Let me tell you why I loved FTO meetings. This is from a journal entry during the days of Wheels, not in the book...
I was asked questions sometimes and that is when I could answer freely. For instance, when Wheels was in training we were having a horrid time with rookies not being able to multi-task with driving, radio traffic, computer work, etc. The FTO sergeant said we should do one thing with them such as let them drive and the FTO takes over the radio then slowly introduce them into doing both, while having the music shut off. I looked at her and kept my mouth shut.
In the middle of the discussion, one of the FTOs that had Wheels for a short time while I was on another mission of madness piped up and said,
" I didn't notice that problem with Fargo's rookie, Wheels. I was impressed with how far he is in the program at this point. I mean, he is annoying at times when he thinks everything is a homicide, but the little booger gets the shit that goes on in the car."
Proud mother bird.
[Hungry, hungry hippos. Gah. Intermission. Dogs think they need to be fed or something....]
Ok. I'm back.
So, the FTO sergeant at that time asked me in a condescending way what I was doing differently. So...I answered back in a condescending way...(sorry, I have an issue with female sergeants-why are they so bitchy? Probably why I never became one, I didn't want to be a bitch. Bwahhahaha! I slay me.)
FARGO: Have you ever written down what you do on patrol at a given moment inside the patrol car?
They thought about that for a moment. I rattled off...
FARGO: Yeah. You are driving, looking left, right, behind you, forward, diagonal. You dig the underwear out of your crotch. You answer your radio traffic, you listen to the radio traffic, you see your screen, you know where all your guys are and the status of their calls, you know where the SO is, Mills, Evansville, Highway Patrol. You wiggle your nose because it itches. You see the people on the sidewalk to your left and right, you are watching for business burgs, neighbor variances like open garage doors, weirdos out and about, you have a hair out of place and fix, put on Chapstick, text your boyfriend, check the web for weather reports. You check your speed look at all the signs on the street to make sure they are upright and proper. You take a drink of your coffee or water or protein shake. You watch all the cars on the roadway for infractions, read all their plates, recognize any as dopers, follow them around, slow down in residential areas, watch for kids crossing or playing in the street. Your wife calls and bitches at you, your kids want you to wish them good night, your favorite song is on the radio and you jam out while reaching for your sandwich to take a bite right before you observe the dude in front of you make a traffic infraction and you pull them over, while checking your equipment, making sure it's right, you don't have peanut butter sammich between your teeth and that is just 4 minutes of your day.
And so I add in to the poor Mr. Wheels...my rap music when he hates it, I talk to him all the time, I ask him questions what he is seeing, what he misses, what kind of trees were in that yard, change the radio channel, ask him what is on the screen. I tell him to call his wife and tell her goodnight and he loves her, although sometimes he beats me to it and asks if it is OK to do so. Duh. I tell him. Yes, of course. Then we go on to more of the same. And he does it? Why? Because I want him to learn how fun it is to be a cop. I don't want him to hate his learning environment. I want to challenge him. I want him to be successful. I don't produce weenies that can't fucking talk on the radio and drive a car at the same time. You might call it overload. If they can fucking play x-Box, they can do these things too. Challenge their minds, encourage them. Don't dumb them down.
Yeah. They all sat there and nodded, but didn't say much. Then they went back to discussing how they should pull back the rookies that weren't getting it and let them do traffic or driving and shut off the tunes, have the FTO run the computer.
Improvements in training methods? Maybe they should add a little unconventional Fargo. Sometimes we had to take baby steps. Most often, my rookies fumbled but got it to the end zone.
Does the brass want to have the bottom brainstorm for them or try something new or different? Read this story above. I rest my case.
Someday, they too, will be cops. (((Evil grin)))