Field Training Officer

Our FTO certification course turns FTOs into expert teachers.

We are based in San Jose, California where the “San Jose Model” FTO concept was invented. This course teaches new FTOs how to teach, evaluate and document the progress of a trainee.

The reason our FTO program is so highly rated is that we teach our FTO students how to be expert teachers. After sending your FTO to our course, they are going to return to your agency the skills to not just evaluate, but to actually teach and mentor your trainees. They will learn specific ways to save a struggling trainee so you can reduce the number of trainees who fail your FTO program.

Whereas other FTO courses are known for being dry, and focused mostly on liability, we use dynamic instructors who employ the modern science of teaching and learning in a relaxed and enjoyable way. The instructors are passionate about giving your new FTO all the tools he or she needs to teach, evaluate and document a trainee’s performance.

This course is POST-certified in California and Idaho.

Contact Us to discuss POST certification in your state.

Here are 7 reasons that our students say FTOs need to take this course:

  • Spend five days teaching, evaluating, and documenting instead of listening to a dry lecture
  • Leave the course confident you’re doing it right
  • Learn from current and former FTOs and FTO Supervisors
  • Learn how to be an FTO through careful analysis of real-incident videos and role players
  • Lots of examples of evaluation reports and plenty of practice writing them
  • Learn specifically how to apply the number scale to rate trainees. You’ll also learn specific ways to teach de-escalation, mental health responses, case law and more
  • The course is dynamic and fun. No “Death by Power Point”

Most agencies struggle with hiring and retaining quality recruits. Having well trained FTOs can make the difference between recruits successfully passing the Field Training Program or not.

Most agencies talk about the FTO being one of the most important positions in the department, but then don’t put much thought into the specifics of the training course they attend. They simply find an FTO course that has an opening for their FTO to attend and wait for them to come back with a certification. Unfortunately, some of the FTOs we polled didn’t feel adequately prepared by the certification course they attended. Consider what happens when an unprepared FTO is paired up with a struggling trainee?

You invest a lot of time and money into hiring a recruit, and your FTOs are responsible for getting those recruits through the Field Training Program. Their ability to teach, evaluate and document can make all the difference, especially when it comes to remediating a struggling recruit. Your FTOs are preparing your new officers to be the future of your department so FTOs need the proper training to do so.

Upcoming Presentations:

Field Training Officer

Oct 21San Ramon, CA

Quick Facts

Target Audience:

Sworn and non-sworn FTOs

Course Length:

40 hours (5 days)

Course Certifications:

California and Idaho POST Certified. Need certification for your state?
All of our courses are California POST certified because we are based in California. However, we present courses all over the United States and we’re happy to work with you to obtain certification in your particular state.




Can your agency host this course?


We know how important hiring and retaining new officers is to your agency, so we designed a course that ensures FTOs are ready to move that trainee successfully through the Field Training Program. For those trainees who must be let go, our course teaches FTOs how to thoroughly document the matter and avoid liability for the agency.

What are students are saying about the FTO Course:

“The instructors first-hand knowledge showed they had done this before rather than teaching a class about things they had never actually done themselves. This was an excellent experience!”

— Officer R., Pueblo, Laguna PD (NM)

"I heard that other FTO courses were boring, outdated and were mostly “Death by Power Point” so I wasn’t interested in attending. After attending the Savage Training Group FTO course I felt more informed, more educated and better equipped because this course was informative and utilized interactive teaching styles. This course was unlike any course I have attended or even heard of. My favorite part of the course was the legal and liability aspects as it related to supervising. To anybody who is on the fence about attending I would tell them go!”

— Deputy Geoff Hoffman, San Mateo County Sheriff's Office (CA)

"Having to evaluate and write Daily Observation Report for the student led scenarios was both entertaining and realistic. I feel much more prepared to write an objective and thorough DOR. I feel bad for the other FTOs at our department who have attended a non-Savage Training Group FTO course. This was hands down the best course I have ever attended."

— Officer B.W., Santa Clara County Law Enforcement Agency (CA)

"This course should be the future of Field Training Officer courses.”

— Officer JC, Santa Clara County Law Enforcement Agency (CA)

“The higher level of teaching the instructors used was not only used to train us the students but also drove home how we can use those same techniques to train recruits. The practical application of observing and recording, preparing DORs and practicing the delivering a DORs to a recruit was priceless.”

— Officer JG, Santa Clara County Police Agency (CA)

“I was anxious about the public speaking portion of teaching but you guys made the classroom a comfortable place to learn. If anyone is on the fence about attending, I would say don’t be as long as you attend the Savage Training Group version of the FTO course. It was a cutting-edge presentation of the material.”

— Deputy B., Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department (CA)

“You will be doing your future trainee, the training program, your department and yourself a complete disservice if you pass up this class. All of your questions will be answered and if not, the instructors will work tirelessly to find you the answer.”

— Officer S. Clayton, Tracy PD (CA)

Your Instructors

Eddie Chan
Steve Valentine
Dominic Gamboa

Eddie Chan, Steve Valentine, and Dom Gamboa are not only highly-experienced law enforcement professionals from Northern California but they are also expert instructors. Eddie is a current FTO Sergeant and Steve is a current Field Training Officer with the San Jose Police Department. Dom is a former Training Unit Officer with the San Francisco Police Department and is a current Sergeant with the Broadmoor Police Department. Each have decades of experience teaching law enforcement officers. They are obsessed with delivering highly engaging courses and they are the reason why our FTO training programs are so different than the typical “Death by Power Point” courses. 

A Message from our FTO Instructors for Training Managers and FTO Supervisors:

“Teaching law enforcement officers is our passion, which is why we dedicated our careers to training cops. The reason we got together to take on the challenge of creating the best FTO course is because we know just how important it is. We have poured all of our law enforcement and teaching experience into this course and we can confidently say there is simply nothing else like it out there. Your FTOs are going to leave our course fully prepared and confident.”


LEFTAOur FTO courses are popular because they are modern and effective. We choose to partner with LEFTA because they are the only FTO records management system that meets that standard.

If your FTO program still uses paper binders, we highly recommend you check out why more than 300 agencies and over 50,000 law enforcement officers at local, state and federal levels are using their software. See what LEFTA’s system can do for your FTO program by clicking here.

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