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FTO Training: Legal Liability and Best Practices

FTO Training: Legal Liability and Best Practices

  • Matt Dolan
    Attorney & Director, Dolan Consulting Group, NC
  • Dan Lind
    Lieutenant Dan Lind, (ret.)
  • Southgate, MI
  • Midwest
  • September 19, 2019
Registration Fee:
  • $195.00

The probationary employment period presents public safety agencies with a unique opportunity to evaluate performance, identify “red flags” and take proactive measures to address misconduct. Agencies depend on Field Training Officers (FTOs) to closely supervise probationary officers, provide corrective feedback and document any fundamental performance issues before the transition to full-time officer and the legal protections that comes with it.

While it is certainly normal for probationary officers to make mistakes, there is often a clear distinction between understandable mental mistakes versus performance issues that reflect on core character issues such as honesty, willingness to accept responsibility for errors and ability to receive corrective feedback. FTOs are responsible for making this crucial distinction on a day-to-day basis during an officer’s probationary employment period.

This course will provide attendees with the knowledge necessary to recognize the most common and costly personnel liability issues facing FTOs. Federal and state statutes and case law will be utilized to illustrate the potential pitfalls of employee relations in public safety administration and the means by which those liability risks can be managed.  

Course Objectives

  • Utilizing the role of FTO for the purposes of vetting new officers and the long-term costs associated with ignoring “red flags” in the probationary period.
  • Understanding the role of FTOs as supervisors, teachers and evaluators during the probationary period.
  • Engaging in corrective feedback and creating thorough documentation.
  • Making inherently subjective assessments as transparent and defensible as possible through the use of objective rationale.
  • Confronting toxic behavior and effectively communicating fundamental performance issues up the chain of command


Very informative presentation

  • Very informative presentation. I strongly feel that I’ve learned things that I can apply to both current and furture ivestigations. Sgt. Babcock’s experience and testimony help put the info into perspective in regards to how I can make use of it. I absolutely enjoyed the class.

Participant in Training, Kentucky

Biased-Based Policing Reports: Best Practices

  • I was able to take a number of tidbits and suggestions to tweak parts of our hiring and recruiting process. I also got verification that we are doing a lot of things correctly.

Major / Commander, Florida

Improving Public Perception of the Police: Winning Back Your Community

  • Exactly what I wanted to know.

Major / Commander, Georgia

Confronting the Toxic Officer

  • Officers in patrol need to take this course.

Officer / Deputy, Georgia

Developing Organizational Performance Leadership