After graduating from the 26-week Basic School, probationary members proceed to a 10-week Field Training and Evaluation Program (FTEP), where they perform regular police duties under the supervision and instruction of Field Training Officers (FTOs).
The FTEP is a continuation of the job screening process for probationary members. Probationary members must successfully complete this program as well as demonstrate their ability to work under general supervision during the entire probationary period (1 year from the completion of the Basic School).
FTOs are troopers who, in addition to their assigned road patrol duties, have volunteered to assist in the on-the-job training of new troopers. They are carefully selected for their combined skills as experienced road troopers, patience, positive attitude, communication and writing skills, and ability to perform as positive role models.
The program is overseen and directed from the Academy.
The FTEP has been carefully designed and structured to achieve a specific goal: to enable a new trooper to learn how to perform in a fully competent, efficient and safe manner, within an acceptable time frame.
The normal FTEP runs 10 weeks (35 - 12hr days), divided into phases. Each phase is a programmed length of time correlated to a set of tasks which each new trooper must master. Tasks are so ordered that the new trooper is first exposed to those that are most basic and essential. Mastering these tasks establishes the proficiencies and competencies that add up to experience. By the program's completion, troopers are expected to have acquired sufficient job-related experience to fulfill their complex roles as New York State Troopers.
Each phase in the Field Training & Evaluation Program is designed to provide:
- Systematic, consistent, standardized training.
- An introduction to the troop area.
- An opportunity to work all three shifts.
- A chance to work closely with various FTOs and be exposed to different techniques while operating within standardized guidelines.
The 10-week FTEP consists of three phases. The first two phases combined are approximately 8 weeks long, followed by a final evaluation phase of two weeks. The new troopers are assigned to different FTOs for each of the first two phases and return to their primary FTO for the final evaluation phase.
Phase I: Introduction
During this time, probationary members are assigned to their Primary FTOs to learn basic skills, including officer safety and areas of potential liability to the NYSP. The Primary FTOs are often selected because their personal competencies are best suited to meet the needs of a particular trooper during the first critical weeks of his or her career.
Phase II: Advanced Training
More complex than the first, this phase is sometimes identified as the one in which probationary members experience firsthand the multifaceted role a police officer performs in society and mastering the skills learned through earlier instruction.
Phase III: Final Evaluation
When probationary members reach this phase, they return to work under the supervision of the FTO with whom they first worked after graduation from the Academy. During this time, the Primary FTO observes the probationary member closely to evaluate and compare his or her level of performance. This phase lasts two weeks and, if successfully completed, the probationary member is assigned to patrol on his or her own during the remainder of the probationary period.
The probationary period for probationary members continues for one year after the graduation from the Basic School. Upon satisfactory completion of the period of probation, appointments of new members will be permanent.