is a very important aspect of law enforcement. Well-trained
officers are better prepared to handle a broad spectrum of
situations. To that end, every recruit officer is assigned to
a minimum of two Field Training Officers.
graduation from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy, the
recruit officer will enter the Field Training Program, which is
divided into five phases covering 9 weeks. The phases gradually
help the recruit officer evolve from the first phase where the
recruit is mainly observing the Field Training Officer (F.T.O.)
perform his/ her duties into the final phase where the recruit
officer is acting as a single unit and being observed by the F.T.O.
Whenever possible, during the final phase of training, the FTO will
be dressed as a civilian “ride-along” and not be identifiable as a
Police Officer by the general public ensuring that the recruit
officer handles various situations during the training process just
as he/ she will be required to when graduating the Field Training
department’s F.T.O. Manager, Lt. John O'Meara, supervises the
Field Training and Evaluation Program. As the FTO Manager,
is responsible for selection and training of the departments F.T.O.s.
It is his responsibility to schedule new recruits with FTO’s and ensures that all proper training documentation is
completed by the FTO’s for each recruit.
Each Patrol Team has two
F.T.O.s assigned to it as well as one F.T.O. in the Traffic
Division, School Resource Division, and the Investigations Division.
Field Training Officers are easily identifiable by the rank
insignias on their sleeves. Typical rank insignias are a series of
upward pointing stripes. Whatever the rank of the FTO, the stripe(s)
will be accompanied by a rounded bottom rocker with a diamond
between the stripe and rocker. This designates the officer as one
of the Departments FTO’s.