department.

Final Phase of the Program

During the last phase of the FTO program (usually the last three weeks), FTO officers are dressed in plain clothes. The recruit officer has to make the decisions and talk with the public while the FTO observes his/her actions. The FTO will intervene if there is an officer safety issue or if the recruit officer does not know how to handle the situation.

During the FTO phase and prior to rotation, all the FTOs will meet and talk about the new officers and areas that may need improvement, calls they have been on and issues to work on or watch. In the last week of the FTO program, the FTOs meet and decide if the new officer is ready to be out on their own.

Contact Us

For more information, please contact the Training Sergeant at 605-626-7065. If this is an emergency, please dial 911.