Policy: Field Training Program

PURPOSE

The purpose of this order is to establish the procedures governing the Field Training (and Evaluation) Program for officers and sergeants.

POLICY

The Michigan State University Police Department’s (Department) policy is that all personnel shall complete pre-field or pre-supervision training to improve the overall effectiveness and efficiency of law enforcement services.

DEFINITIONS

Field Training Program (FTP): An extension of the law enforcement selection process that combines pre-field training with objective evaluations to ensure that the standards of a competent law enforcement officer are met.

Field Training for Supervisors Program: An extension of the promotional process to prepare probationary sergeants to perform their essential job functions.

Field Training Commander (Commander): The designated commander who oversees the overall program by setting standards, delegating assignments and monitoring performance of employees.

Field Training Coordinator (Coordinator): The designated supervisor(s) in the Uniform Division overseeing the day-to-day operation of the program.

Field Training Officer (FTO): Department trained non-probationary officers that are assigned to the Uniform Division to teach, train, evaluate and document the performance of a Probationary Officer.

Probationary Officer (PO): A recently hired police officer that is either a police academy graduate or has been employed by another police agency; and must obtain on-the-job training during their probationary period.

Probationary Sergeant (PS): A recently promoted Uniform Division sergeant that must learn supervisory skills to insure they can perform essential job functions.

Field Training Supervisor (FTS): Acts as a coach, teacher and facilitator to a probationary sergeant to acclimate them to the supervisory role.

FTP Reports

Daily Observation Report (DOR): Completed by the FTO each day the PO is with them for training.

Weekly Evaluation Report: Completed by the assigned duty supervisor for each four (4) day training and evaluation period for POs.

Supervisory Step Progression Report

Completed by the Commander in conjunction with the FTO’s/FTS’s at the completion of all FTP Steps.

Document the POs and PS areas of strength and weakness with inclusion of references to any remedial training.

The report is prepared on the basis of previous reports, personal observations and consultation with the Field Training Cadre and FTS’s.

PO Step Five Supervisor Summary Report

Completed by the PO, reviewed by the assigned shift supervisor and sent to the Commander at the completion of a PO’s Step Four. Completion continues until the probation period is completed for POs.

This report is then reviewed by the Commander.

Non-Evaluation Day (NED): days a PO is assigned to an FTO, but does not receive scores for the documentation completed on a DOR.

Training Days

PO’s are credited for a training day only if assigned with an FTO for a minimum of 8 hours and a DOR is completed or assigned to a supervisor.

PS’s are credited for a training day only if assigned to a FTS.

PROCEDURES

Goals of the FTP

Improving the overall applicant hiring process: The FTP is one phase of the Department’s overall applicant hiring process designed to extend on-the-job observations, training and assessment.

Establishing a PO appraisal system

The program is designed to provide a valid job-related evaluation of a PO’s performance after they have completed the basic training academy.

This process utilizes a standardized and systematic approach to the documented measurement of a PO’s performance.

Establishing a program review procedure

The program provides an appraisal system to measure the effectiveness of the Department’s selection and training processes.

This is accomplished by allowing feedback during the respective phases of the process in regard to their strengths and weaknesses.

Improving the PO and PS training process

The program provides post-basic academy, on-the-job training to PO’s.

FTOs serve as role models to POs in the development of knowledge, skills and abilities needed to perform patrol duties.

The program also provides an FTS to act as a coach, teacher and facilitator to a PS to acclimate them to the supervisory role.

Establishing an improved in-service retraining program.

The FTP also provides a system to provide retraining to sworn officers returning to the Uniform Division from extended absences or other Department assignments.

Sworn officers who have been out of the Uniform Division for a period of 180 calendar days may be assigned to an FTO.

During that time, they will not be subject to the formalized evaluations required of POs in training.

The FTO’s function is to familiarize the officer with agency forms, updated policies, procedures and tactics; and in conjunction with the Commander, ensure that the returning officer is provided such opportunities as are necessary to meet or re-qualify in skill areas where necessary.

Officers returning to the Uniform Division from extended absences or assignments will receive such retraining and orientation as part of their regularly scheduled uniformed duties, and as such will be assigned as part of a “double car” that can be utilized to handle any double car assignments while being counted on as part of normal shift strength.

Establishing a comprehensive orientation and training program for experienced officers hired from other departments.

Establishing a PS training program: The program provides a PS with a standard process to be trained in how to perform their new assignment

Organization

Commander

Responsible for assisting the coordinators with the general administration and evaluation of the FTP and the staff monitoring of all POs and PSs for the duration of their probationary period.

Monitors and evaluates the overall development of POs and PSs during the probationary period, for purposes of determining any deficiencies and resolving them through additional training.

Responsible for planning, directing and evaluating pre-determined field training assignments and any changes in such assignments or variations in the length of the assignments.

Works closely with the shift supervisors during and after the completion of FTP assignments to determine and correct any training deficiencies.

Recommends any recycling of a POs or PSs for additional training.

Prepares a statement of the POs and PSs development and submits it to the Chief of Police (Chief) or designee with a recommendation to retain, recycle (extend training), dismiss the officer, and/or demote the sergeant.

Other Department supervisors and FTP personnel will be offered the opportunity to provide input to assist in this final probationary period evaluation.

Coordinator

Has a dual responsibility of shift supervisor and training/evaluation of probationary officers assigned to the shift.

Keeps the other shift supervisors and/or command personnel informed of the progress of POs assigned to the shift.

Ensures that the training and evaluation processes are completed.

Various sources of information should be utilized to achieve these goals. These should be included, but not limited to:

DORs

Verbal communications with the FTOs and personnel

Tests

Personal observations of probationary officer performance summarized in their weekly progress reports

Conducts the weekly review of the PO’s Training Guide (“Recruit Manual”) to determine if it is up-to-date and properly filled out.

If it is not current, the Coordinator should ascertain why it is not, giving special attention to the possible need for remedial training.

The Coordinator and the FTO are responsible for the review of reports written by the PO to identify any deficiencies in these reports.

Makes certain that the Weekly Evaluation Report is completed and submitted to the Commander.

Attends the various training sessions and field training meetings to provide first-hand information concerning PO performance and to allow the opportunity to evaluate the instructional techniques of the FTOs.

Monitors the overall training of POs assigned to the shift to ensure that the program standards are being met.

Field Training Supervisor (FTS)

Responsible for the training of the probationary sergeants assigned to them, as directed by the Commander.

Essential means by which the goals of the program are achieved, specifically, the production of a law enforcement sergeant capable of working in a solo assignment as a supervisor in a safe, skillful, productive and professional manner.

Has two primary roles to fulfill: a police supervisor assuming that responsibility and a trainer of probationary sergeants.

May be released from FTP duties as follows:

At the direction of the Chief or designee.

At the request of the individual concerned and with approval from the Chief.

By removal from assignment to uniform duties.

Field Training Officer (FTO)

Responsible for the training and evaluation of the probationary officers when assigned to them, as directed by their Coordinator and Commander.

A sworn officer who has met all posted qualifications of the Department’s FTP guidelines.

An essential means by which the goals of the program are achieved; specifically, the production of an officer capable of working in a solo assignment in a safe, skillful, productive and professional manner.

Has two primary roles to fulfill: a police officer assuming the full patrol responsibility and a trainer and evaluator of probationary officers.

May be released from FTP duties as follows:

At the direction of the Chief or designee.

At the request of the individual concerned and with approval from the Chief or designee.

By removal from assignment to uniform duties.

Assignment of Probationary Members

POs and PSs shall be assigned to the Uniform Division, unless otherwise ordered by the Chief or designee.

Each PO and PS who is assigned to the Uniform Division shall be placed in an FTP assignment under the supervision of an FTO or FTS as defined in this policy.

The field training assignment shall be pre-determined and will generally be varied only when a PO or PS needs additional training.

The Coordinator, at the direction of the Commander, may continue the field training assignment for a PO or PS beyond the predetermined time; should the need for further training and evaluation be apparent. The approval of the Chief or designee is also required.

FTP Steps

The FTP for officers shall be divided into four (4) steps, for a total of seven hundred sixty-eight (768) hours; with the final step incorporating the balance of the officer’s probationary period.

If the PO enters the FTP with extensive police experience and displays exceptional merit, the Commander shall confer with the Chief or designee to shorten the amount of time spent by the PO at any step.

Step One (240 hours)

The first 48 hours will be in a Non-Evaluation Day (NED) format.

During this orientation period, Department qualifications and mandatory training will be accomplished and the PO will ride with and observe the FTO perform the duties of a police officer.

Four (4) DORs shall be completed.

For the remaining 192 hours, the PO and the FTO ride together in a structured and evaluated environment. DORs are completed for each scored shift.

Step Two (192 hours)

Training and evaluation period with a FTO completing DORs.

Step Three (192 hours)

Training and evaluation period with a FTO completing DORs.

Step Four (144 hours)

The first 48 hours will be in a NED format where the FTO is in plainclothes and completes a DOR to document performance without evaluative scoring.

These NED days may be waived at the discretion of the FTO Commander.

The remaining 96 hours will be with the FTO in plainclothes and completing scored DORs.

Step Five (remaining balance of the probationary period)

Solo performance by PO

PO remains on probationary status, complete a Step Five Supervisor Summary Report, send that to their assigned shift supervisor, who reviews and forwards to the Commander.

The FTP for Sergeants shall be divided into three steps for a total of 108 supervised hours; within 288 working hours with the balance of the probationary period for the final step.

If the PS enters the FTP with extensive police supervisory experience and displays exceptional merit, the Commander shall confer with the Chief or designee to shorten the amount of time spent by the PS at any step.

Step One (36 hours within 96 hours of scheduled work time)

For the first twelve (12) hours, the PS works with a FTS on their shift.

The PS then completes 24 additional hours (in 12 hour increments) with a FTS in the remaining 96 hours of work before moving to the next step.

This FTS supervised time will be structured in completing training task sheets.

Movement to Step Two is determined by the Commander.

Step Two (36 hours within 96 hours of scheduled work time)

The PS works for 36 hours (in 12 hour increments) with a FTS in a 96 hour period of time.

The FTS supervised time is structured to complete any remaining training task sheets.

The movement to Step Three is determined by the Commander.

Step Three (144 hours)

Solo performance by the PS

The PS completes 144 hours with supervision and evaluation by the shift lieutenant.

The shift lieutenant shall complete a written evaluation of the PS’s performance and forward that to the Commander for review.

The Commander shall recommend placement in Step Four.

Step Four (balance of probationary period)

Solo performance by the PS.

PS remains on probationary status and is evaluated based on current procedures.

The FTP may be extended for the PO or PS at the discretion of the Chief, Commander or designees.

PO Dismissal from Employment Process

At any time during the FTP a probationary officer is not performing at a satisfactory level, a recommendation for dismissal may be initiated.

Memoranda and recommendations for dismissal from employment are sent to the Chief or designee.

The Commander is responsible for ensuring that all supporting data is attached to the recommendation.

The Chief or designee shall make the final decision regarding dismissal from employment.

Disposition of FTP Materials

Shall be maintained by the Commander based on current records retention policies.

FTP files are confidential and shall be reviewed only on a “need to know” basis and/or upon authorization by the Chief or designee.