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How Video Training Platforms Can Ensure FTO Program Success

The road to success of an FTO program is through digitization. Explore how video training platforms can maximize the effectiveness of an FTO program.
by Rafey Iqbal Rahman Updated on December 7, 2023

Facing budget cuts? No problem. You can still train your employees with video-based training. After all, video training platforms can save organizations millions of dollars.

Every job requires a certain amount of training before new recruits fully embrace their respective roles. Realizing this, organizations across the globe are increasingly investing in a video CMS platform for the learning and development (L&D) of new hires.

As far as law enforcement training is concerned, a task as crucial as enforcing the law requires extensive training to the point where the new officer is deemed fit to uphold the law, prevent crimes, and book offenders for their criminal and uncivil conduct.

This blog focuses on Field Training Officer (FTO) programs and how video training platforms can be used to maximize the effectiveness of the FTO program and ensure officers’ success.

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Ensuring FTO Program Success with Video Training Platforms

Amidst the hue and cry of #DefundThePolice, one-way law enforcement agencies can drastically reduce their spending on officers’ training while ensuring better results is through video training platforms.

Before we delve further into the role of a video CMS platform in law enforcement training, let’s explore some details of the FTO program.

What is an FTO Program?

Law enforcement agencies invest their significant time and monetary resources in training new officers through an FTO program. Started in 1972, the FTO program has evolved to be the de facto standard for law enforcement training.

How Long Should a FTO Program Be?

The extensive FTO program consists of six phases and takes 4 months to complete, depending on the intricacies of the law enforcement training program. New officers are tested under various conditions and should meet rigorous criteria to be considered fit for the role of a patrol officer.

What is the Purpose of the FTO Program?

The 51-year-old law enforcement training program serves the purpose of training new officers to function as solo patrol officers by the end of the program. However, taking this huge leap poses a huge challenge to law enforcement agencies.

Why is Field Training Important in Policing?

The law enforcement training program serves as a breeding ground for launching law enforcement officers on the field who know how to perform their duties, conduct themselves in situations of distress and emergency, and respond to threats.

The importance of FTO programs cannot be underestimated by any means. It increases exponentially because of the increased attrition rate of law enforcement officers.

According to the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), the average new officer turnover rate is approximately 9 percent.

This statistic begs the question of whether FTO programs are yielding maximum benefits in today’s digital age.

Several law enforcement agencies have resorted to taking measures to mitigate the challenge of new officers leaving in droves. For instance, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office has pledged to give a $2,500 sign-up bonus to new officers once they successfully complete the FTO program.

Why FTO Programs Should Be Video-Based?

Outdated FTO programs no longer work today in today’s modern landscape of law enforcement. The following are the reasons why FTO programs should be video-based:

Paper-Based Inefficiencies

Law enforcement agencies still find themselves dealing with an immense number of paper-based documents. The FTO program is one such example.

The law enforcement training program for new officers is ridden with loads of paper-based documents, including guides and training manuals. The inefficiencies resulting from navigating paper-based documents have a trickle-down effect on the efficiency of the training program itself.

Liability and Accountability

Moreover, there is another reason of utmost importance to make a move toward digital. Field training officers are held liable for the results yielded from their training efforts and can be sued for their inadequate training.

This is why digitizing the FTO program becomes more crucial. The digitization of the law enforcement training program results in increased transparency regarding the efforts and yielded benefits of the program.

Maximizing Effectiveness of FTO Program with Video Training Platforms

In order to generate better results from the law enforcement training program and, in turn, ensure greater retention of new officers, increasing the effectiveness of FTO programs should be the top-most priority of law enforcement agencies.

The most certain means of maximizing the program’s efficiency is by leveraging a video CMS platform to cater to the specific needs of the FTO program.

Law enforcement agencies and field training officers can alleviate the effectiveness of the FTO program by using a video CMS platform to ensure better training output. Here’s how video training platforms can help produce improved results:

Interactive Learning Content

FTO programs are notoriously known for “Death by PowerPoint” and little to no engaging, lackluster training content. This is one of the many reasons why FTO programs are highly vulnerable to criticism.

The sheer lack of interactive learning content creates problems for both new officers (trainees) and field training officers (trainers). New officers are forced to burn resources in additional training from external training centers, while field training officers lose confidence in the FTO program.

To regain the lost confidence and prevent burning resources, incorporating interactive learning content is a must-have for FTO programs. Video training platforms can help enable multimedia-based learning to induce interactivity in the law enforcement training program.

Field training officers can leverage an effective mix of videos, audio, images, and documents to “spice up” the content. Moreover, adding in-video quizzes, survey forms, and documents can help capture the attention of the learners and motivate them to fully engage with the learning content.

Translation and Transcription

The US is home to the greatest number of immigrants, coming from diverse geographic and cultural backgrounds. Similarly, the FTO program is open to all. Immigrants with a spirit to uphold the law join the FTO program to be a useful resource to the police force.

However, these immigrants are faced with the struggle of coping with the language and the communication barrier. Because of not being well-versed in the English language, they often have trouble understanding the instructions of field training officers.

This poses a significant challenge since the successful completion of the FTO program is majorly dependent on the level of communication between both parties and the ability to follow instructions.

Hence, mitigating the language barrier is essential to achieve to ensure officers’ success in the FTO program. An enterprise video content management system with multilingual support can help new officers from different origins understand the learning content in their native language with automatic translation and transcription.

Through automatic translation and transcription, a video CMS platform can help facilitate effective communication between both parties and better comprehension of the learning content, contributing positively to the program and the officers’ success.

Media Analytics

Most of the field training officers often complain about the lack of an effective means to monitor the progress and the retention of the learning by the new officer. They have to deal with an immense amount of paperwork for preparing frequent evaluation reports.

The lack of an effective monitoring and tracking mechanism does not only frustrate the field training officer but also has a detrimental impact on the probationary officer. An inadequate means of monitoring translates into a lack of transparency and trust between the trainer and the trainee.

To cope with the challenges mentioned above, video training platforms can help field training officers effectively track performance on a granular level by offering comprehensive media analytics, thereby eliminating any chances of errors in performance evaluations.

Field training officers can track the media progress, completion rate, drop-off rate, and other actionable metrics to base their decisions regarding whether new officers are fit to be put on the field as solo patrol officers or not.

Moreover, media analytics can also help field training officers assess whether the training content they have uploaded on the video hosting platform is performing in a desired manner and is enabling both the trainer and trainee to achieve their goals or not.

Centralized Platform

The learning content for the FTO program should be standardized. It means that all probationary officers should have access to the same content without any modifications or special reservations made for some.

However, in a paper-centric law enforcement training setting, ensuring the uniformity of content can be quite challenging since it is difficult to share paper-based documents compared to electronic documents and other digital media.

Moreover, paper-based documents run the risk of getting lost among a pile of other learning resources.

Therefore, a video content management system can help field training officers enable uniform access to learning materials for new recruits throughout the law enforcement training program. This can be done by storing and hosting all digital media on a consolidated, centralized platform.

Moreover, learning content stored on centralized video training platforms is easy to manage and organize into folders and playlists. Along with that, field training officers can know who accessed the learning content and when through activity logs for each media on a secure video platform.

Access Management

The FTO program follows a strict chain of command with these roles in the order of importance: Department Head, Patrol Commander, Field Training Program Administrator, Field Training Officer, and Trainee.

Since all the above roles are assigned different responsibilities, it is safe to assume that they will have different privileges as well. Ensuring that no one transgresses their limits can be quite challenging, especially in a law enforcement landscape wherein power dynamics are prevalent.

An advanced video CMS platform can help tackle the above issue through access management features, such as role-based access control. A role-based access control mechanism can help replicate the patrol division’s chain of command on a digital platform.

Additionally, managing platform access on video training platforms can help define the rights a particular user has based on their assigned role and prevent any chaos inside the secure video platform.

AI-Powered Search

The FTO program comprises six phases. All these phases include extensive amounts of learning content from multiple media formats, including videos, documents, etc. In a learning scenario, the need for searching the desired media arises.

It can be difficult to search for the desired media when there is an abundance of learning content. This can translate into a frustrating experience for the new recruits. New officers struggle to rekindle the knowledge they previously learned due to the inability to search for the right media at the right time.

Video training platforms can help resolve this issue through AI-powered search features that go beyond searching for videos by title. This way new officers can save their precious time by getting their media search every time.

In addition to this, AI-powered search can help new officers land on the relevant part of the media and skip through the parts they do not need. Imagine watching an hour-long video to look for a three-minute part that is relevant to you. Frustrating, right? That’s where AI-powered search helps.

How does EnterpriseTube Improve the FTO Program?

With a Gartner-recognized enterprise video content management system, EnterpriseTube helps improve the FTO program to ensure officers’ success through a host of features such as follows:

  • Interactivity features to add in-video quizzes, survey forms, and handouts to make the learning content engaging.
  • Automatic translation and transcription of the learning video and audio content in more than 40 languages to embrace diversity and inclusion.
  • Comprehensive, granular-level media analytics in real-time, focusing on communicating how well new officers are performing.
  • A centralized video CMS platform to ensure uniform access to the learning content for all.
  • A host of access management and security features, such as granular role-based access control, to ensure the chain of command.
  • AI-powered search with the ability to search for the desired media through spoken content, tags, objects, and other metadata.

Eager to know more about EnterpriseTube? Click here to delve deeper into the leading AI-powered video hosting platform.

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Effective FTO Program with Video Training Platforms

It is a no-brainer to understand the immense significance of relying on video training platforms for training new law enforcement officers in the FTO program. Not only does it yield the maximum benefits in terms of human resource quality, but it also makes training more efficient.

Want to make your FTO program a huge success? Try out EnterpriseTube for free today (no credit card required), or contact us today.

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Posted by Rafey Iqbal Rahman

Rafey is an Associate Product Marketing Analyst at VIDIZMO and holds expertise in redaction and digital evidence management technologies. He actively researches tech industries to keep up with the trends. For any queries, feel free to reach out to websales@vidizmo.com

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