|During the first week of March 2021, the Kingsport Police Department certified seven (7) new Field Training Officers (FTOs). An FTO is an experienced or more senior member of the department with a history of excellent performance, who is responsible for the “real-world” training and evaluation of a probationary or entry-level member of the department.
FTOs are a critical, and arguably the most important, component of the training that new Police Officers receive. Becoming an FTO is also historically one of the first steps toward career advancement for those Officers wishing to eventually promote within the department.
The following K.P.D. personnel have just been certified as new Field Training Officers: Officer Aaron Crawford, Officer Donald Harding III, Officer Robert Hughes, Officer Jeremy Lawson, Officer Jason Powers, Officer Quinn Shelton, and Officer Laiken Whitlock. Photographs of these new FTO’s have been included with this release.
These new FTOs will supplement other FTOs already in service with the department and will begin utilizing their new skillset almost immediately, as K.P.D. moves to fill several vacancies in the ranks. The department is currently in the process of hiring as many as ten (10) new Police Officer Trainees out of the most recent Police Applicant Testing procedures.
Unlike many occupations where a brand new employee can be a productive member of an organization on day-one, in the Law Enforcement profession, it can take upwards of an entire year from the initial day someone submits their application until the final day that individual is actually able to work independently in the field.
After the application period, a Police Applicant is thoroughly tested and interviewed, and then extensively vetted via a background investigation. The applicant then must undergo both a physical and psychological evaluation conducted by medical professionals.
Once sworn in, the newly hired Police Officer Trainee will go through an internal orientation phase and then report to the police academy which can last anywhere from nine (9) to twelve (12) weeks dependent upon which state authorized law enforcement training academy is utilized.
After returning home from the academy, the Trainee will enter the Field Training Program which consists of 56 twelve-hour shifts, working under the direct supervision of an FTO. If the Trainee, receives acceptable ratings during their Field Training Program, they will eventually be released to work independently as a productive member of the department.
Please join us as we congratulate these newly certified Field Training Officers on this significant career achievement and thank them for this important service they are providing as they train and mentor the next generation of Kingsport Police Officers.