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Police Home > Clearwater Police - Field Training Program

Field Training and Evaluation Program

Image of FTO officersThe field training of new officers is a vital supplement to the classroom training received in the police academy. The initial exposure to law enforcement provided through field training often shapes the future careers of recruit officers. Field training also serves to confirm the knowledge and abilities of those new officers who have previous police experience. The program is a highly structured and closely supervised process and must be satisfactorily completed by all new officers prior to their patrol assignment.

For additional information, contact Sgt. Christopher Squitieri or Sgt. Kevin Insco.


The Field Training and Evaluation Program is administered within the Patrol Division and is responsible for the field training of recruit officers upon their completion of the police academy. The Personnel and Training Unit (Office of Professional Standards) is responsible for initial employment and police academy coordination.


Field Training Officers (FTO) are carefully chosen and regard their selection as a tribute to the trust and confidence the Department has in them and their ability to train. Successful experience as a field training officer is considered a positive career step.


Image of FTO officersThe classroom instruction portion of the recruit training program includes orientation to the city and the police department; departmental rules, policies, and procedures; public records laws; criminal law; relevant sections of civil law; investigative techniques; interviewing victims and witnesses; report writing; public relations skills, and other relevant topics as determined by the program coordinator. The classroom recruit orientation phase is completed prior to the actual start of the Field Training Program


The Field Training Program was modeled after the "San Jose Model" and consists of a minimum of fourteen weeks. There are four phases. The first three phases are four weeks in length, with the last phase being two weeks long. Recruits may be extended for a period of up to six weeks. A recruit's performance is documented and evaluated every day of the program on a Daily Observation Report. An exam is given every two weeks to the recruit, which the recruit must pass in order to proceed to the next phase. The program is difficult, and due to the demanding requirements, some recruits are unable to successfully complete the Clearwater Field Training Program.


We realize that previous law enforcement experience may, in some cases, allow for a shortened training program. Accordingly, we have established an accelerated FTO Program to allow qualified candidates the opportunity to complete the program in a shorter amount of time. To be considered for the accelerated FTO program, a recruit must currently hold a Florida law enforcement certification and have been previously employed as a law enforcement officer. The decision to permit a candidate to proceed in the accelerated program is made on a case-by-case basis dependent upon the candidate's experience, performance, and aptitude.

For more information on how to become a Clearwater Police Officer, check the employment page.

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Page last updated Thursday, February 12, 2015

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