Missoula Police Department

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The job of a police officer is one that appeals to a wide variety of people for a wide variety of reasons. This is a career path with a lot of potential for movement and growth within the department and that will offer a wide variety of opportunities for those who choose to enter the field. In order to gain a thorough understanding of local hiring practices and standards, this paper will focus on a particular department. This paper will outline the different aspects to consider and observations made at the local level in the Missoula Police Department. Each police department has a different method for recruitment and hiring, so focusing on a department that is local allows the best look into become a police officer. Aspects of the Personnel…show more content…
The Missoula Police Department utilizes 23 officers who are trained as Field Training Officers and each trainee usually works with up to 4 different field training officers during their 14 week field training time. The goal of the FTO Program is to provide new officers with proper training and consistent supervision to allow them to become successful Missoula Police Officers. The emphasis on the FTO Program is to provide new officers specific education to work for the Missoula Police Department since the MLEA is not department specific. The FTO program is divided into 4 phases to ensure a proper immersion into the program and all aspects of the police work that will be expected of the trainee. Phase one of the FTO program is 4 weeks that consists of on the job training where the trainee is expected to do 10-20% of the work to ease them into the program and allow them to gain familiarity with their surroundings. During this time, they learn proper street orientation in the city, the fastest routes to go to avoid traffic, and the different equipment that they must carry plus the equipment in the vehicle. Phase 2 lasts 4 weeks and the trainee is required to complete 20-50% of the work. This time allows them to do more hands on work and get more involved in the investigative work and direct contact with the community. This period gives the trainee a little more freedom in their daily work as well as more responsibility. Phase 3 lasts an additional 4 weeks and the trainee is then required to complete 50-100% of the daily tasks including interviews, paperwork, driving, resolving conflicts, and utilizing or providing backup as necessary. At this point in the program the trainee is required to complete as many of the daily tasks by themselves as they can without the assistance of their FTO. Phase 4 is the final 2 weeks of the FTO

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