FTOs must attend an update course every 3 years.
Are your FTOs actually learning the latest methods to Teach, Evaluate and Document?

FTOs must attend an update course every 3 years.
Are your FTOs actually learning the latest methods to Teach, Evaluate and Document?

Field Training Officer Update (24 hours)

California POST Certified – Plan IV | Certification Number: 1345-31715

We introduce FTOs to our methods of teaching, evaluating and documenting trainees. They get to experience the core portions of what has made our 40-hour FTO course so successful.

Your FTOs leave with the latest, cutting edge information on use of technology, principled based policing, de-escalation and most importantly how to actually TEACH new officers and laterals alike.

Here are 3 ways our FTO Update course is different:

  • Spend 3 days teaching, evaluating and documenting instead of watching an instructor click through a dry Power Point.
  • FTOs receive templates of good and bad Daily Observation Reports and Remedial Training Plans
  • We only use Expert Instructors who use modern teaching techniques. This is an immersive course where the students get lots of practice evaluating and teaching trainee role players.

Are your FTOs in compliance with the law? For example, in California, your FTOs are required to attend an update course every three years. Read the regulations here.

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. Your seasoned FTOs need to constantly hone their skills. What better way to do it than for them to attend what our students are calling “the best FTO training there is”?

Your FTOs ability to teach, evaluate and document can make all the difference, especially when it comes to remediated a struggling recruit. Your FTOs are preparing your new officers to be the future of your department. We’re going to give them the tools to do just that.

What’s different about our FTO Update Course? Everything. This is a modern course being presented by expert level instructors. Each day, the students teach, evaluate and document so by the time they leave the course they are confident they’re up to date and doing it right. Come see why our FTO courses receive 100% positive reviews.

We asked experienced FTOs and program supervisors what they would like to see in a modern FTO Update Course and here’s what they said:

  1. Provide the students with templates and updated training on writing Daily Observation Reports and Remedial Training Plans.
  2. Instead of outdated videos and handouts, use live role players to allow the student to teach and evaluate in a realistic setting.
  3. Use expert instructors who by example can show the students advanced teaching techniques.

Our course solves every issue the seasoned FTOs identified. We know how important hiring and retaining new officers is to your agency so we designed an update 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:

"Before attending this course, I was frustrated by the lack of definition SEG categories 2, 3, 5 and 6. I was also frustrated by not knowing how to correct issues I saw with my trainees. During the course we spent time deconstructing each SEG rating number. Then we did table-top exercises where we figured out the root causes behind a struggling trainee’s issues. Now I feel prepared for my next trainee.”

— Officer K. Pronske, Atherton PD (CA)

"I didn't know if the way I was training my trainees was the right way or even worth the effort. This course reinforced that what I was doing was correct. Every FTO on the planet should attend this course! My favorite part was the expertise, entertainment and new concepts.”

— Officer T. Aspegren, Vallejo PD (CA)

"Before attending, I was frustrated by not knowing how to get through to trainee who was struggling. This course taught me how to diagnosis a trainee's problem using the KRSA analysis (Knowledge/Rule/Skill/Attitude). Now I am confident and will bring this info back and help improve our Field Training Program. This course is really worth it!”

— Officer H. Murphy, Monterey County Law Enforcement Agency (CA)

If you are like most officers, you can’t stand those courses where a dry instructor clicks through a PowerPoint. Rest assured, there is no “Death by PowerPoint” here! We only use instructors who are not only experts in conducting interviews but also expert instructors. While we’re incredibly lucky to have them as instructors, this course isn’t about the instructor, it’s about you. We’re here to build your skills and your career. You are the hero in this story. Our instructors will be your guides.

Your Instructors

Steve “Pappy” Papenfuhs is a retired Sergeant with the San Jose Police Department. Pappy has 29 years experience including assignments as an FTO Sergeant, Training Sergeant Detective Sergeant and SWAT team member. He is a human-factors researcher and certified Force Analyst. He often testifies as an expert witness in high-profile use of force cases. Pappy is an expert instructor with decades of experience who is constantly researching effective teaching strategies aimed at ensuring learning has occurred. Watch Steve discussing law enforcement training and our FTO Training program.

Dominic Gamboa is a retired Police Officer with the San Francisco Police Department and current Reserve Police Officer with the Santa Clara Police Department (CA). Dom has decades of experience including assignments as a Training Officer assigned to the San Francisco Police Training Bureau and a Patrol Foot Beat Officer in the challenging Tenderloin district. He served as a Special Consultant to the California Commision on POST analyzing the way Field Training Officer courses were conducted. Dom brings years of experience in both teaching and course design. His command over how a learner learns, and how to inspire law enforcement learners have earned him a reputation as an expert instructor.

Scott Savage is a working law enforcement officer and seasoned instructor. His training experience spans the gamut from serving as an FTO and an Academy Instructor, to teaching highly specialized training courses to tenured officers. He spent 18 years with the Palo Alto Police Department (CA), leaving the department at the rank of Sergeant and now serves as an Officer with the Santa Clara Police Department (CA). Scott brings a ton of real world experience as well as a knack for keeping our FTO students laughing while they learn. Learn more about Scott here.

A message for Training Managers and FTO Supervisors:

Savage Training Group | Field Training Officer Instructors Domenic Gamboa, Steve "Pappy" Papenfuhs and Scott Savage“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 our law enforcement and teaching experience into this course and we can confidently say there is simply nothing else like it out there. We guarantee your FTOs are going to leave our course fully prepared and confident.”

A message for FTOs:

“This course is about you the student and making sure you leave with the confidence to know you are doing it right. We can’t wait for you to experience this course and you becoming a rockstar FTO!”

Your guides,
— Dom, Steve, and Scott

The California Laws About FTO Update Training.
Are your FTOs in compliance?

California Code of Regulations, Title 11, Division 2, Article 1

Section (d)1-3

Every newly appointed FTO shall successfully complete a POST-certified Field Training Officer Course prior to training new officers, and complete 24-hours of update training every three years following completion of the Field Training Officer Course. The update training shall be satisfied by:

  • Completing a POST-certified Field Training Officer Update Course, or
  • Completing 24-hours of department-specific training in the field training topics contained in the Field Training Officer Update Course

Every reassigned FTO, after a 3 year-or-longer break in service as an FTO, shall successfully complete a POST-certified Field Training Officer Update Course prior to training new officers, and complete 24-hours of update training every three years. The update training shall be satisfied by (same as above).

For information on laws pertaining to FTO training outside of California, please contact your State POST representative or your agency’s training coordinator.

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.