The FTO (Field Training Officer) Program is designed to provide on the job training for all new officers. Even officers with experience from another department are required to complete the FTO program. The program offers training to aspects of law enforcement that may be unique to Columbus Indiana, as well as basic police training.
The FTO program is designed to be in three phases. The phases will build upon one another to give a good foundation for knowledge and performance. The new officer will have a different FTO for each phase. This gives the new officer three different styles to observe, giving them a basis to form their own type of style toward law enforcement.
An officer may be assigned to be an FTO, the first level of supervision, by demonstrating the ability to work with little supervision, have a high level of self-initiated activity, and have a desire to instruct others.
FTOs want to ensure the new officers are well trained. FTOs have the task of training officers that will someday be their "back-up" officer on a high-risk call. This is different than many types of training, where instruction is given, then the student is sent off on their own. The FTOs will be depending on the new officer to capable of providing critical assistance when needed.