My rookies lessons learned file
As some might remember, I posted a while back about being an FTO (Field Training Officer) and thought it might be fun to share some of the experiences and lessons learned by both of us.
Well, training this week was interesting. We have had two snow storms, the first was more of an ice storm with 4" or so of snow. The second was a surprise storm, and we got almost a foot of snow in a few hours time...right at rush hour.
He had a trial by fire in traffic control. He got to witness first hand how peoples IQ's get cut in half the minute they can't do what they think they should be able to do. Any LEO here knows what I'm talking about. There can be an over turned tanker spewing fuel all over the roadway with a wall of flames 50ft high blocking the roadway, and people will still drive right up to the scene to ask if they could drive through... they live on this road. And then they get mad as hell at the LEO when he says no. LOL. Poor rookie.
He also learned to keep his basic survival gear with him. I told him several times to keep hat and gloves in your coat at all times... Can you guess what he didn't have while out in the snow storm? Yup. He learned that one the hard way. I bet he wont do that again.
I also like to let him get lost. As long as we are not going to a life and death or time sensitive call, he calls the shots on which way we go. We got "lost" a lot. Not only is he in charge of getting lost, he has to get us "unlost". But, I always turn up the heat a little bit when I get bored driving around in circles. After a week of that, he finally brings the map book I gave him every time in the car. We don't get to
lost anymore. He's learning.
This one is kinda my fault. He has to pick out his flashlight each shift. We have a bank of rechargeable to use, and a system set up so the new shift always have a fresh light. Well, for whatever reason, he has a hard time picking a fresh light. This time, I didn't correct him. He also keeps his backup light in his patrol bag. I told him to keep it on him, its worthless in the bag, that stays in the car. Again, I let him learn it the hard way.
We went to a burglary in progress, and there was a building to be cleared. We went in, and cleared the building. This was his first time doing so in the real world. Then his light died... and I told him to get out his back up. He tells me its in the car, I simply said "Next time, listen to me", and handed him my light. I had my back up.
After we cleared the building, I took my light back and told him to wait here.(in the building) I left, and went out to the car.
I called him on his cell phone, and said, "Congrats, you have been cut loose and you're now on your own. You do not have an FTO to hold your hand since you chose to not listen too him. See you in the car"
I had to go back in in about 15 minutes to find him, trying to find his way out of a large pitch black warehouse using the light from his phone. The next day, he had his back up light on his belt, and selected the right light from the charge bank.
I know it was slightly mean... but he learned some valued lessons in that, as did I. I took something for granted and allowed the mistake to happen for training purposes. however, if that had happened at the wrong time, that could have had some bad consequences. I wont allow that to happen again either.