The Mission of a Field Training Officer is to be a mentor to new officers, thereby ensuring that they will become well rounded and are provided with the tools necessary to succeed and will have confidence in their own abilities, and to provide guidance and information to help the new officers develop.
Upon graduation from the Lowell Police Academy, new officers are provided with on-the-job skills training for 12 weeks. Senior street supervisors and patrol officers who volunteer their time provide this training to the new officers and are known as Field Training Officers (FTO).
In the Lowell Police FTO program, which is modeled after the San Diego, CA FTO program, the senior officers must have 5 or more years experience as a street or patrol officer, and must formally request to be an FTO. The FTO advises the new officer as his apprentice, showing him the "ins and outs" of street police work and standard operating procedures.
After the first week, the officer is rotated between Sectors, Shifts, and Departments within the LPD so they are familiarized with the entire department. The FTO evaluates his charge on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, the results of which are presented at monthly meetings and organizational training sessions at the Lowell Police Training Institute at CrossPoint.