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Academy students are told to keep the guns concealed, but few newbie cops can resist showing off the hardware now and then.It's something that most cops, fortunately, grow out of as they mature in the job.He can leave you to fend for yourself and not tell you what you're supposed to do, or, worse yet, he can call you something derogatory like "boot" or "rookie" and make you feel like an idiot.

My second (and last) FTO split the driving with me 50-50.

He would ask me at the start of the watch, "Do you want to drive first or last?

" At the midpoint of the watch, he would tell me it was time to switch.

My first assignment was in the drunk wagon, patrolling downtown.

The number and types of categories vary from one agency to the next.

Each category is rated on a scale of one to seven, with anything below a "4" as "below standard." Any rating of 1, 2, 6, or 7 has to be documented in the narrative portion of the evaluation.In this two-week period, the FTO works in street clothes, with the trainee in uniform.The FTO is there only as an observer (unless something goes really, really wrong), reporting on the trainee's activities.Most of the cases were simple ones -- drunk in public and other "quality of life" issues -- but there were a lot of searches of people, handcuffing, and trips to the jail.My policy as an FTO, learned from other FTOs I had the opportunity to watch and learn from, was that I did the first one of everything: the first traffic stop, the first crime report, the first field interview, etc.Most agencies do it electronically now (This company: Now that concealed weapon permits are somewhat more common, carrying an off-duty gun may not be a new experience for the novice officer.When I was a rookie, carrying a gun off-duty was almost exclusively something that cops did, and most new cops can't wait to do it.In the FTO program model, my department used (by the time I was an FTO, but the one I trained under was far less structured and formal), called the "San Jose model," there were three four-week phases, each on a different shift and under a different FTO.This was followed by a fourth phase with the original FTO, sometimes called the "ghost" or "shadow" phase.If the task was a complex one, like a DUI arrest, I might do the first three or five.As each of the three four-week training phases progress, the FTO is supposed to shift more and more of the workload to the trainee.

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