The Training Process
Newly hired police officers (probationary officers) have to complete several phases of training as well as complete 18 months of probation. The training consists of attending an Illinois certified Police Academy and completing a 16 week Field Training Program at the Macomb Police Department.
The probationary officer’s 18 months of probation begins on his/her hire date with the Macomb Police Department. Probation is an employment status that was designed to insure that the new employee adapts well to his/her new environment and is performing tasks to the standards of the Macomb Police Department.
The Police Academy
The police academy is the first 3 months of police training for a probationary officer. It is some of the best police training in the country. A large portion of the training consists of lecture and textbook material on a daily basis. The training at the police academy also includes firearms training as well as “hands on” training that simulates the tasks a police officer performs everyday. On a typical police academy day a probationary officer might spend 4 hours learning Illinois law, another 2 hours learning firearm tactics, another hour practicing how to correctly detain and arrest a person, and another hour learning how to testify in court.
Currently the Macomb Police Department sends all its probationary officers to the University of Illinois Police Training Institute in Champaign, IL. The Police Training Institute, known as P.T.I., last for 12 weeks.
The Field Training Program
The Field Training Program is a 16 week program designed to train, evaluate, and monitor the probationary officer as he/she performs his/her duties. The probationary officer is assigned one Field Training Officer (F.T.O.) at a time but may have exposure of up to 3 different F.T.O.’s over the course of their training.
An F.T.O. is an officer on the department that has received additional training, education, and certification in training new police officers. His/Her main role is to train and evaluate the probationary officer. At the end of each work shift an F.T.O. will discuss with the probationary officer what things were done correctly, what things were not handled correctly, and what things need to be improved upon by the probationary officer. This review is done to reinforce positive behavior and to correct less than positive behavior.
After successfully completing the Police Academy and the Field Training Program the probationary officer is assigned to solo patrol on one of the department’s patrol shifts. The probationary officer is responsible for any and all police duties assigned to him/her during a shift. Other officers and F.T.O.’s will continue to evaluate the probationary officer at this time as well.
At the successful completion of all training and the 18 month probationary period probationary officers will become tenured officers. It is a long road to make it this far, and not everyone succeeds. The Macomb Police Department strives to select and retain the best people for the job as a police officer.
The City of Macomb does reserve the right to require reimbursement of training expenses on a pro-rata basis should an officer choose to resign within the first 2 years of employment at the Macomb Police Department.