In order to ensure that newly hired officers are thoroughly trained as Mentor Police Officers, the Mentor Police Department has a structured Field Training Officer (FTO) Program. The entire field training program is over 17 weeks in length. Lieutenant Ken Zbiegien, Sergeant Michael Kloski, and Sergeant Michael Majernik oversee the program and their job entails all scheduling, review of training needs, assignment of personnel, and record keeping.
The field training program starts with approximately 3 weeks of in-house training. During this time the new officers are taught basic functions such as report writing, firearms qualifications, defensive tactics, LEADS certification, and computer training. These topics are taught by Mentor Officers and Dispatchers who are certified to instruct those particular topics. This training also includes an orientation to the department in general and to various divisions of the police department and their functions to include: records, corrections, and the detective bureau.
The new officers then spend at least 14 weeks of training on the road with three separate field training officers. During this time, the new officer is instructed by the field training officer in a variety of areas that are required to be performed by police officers. Some of these areas include: policy and procedures, laws of arrest, traffic enforcement, prisoner procedures, critical incidents, and a variety of other essential topics that are too many to list. Prior to successfully completing this field training program, the new officer takes a written test covering all topics that were taught during the training period.
This field training program continues to be a success because of the quality officers that serve as field training officers. These field training officers are dedicated, sincere, and very professional. They absorb a tremendous responsibility when training a new officer. Their input and recommendations are very crucial during the training process. All of the officers are certified field training officers. All have successfully completed a field training certification course. Without the field training officers’ dedication to teaching, the new officers – who are the future of Mentor Police Department – would not be as adequately prepared to serve the citizens of the City of Mentor.
The are currently 17 Officers on the Mentor Police Department that serves as Field Training Officers.