The PATROL FIELD TRAINING & EVALUATION PROGRAM is a multi-phased training process designed to train and prepare newly hired deputies for their assignment to patrol. The Field Training and Evaluation Program (FT&EP) is a nationally-accepted program that mixes instruction with exposure to actual field situations. The entire program from hire date to working as an independent Patrol Deputy is typically 18-22 weeks long.
Prior to beginning the Field Training Program, the trainee must successfully complete 4-5 weeks of 'mini-skills' prerequisites consisting of Arrest Control Tactics, Firearms and Emergency Vehicle Operations. Upon completion, the trainee is formally assigned to a Field Training Officer (FTO), to begin the first of three phases of an intense 14 week training program. Each training phase is instructed by a different FTO, providing new material and a different prospective for the trainee. Patrol FTO's are individually selected for their subject knowledge, enthusiasm and professionalism. While performance and patrol abilities are important, the emphasis is focused on the FTO's ability to effectively mentor and train the new employee to meet or exceed the established instructional goals. FTO's receive specialized training in these areas and are monitored by their direct supervisors and the FT&EP administrator.
The present Field Training and Evaluation Program, used by police departments throughout the nation, was originally implemented in San Jose, California, and is known as the “San Jose Model.” Much of the documentation and procedures used by the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office are taken wholly or in part from the Boulder Police Department’s Field Training and Evaluation Program, which in turn incorporates ideals from across the nation. The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office gratefully acknowledges all who have contributed to this training concept. This program continues to maintain its integrity as a “National” standard and should enable the probationary deputy to reach an acceptable level of performance in the given time span, providing he/she makes an effort matching that of the FTO. Success depends on a positive attitude and one's willingness to perform the job. The training is time-consuming and demanding for both the trainee and FTO, but in the end, the result is well worth it.