Riverside Police Department

Field Training Program

The Field Training Officer (FTO) program is the “street” training for officers just graduating from the academy. This is a period where newly graduated Police Officer Trainees will take what they learned in the academy and apply it to the street. For Lateral Police Officers this is a period of preparation, training transition and integration into the Riverside Police Department. Our FTO program structure is made up of the following items:

Orientation phase is conducted over a two week period where new officers learn about the City of Riverside, the Police Department, and expectations.

Phase 1
(five weeks) is the introductory field training phase and follows the Orientation Phase. During this time, the trainee will be taught certain basic skills. These include officer safety and other areas of potential liability to the organization and the trainee. The important elements of this phase are the molding of the trainee’s attitude toward the experienced officers and making it clear that the program is not “just something else they have to get through.”

Phase 2
(five weeks) is somewhat more complex than the first phase and is the phase where trainees become more adept with their new role. During this phase, it is expected trainees will begin handling calls for service and enforcement activities with less input required from their FTO. They should begin to master the basic skills at hand.

Phase 3
(five weeks) continues to build upon patrol officer skills, introduces more complex investigations and patrol techniques, and requires more active participation and ability from the trainee.

Phase 4
(five weeks) is the last phase of formal patrol training. Trainees will maximize their participation and demonstrated ability. Trainees will be expected to handle all patrol details, except those they have not yet been exposed to, predominantly with minimal assistance from the FTO. They should be initiating all patrol and enforcement activities on their own.

(two weeks) focuses on Community Oriented Policing / Problem Solving (COPPS) and Crime Free Multi-Housing (CFMH) training. The trainee will learn COPPS concepts and how to apply them in the patrol environment. He/she will learn how to use crime analysis tools.

Traffic Phase (two weeks) focuses on accident investigation and all aspects of traffic enforcement.

Phase 7
(two weeks) is the final evaluation phase. The Field Training Guide and all performance objectives should have been completed prior to the trainee’s entry into this phase. To ensure the trainee acts as the lead officer during this phase, the FTO will observe the actions of the trainee from a “ride-along” position, normally while wearing plain clothes. The FTO will not take any action except in instances where his/her intervention is necessary.

During the new officer's field training period, new officers will be given weekly quizzes, a mid-term exam and a final exam.

At the end of the FTO program all new officers will have an Oral Board Interview Exam comprised of his supervisors and commanders. At the end of the probationary period, new officers are considered to be solo patrol officers capable of working on their own in the field.
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