Field Training Program

The new officer hired to work for the University of Florida Police Department receives a minimum of 160 hours of in-service departmental training. Included in this training is weapons and use of certification, defensive tactics review, law enforcement driving techniques, report writing, investigative and crime scene/evidence collection techniques, and emergency first responder refresher training. The University of Florida Police Officers are also trained in the use of the LifePak 500 defibrillator in conjunction with their bi-annual American Heart Association CPR training. The University of Florida Police Department is committed to giving our officers the training necessary to be prepared in any life-threatening emergency.

After completing the in-service portion of their training, the probationary officer is then assigned to a Field Training Officer (FTO). The new officer goes through an intensive nine week on-the-job training and evaluation period with FTO’s on day and night shifts. The ultimate goal of field training is to expose the probationary officer to as many varied situations as possible in the prescribed time under the controlled and evaluated circumstances.

The Field Training Officer is a vital link in the training of new officers. The FTO must have a minimum of two years law enforcement experience. He or she must be in good standing with the department and have excellent knowledge/understanding of departmental policies and procedures. The FTO must also possess an indepth knowledge of local, state, and federal laws and must demonstrate positive interpersonal skills, and the ability to work and help others.

The FTO works directly with the probationary officer on the road, and in all the law enforcement situations they encounter. The FTO and trainee respond to the calls for service, conduct traffic stops, interacts with others on campus, and perform the everyday duties of other certified and trained officers. The FTO provides training as well as relays his or her own personal experiences in law enforcement. Also, while training with the three different FTOs, the trainee recieves multiple viewpoints for a more rounded and fulfilling training experience

If you would like more information about our FTO Program, please contact Lt. Mitchal Welsh at (352) 392-8948.