Field Training Officer Program
Community-Oriented Policing and Problem Solving (COPPS) is quickly becoming the philosophy and daily practice of progressive police agencies around the world. In 2005, the Mesa County Sheriff's Office adapted this philosophy through the implementation of a new Field Training Officer (FTO) program, the "Reno" model, in an effort to provide deputies with a more comprehensive understanding of problems through in-depth analysis and guidance in the development of tailored and collaborative response strategies.
The Reno model is built on the premise of adult learning and problem based learning techniques to provide an environment for Sheriff's Deputies to hone their law enforcement skills in a training atmosphere enabling them to implement those skills appropriately in real life situations. This program is not based on developing mechanical training or rote skills commonly found in traditional FTO programs. While static skills are a necessity in law enforcement work and are integral to any training program, they constitute only one of many skills needed in contemporary policing. This program focuses on the Deputy's learning capacity and problem solving skills as opposed to rote performance capabilities.
There is a variation of the Reno model to meet the distinct training requirements for each division within the Sheriff's Office. Each model provides a list of specific core competencies that are essential to successfully completion of training. These competencies range from leadership and self awareness to cultural diversity and law enforcement procedures.
Patrol and Court Services Deputies adhere to the longest Reno model, providing 19 weeks of training under the direct supervision of multiple Field Training Officers; Law Enforcement Specialists in Booking utilize a 16 week training program. Law Enforcement Specialists in Records train for a period lasting 8 weeks, and Jail Deputies employ a training program that lasts 15 weeks.