Justifying Termination Requests During Field Training

As a Field Training Officer (FTO), you will be confronted with many challenges when evaluating trainees. Simply recommending advancement from one phase to the next requires justification through documentation. Recommending termination of a trainee can be one of the more difficult and challenging decisions a FTO will face. Lawsuits based on “wrongful termination” are rather common, both among seasoned police officers and recruits. if you want to dismiss discrimination claims, you need to be prepared to back up your termination request when the time comes. And the best way to do this is by systematizing your field training through specialized software for law enforcement agencies.

Reasons for Terminating Rookie Recruits

Before we get to the software, let’s talk about why you think termination is the right thing to do. Many police departments let go of recruits under the vague “failure to conform to standards” clause. This might be what you write in your termination request, but you should also have the list of the specific standards the recruit has failed to conform to. For example, the reasons for termination may include:

  • Poor communication skills and inability to write cohesive and timely reports
  • Poor decision-making skills
  • Inappropriate use of force, whether it’s insufficient or excessive
  • Lack of understanding of the police officer’s duties and authority
  • Immature behavior or low moral standards

How to Support Termination Requests

To support your request, you need to have detailed accounts of specific incidents of failure to comply with department standards, complete with dates, behavior and action description, and objective evidence such as photos or witness testimonials. This can be a large amount of paperwork if your daily observation reports and evaluations are paper based. To make documenting, reporting and evaluation easier and faster, your police department could invest in FTO software such as our A.D.O.R.E. (AutomateD Observation Reports and Evaluations) system. Among other handy features, A.D.O.R.E. allows you to:

  • Enter periodic journal entries on employees’ performance
  • Automatically combine journal entries into evaluation reports
  • Submit feedback from any superior officer regardless of division
  • Provide rating on timeliness, initiative, judgment and other attributes
  • Put together summary/termination reports

Having all the records on a computer system also makes it easier to search and share relevant information with all involved individuals. And, when challenged, you have the supporting evidence ready. If you have any questions about how our software can make your job as an FTO easier, give us a call or contact us online to request a free demo.