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Field Training Unit
The Field Training Unit of the Indiana University Police Department has the monumental responsibility to train the new recruits of the Indiana University Police Department.
Special Thanks to the Field Training Units of the Bloomington, Indiana Police Department, Evansville, Indiana Police Department, and the Mesa, Arizona Police Department for their help in creating the program of instruction currently used by the Field Training Unit. Sgt. Schmuhl underwent the monumental task of overhauling the program in early 2002. Thanks to Sgt. Steve Kellams from the Bloomington, Indiana Police Department for assisting us in its development.
The Field Training Program is intended to ease a police officer's transition from the academic setting to the performance of general law enforcement patrol duties of the department. Although an officer graduating from the Regular Basic Course (ILEA Academy) has received a thorough introduction to basic law enforcement subjects, that officer cannot be expected to immediately function as an experienced officer.
In order to make the new officer's field training as effective as possible, they are assigned to a Field Training Officer (FTO).
The FTO is an experienced officer especially selected and trained to conduct this type of training.It is the responsibility of the FTO to thoroughly review the field training guide materials with the newly assigned officer and to demonstrate proper patrol procedures. Students will be required to perform various law enforcement duties under the guidance and supervision of their assigned FTO and Field Training Coordinator/Manager (FTC/M). The student's performance will be evaluated daily by the FTO and monitored by the FTC/M through Manager Reports (MR) reviews. This one-on-one style of training, and the fact that the instructor/trainers must guide the training in real law enforcement situations, sets it apart from any prior academic endeavor.
The Field Training Program has been designed to improve the overall quality of police officers for the Indiana University community by providing a method of evaluation and training to new officers.
Field Training Unit Members
Selection to the Field Training Unit is competative. Officers must submit a memo through the chain of command, undergo extensive testing, and then an interview in front of the existing members. Once an Officer is selected to join the Field Training Unit, they are sent to a NAFTO sponsored FTO School for an introduction to adult learning and the Field Training Officer role.
All of the Field Training Unit members are certified Indiana Law Enforcement Academy Instructors. Members are certified to teach a variety to subjects that include Defensive Tactics, Survival Tactics, Firearms, Emergency Vehicle Operations, Domestic Violence, CPR, AED, HAZMAT, Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, S.T.O.P.S., etc...
All members of the Field Training Unit are also members of the National Association of Field Training Officers (N.A.F.T.O.).
N.A.F.T.O. is an educational and professional association concerned with apprenticeship training (commonly known to as the Field Training Officer concept) for Law Enforcement, Communications, and Corrections personnel. Educators, Administrators and other Criminal Justice practitioners are also encouraged to participate.
Field Training Unit Materials
The Field Training Unit at the Indiana University Police Department has decided to make public the training methods and manuals of the unit. Other materials are available upon request.
Field Training Unit Computer Program
The Field Training Unit is currently tracking the Probationary Officer's progress with a computer program that was created by this unit with input from IN-NAFTO members. It can compare and evaluate the Probationary Officers and the Field Training Officers in addition to eliminating the need for paperwork.
All DORs are entered into the program and the Weekly Manager's Report and Phase Summary Report are created at run-time. Electronic Signatures eliminate the need to print DORs and other paperwork. The following are several examples of reports the program can generate.
- Weekly Manager's Report
- Graphical Representation of the Critical Performance Task scores for a Probationary Officer
- Comparison of the Field Training Officers
Note: all scores, probationary officers, and field training officers shown in the above reports are fictitious
The program reduces the amount of time it takes to counsel the Probationary Officer and complete a Daily Observation Report enabling more in the field training. When filling out the Daily Observation Report, drop-down boxes provide a quick reference to the Task Reference Numbers facilitating quick entry.
The computer program was designed to be as adaptable as possible. Changes can be made to the layout of forms with much ease. Standardized Evaluation Guidelines can be updated as it becomes necessary.
Once the Probationary Officer has completed field training, all their information can be exported from the program in a variety of formats to archive their records. The following file is an example of the front page for those records.
The entire Probationary Officer Performance Record takes up approximately 4 mb. That is for over 320 pages of data!