The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office conducted its first Field Training Officer (FTO) certification class beginning on October 4, 2021 under the leadership and instruction of Captain John Bean – Training Division Commander. Today, eight (8) experienced officers graduated from the thirty-two (32) hour course. The graduates are: Sgt. Richard DeBill (Redfield Police Department), Lt. Christopher Grider, K-9 Dep. Tommy Holcomb, Cpl. Riley Ramirez, Dep. Bradley Shell, Dep Brian Sweeney, Sgt. Kashonda Thompkins, and Inv. Terry Wingard.
The Field Training Officer (FTO) course covers a wide range of topics such as Leadership Perspectives, Trainee Evaluations & Documentation, Counseling & Motivation, Grammar & Writing Skills, Firearms, Conduct On & Off Duty, Complaints & Misconceptions, Teaching Skills & Lesson Plan Development, and other Critical Training Issues. The students were required to demonstrate, through practical application, the topics learned and were tasked with giving several oral presentations.
Following their graduation, the newly appointed FTOs will be responsible for the field training of newly hired law enforcement officers, which is in addition to the state mandated 13-week basic police academy. The FTO program provides an additional 12 weeks of closely monitored and evaluated on-the-job training across multiple facets of the law enforcement profession.
Field training is an important part of preparing any officer to “go solo” in the “real world”. It provides an opportunity for them to continue to learn and apply the basics of policing beyond the classrooms of the training academy. A properly executed field training program aims to evaluate and if necessary remediate an officer’s performance before they are approved to serve in a solo role. The goal is to provide better trained and better qualified officers to increase efficiency and effectiveness. A direct result will be an overall improvement in the relationship of law enforcement and the community that we serve. Another positive result of the FTO program is that it can reduce the number of complaints, civil liability, and legal suits against the agency.
We are proud of the great commitment that these FTO graduates have made to furthering the next generation of professional and well-trained law enforcement officers.