The field training and evaluation process of any police department is a critical component of any successful police department. It ensures that the employer has sufficient opportunity to directly observe and certify that a newly hired officer has the essential job-related knowledge and skills to be an effective solo police officer.
A sergeant is the coordinator of the field officer training program. New officers are put through an extensive sixteen week, four-phase field training and evaluation period, in which they are evaluated on a daily basis in ten areas of core competency. Each newly hired officer spends time working at least one training phase during a day, evening, and night shift.
Included during this period is the fourth and final phase in which the field training officer rides along in plain clothes and acts as an observer to the probationary officer. Upon successful completion of the four phase field training, new officers are certified for solo patrol duties and remain as probationary officers through their first year of employment.