Chapter 1 - Use of Course Materials


This program has been designed to provide practical exercises that allow the FTO to demonstrate a clear understanding of the evaluation and rating standards that have been covered in the FTO course.

What this Package Contains

This package contains the following items:

  1. Instructor Materials (Chapter 2) includes instructor suggestions/ideas for each scene
  2. Clock/Time Code Log (Page 2-2)
  3. Other Reproducible Materials (full blank 7-Point Scale DOR. SEG's, etc.)
  4. Scoring Key (Chapter 4).

Before You Begin

Prior to the use of the video scenarios, the instructor should:

  1. Review all applicable FTO Course materials.
  2. Review the video itself; decide which scenes to use and how they are to be used
  3. Reproduce a complete set of forms for each student from the attached materials, including a blank scoring page for each scene, extra blank full DORs. SEG's, and appropriate forms or pages for documentation exercises.
  4. Make extra copies of forms in case students make mistakes.
  5. Develop the course plan for how and when to use the materials.
  6. Set up and check needed equipment (video projector, screen, etc.); make sure you have the ability to pause the program.

Components of 12 Video Scenarios

The program contains a total of 12 video scenarios. Four sets of FTO/Trainee teams complete three scenes apiece. Each scene varies in length and contains:

  1. Scene introduction (including a radio call or citizen contact)
  2. Preparation to make contact
  3. Portions of the contact that contain the behavior(s) to be rated.
  4. An informal evaluation
  5. A moderator-led scoring of the behaviors to be rated
  6. A compiled look at all scored behaviors.

Video Scenario Program Orientation - Suggestions

This film is not your standard training film. It has a very specific purpose. It is suggested that an informal "what you are about to watch" orientation precede the use of the footage. The following issues are presented for your consideration before showing the video scenarios:

  1. This is POST's first attempt at filming FTO scenarios. The decision was made to make the scenes very simple. The plan is to tackle the more complicated issues in a future project.
  2. We, POST, have intentionally tried to avoid showing things that might distract an experienced officer/deputy away from the primary purpose of the scene. It doesn't always work. For example, in the traffic stop contact (Scene A-3), we had to show the Trainee talking with the driver. It was decided to show the Trainee on the driver's side talking with the driver. Some peace officers rarely make driver-side approaches for a variety of reasons. Although it is important to talk about tactical approaches and positioning, the scoring and evaluating will be based on the identified issues on the worksheets.
  3. The "acting" is not professional. In fact, most parts are played by experienced street police officers who have served (or are currently serving) as FTOs for the San Francisco Police Department. In reality, the officers did a pretty good job!
  4. Remember, the emphasis of these scenes is on consistency in the evaluation process. The prevailing key issue is whether behavior is acceptable or unacceptable.
  5. There will be issues that lead to disagreements. Not every person is going to agree with the scoring results or the way contacts are being handled. Disagreements are encouraged in that they can lead to constructive discussion and better understanding.
  6. The film has not been designed to run straight through. It will be started and stopped several times. You will be asked to complete different practical exercises based on what you have seen.

Review of Evaluation Process

The POST Field Training Program Guide contains an entire section devoted to evaluation and remediation issues. During the field training process, trainees must be guided, directed, and made aware of their progress through written evaluations. The video scenarios developed in this project provide a vehicle in which FTO candidates can practice evaluating and documenting observed performance.

In order to promote standardization of the evaluation process, there is a need to a provide reference points. The rest of this chapter contains the 7-Point Standardized Evaluation Guidelines (SEGs) published in both the POST Field Training Program Guide 1998 and the POST Field Training Officer Course 1998 and represent the appraisal reference points.

[Note: A copy of the SEGs should be provided to each student for his/her use when rating the behaviors shown in the video scenarios.]


The following "1", "4", and "7" scale value definitions are to be used when rating a trainee's behavior in each of the performance categories. It is through the use of these guidelines that program standardization and rating consistency is achieved.



Evaluates physical appearance, dress, demeanor and equipment.

(1) Unacceptable - Overweight (in comparison to hiring standard), dirty shoes, and wrinkled uniform. Uniform fits poorly or is improperly worn. Hair not groomed and/or in violation of Department regulation. Weapon and/or equipment is dirty. Equipment is missing or inoperative. Offensive body odor and/or breath.

(4) Acceptable - Uniform neat, clean. Uniform fits and is properly worn. Weapon, leather, and equipment is clean and operative. Hair is within regulations, and shoes and brass are shined.

(7) Superior-Uniform is neat, clean and tailored. Leather gear is shined, and shoes are spit-shined. Displays command bearing.



Evaluates the way the trainee accepts criticism and how that feedback is used to further learn and improve performance.

(1) Unacceptable - Rationalizes mistakes, denies that errors were made; is argumentative, refuses to, or does not attempt to, make corrections. Considers criticism personal.

(4) Acceptable - Accepts criticism in a positive way and applies it to improve performance and further learning.

(7) Superior - Actively solicits criticism/feedback in order to further learning and improve performance. Does not argue or blame other persons/things for errors.


Evaluates how the trainee views the new career in terms of personal motivation, goals and his/her acceptance of the job responsibilities.

(1) Unacceptable - Sees career only as a job, uses job to boost ego, abuses authority; demonstrates little dedication to the principles of the profession, and is disinterested and lacks motivation.

(4) Acceptable - Demonstrates an active interest in new career and in his/her responsibilities.

(7) Superior - Utilizes off-duty time to further professional knowledge, actively soliciting assistance from others to increase knowledge and improve skills. Demonstrates concern for the fair and equitable enforcement of the law and maintains high ideals in terms of professional responsibilities.



Evaluate trainee's knowledge of department policies and procedures and ability to apply this knowledge under field conditions.

Reflected by Testing

(1) Unacceptable - When tested, verbally or in written form, answers with less than 70% accuracy.

(4) Acceptable - When tested, verbally or in written form, answers with 70% accuracy.

(7) Superior - When tested, verbally or in written form, answers with 100% accuracy.

Reflected in Field Performance

(1) Unacceptable - Fails to display knowledge of Department policies, regulations, and/or procedures, or violates same.

(4) Acceptable - Familiar with most commonly applied Department policies, regulations and/or procedures, and complies with same.

(7) Superior - Has an excellent working knowledge of Department policies, regulations and/or procedures, including those lesser known and seldom used.


Evaluates trainee's knowledge of the criminal statues and his/her ability to apply them in field situations.

Reflected by Testing

(1) Unacceptable - When tested, verbally or in written form, answers with less than 70% accuracy.

(4) Acceptable - When tested, verbally or in written form, answers with 70% accuracy.

(7) Superior - When tested, verbally or in written form, answers with 100% accuracy.

Reflected in Field Performance

(1) Unacceptable - Does not know the elements of basic sections of the codes. Does not recognize criminal offenses when encountered or makes mistakes relative to whether or not crimes have been committed and, if so, which crimes.

(4) Acceptable - Recognizes commonly encountered criminal offenses and applies appropriate section of the code. Recognizes differences between criminal and non-criminal activity.

(7) Superior - Has outstanding knowledge of the criminal codes and applies that knowledge to normal and unusual activity.


Evaluates trainee's knowledge of local ordinances and ability to apply that knowledge to field situations.

Reflected by Testing

(1) Unacceptable - When tested, verbally or in written form, answers with less than 70% accuracy.

(4) Acceptable - When tested, verbally or in written form, answers with 70% accuracy.

(7) Superior - When tested, verbally or in written form, answers with 100% accuracy.

Reflected in Field Performance

(1) Unacceptable - Does not even know the most often used sections of the codes. Confuses criminal with non-criminal offenses. Does not recognize offenses when committed. Makes assignments to the wrong court.

(4) Acceptable - Knows and recognizes commonly encountered criminal and non-criminal violations. Applies appropriate sections. Makes assignments to the correct court.

(7) Superior - Has outstanding knowledge of city/county codes and applies that knowledge to criminal and non-criminal activity.


Tests trainee's ability to apply Traffic-related codes.

Reflected by Testing

(1) Unacceptable - When tested, verbally or in written form, answers with less than 70% accuracy.

(4) Acceptable - When tested, verbally or in written form, answers with 70% accuracy.

(7) Superior - When tested, verbally or in written form, answers with 100% accuracy.

Reflected in Field Performance

(1) Unacceptable - Does not know even the most often used sections of the code. Does not recognize violations when committed and/or incorrectly identifies violation.

(4) Acceptable - Knows and recognizes commonly used sections of the code. Applies appropriate sections. Locates lesser-known sections in reference material.

(7) Superior - Displays outstanding knowledge of traffic codes including lesser sections. Quickly and effectively applies codes.


Evaluates trainee's knowledge of Criminal Procedures including laws of arrest, search and seizure, warrants, and juvenile law, etc.. Evaluates ability to apply those procedures in field situations.

Reflected by Testing

(1) Unacceptable - When tested, verbally or in written form, answers with less than 70% accuracy.

(4) Acceptable - When tested, verbally or in written form, answer with 70% accuracy

(7) Superior - When tested, verbally or in written form, answers with 100% accuracy.

Reflected in Field Performance

(1) Unacceptable - Violates procedural requirements. Attempts to conduct illegal searches, fails to search when appropriate, attempts to seize evidence illegally and arrest unlawfully.

(4) Acceptable - Follows required procedure in commonly encountered situations. Conducts proper searches and seizes evidence legally. Arrests within guidelines.

(7) Superior - Follows required procedure in all cases, accurately applying law relative to searching, seizing evidence, release of information and effecting arrests.



Evaluates trainee's skill in the operation of department vehicles under normal and routine driving conditions.

(1) Unacceptable - Frequently violates traffic laws. Involved in chargeable accidents. Fails to maintain control of vehicle or displays poor manipulative skills in vehicle operation. Drives too fast or too slowly for conditions.

(4) Acceptable - Obeys traffic laws when appropriate. Maintains control of the vehicle. Performs vehicle operation while maintaining an alertness to surrounding activity. Drives defensively.

(7) Superior - Sets an example for lawful, courteous driving. Maintains complete control of the vehicle while operating radio, checking hot sheet, etc. Is a superior defensive driver.


Evaluates trainee's skill in vehicle operation in emergency situations and under conditions calling for other than normal driving skill.

(1) Unacceptable - Involved in chargeable accidents. Uses red lights and siren unnecessarily or improperly. Drives too fast or too slow for conditions/situation. Loses control of vehicle.

(4) Acceptable - Maintains control of vehicle and evaluates driving conditions/situation properly.

(7) Superior - Displays high degree of reflex ability and driving competence. Anticipates driving situation in advance and acts accordingly. Practices defensive driving techniques continually. Responds very well relative to the degree of stress present.


Evaluates trainee's awareness of surroundings, ability to find locations and arrive at destination within an acceptable amount of time.

(1) Unacceptable - Unaware of location on patrol. Does not property use beat map. Unable to relate location to destination. Gets lost. Expends too much time getting to destination.

(4) Acceptable - Is aware of location while on patrol. Properly uses beat map. Can relate location to destination. Arrives within reasonable amount of time.

(7) Superior - Remembers locations from previous visits and seldom needs beat map. Is aware of shortcuts and utilizes them to save time. High level of orientation to the beat and the community.


Evaluates trainee's ability to properly utilize the forms that the agency uses to accomplish reporting obligations.

(1) Unacceptable - Is unaware that a form must be completed and/or is unable to complete the proper form for the given situation. Forms are incomplete, inaccurate or improperly used.

(4) Acceptable - Knows of the commonly used forms and understands their use. Completes them with reasonable accuracy and thoroughness.

(7) Superior - Consistently makes accurate form selection and rapidly completes detailed forms without assistance. Displays high degree of accuracy in form completion.


Evaluates the trainee's ability to prepare written/computerized reports accurately reflecting the situation and in a detailed, organized manner.

(1) Unacceptable - Unable to organize information and reproduce it in the required format. Leaves out pertinent details. Report is inaccurate and/or incorrect.

(4) Acceptable - Completes reports, organizing information in a logical manner. Reports contain the required and necessary information and details.

(7) Superior - Reports are a complete and detailed accounting of events from beginning to end, written and organized so that any reader understands what occurred.


Evaluates the trainee's ability to use proper grammar, to spell correctly, and to prepare reports that are neat and legible.

(1) Unacceptable - Reports are illegible. Reports contain an excessive number of misspelled words. Sentence structure and/or word usage is incorrect or incomplete.

(4) Acceptable - Reports are legible and grammar is at an acceptable level. Spelling is acceptable and errors are rare. Errors, if present, do not distract from understanding the report.

(7) Superior - Reports are very neat and legible. Contain no spelling or grammatical errors.


Evaluates the trainee's efficiency relative to the amount of time taken to accurately complete a report writing assignment.

(1) Unacceptable - Requires an excessive amount of time to complete a report. Takes three or more times the amount of time the average tenured officer would take for a similar report.

(4) Acceptable - Completes reports within a reasonable amount of time as compared to the amount of time the average tenured officer would take for a similar report

(7) Superior - Completes reports very quickly, as quickly as a skilled, veteran officer.


Evaluates the trainee's ability to perform routine, non-stress, police activity.

(1) Unacceptable - Becomes confused and disoriented when confronted with routine, non-stress tasks. Does not or cannot complete task. Takes wrong course of action or avoids taking action.

(4) Acceptable - Properly assesses aspects of routine situations, determines appropriate action and takes same.

(7) Superior - Properly assesses aspects of routine situations, including the more unusual and/or complex ones. Quickly determines appropriate course of action and takes same.


Evaluates the trainee's ability to perform in high and moderately high stress conditions.

(1) Unacceptable - Becomes emotional, panic stricken, unable to function. Holds back, loses temper or displays cowardice. Over or under reacts.

(4) Acceptable - Maintains calm and self-control in most situations, determines proper course of action and takes it. Does not allow a situation to further deteriorate. Reaction is acceptable.

(7) Superior -Maintains calm and self-control in even the most extreme situations. Quickly restores control of the situation and takes command. Course of action taken is best possible.


Evaluates trainee's ability to conduct a proper investigation with an emphasis on crime scene investigatory procedures.

(1) Unacceptable - Does not conduct a basic investigation or conducts investigations improperly. Unable to accurately diagnose offense committed. Fails to discern readily available evidence. Makes frequent mistakes when identifying, collecting or submitting evidence. Does not connect evidence with suspect when apparent. Lacks skill in collection and preservation of fingerprints. Does not protect scene.

(4) Acceptable - Follows proper investigatory procedure in routine cases. Is generally accurate in diagnosis of nature of offense committed. Collects, tags, logs, and submits evidence properly. Connects evidence with suspect when apparent. Collects "readable" fingerprints from most surfaces when available.

(7) Superior - Always follows proper investigatory procedure and always accurate in diagnosis of offense committed. Connects evidence with suspect even when not apparent. Has "Evidence Technician" level skill in the collection and identification of evidence. Collects "readable" fingerprints from any possible surface when available.


Evaluates trainee's ability to use proper questioning techniques; to vary techniques to fit persons being interviewed/interrogated; to follow proper and lawful procedure.

(1) Unacceptable - Fails to use proper questioning techniques. Does not elicit and/or record available information. Does not establish appropriate rapport with subject and/or does not control interrogation of suspect. Fails to follow department and/or legal procedures.

(4) Acceptable - Generally uses proper questioning techniques. Elicits most available information and records same. Establishes proper rapport with most victims/witnesses. Controls the interrogation of most suspects. Follows procedure and issues a proper Miranda admonition.

(7) Superior - Always uses proper questioning techniques. Establishes rapport with victims/witnesses under the most difficult circumstances. Controls the interrogation of suspects. Conducts stressful interrogations.


Evaluates trainee's interest and ability to initiate police-related activity. Recognizes activity and takes action.

(1) Unacceptable - Does not see or avoids activity. Fails to follow up. Rationalizes away suspicious circumstances. Does not have a broad orientation to the job.

(4) Acceptable - Recognizes and identifies police-related activities. Has a broad orientation to the job including activity with a low priority. Develops cases from observed activity. Displays inquisitiveness.

(7) Superior - Seldom misses observable, police-related activity. Maintains "Watch Bulletins" and information provided at roll call. Uses the information as "probable cause" to initiate activity. Makes quality contacts and/or arrests from observed activity. "Sees" beyond the obvious.


Evaluates trainee's ability to perform police activity without injuring him/herself or others. Assesses his/her ability to perform without exposing self or others to potential danger and/or unnecessary risk.

(1) Unacceptable - Fails to follow acceptable safety procedures. Fails to exercise officer safety in the following, and other, situations:

  1. Exposes weapon to suspect (handgun, baton, mace, etc.).
  2. Fails to keep weapon hand free in enforcement situation.
  3. Stands in front of violator's vehicle door.
  4. Fails to control suspect's movements.
  5. Fails to use illumination when necessary or uses it improperly.
  6. Does not keep violator/suspect in sight.
  7. Fails to advise Communications when leaving vehicle.
  8. Fails to maintain good physical condition.
  9. Fails to properly maintain safety equipment and weapon.
  10. Does not anticipate potentially dangerous situations.
  11. Stands too close to passing vehicular traffic.
  12. Fails to position vehicle properly on car stops.
  13. Stands in front of door when making contact w/occupants
  14. Fails to cover other officers or maintain awareness of their activity.
  15. Fails to search police vehicle prior to duty and after transporting other than police personnel.

(4) Acceptable Follows acceptable safety procedures. Understands and applies them.

(7) Superior - Always works safely. Foresees dangerous situations and prepares for them. Keeps partner informed and determines best position for self and partner. Is not overconfident. Serves as an "officer safety" model for others without conveying a message of paranoia.


Evaluates the trainee's ability to perform police-related tasks safely while dealing with suspicious persons, suspects and prisoners.

(1) Unacceptable - Violates officer safety practices as outlined in SEG 21 (above). Additionally, fails to "pat search," allows people to approach while seated in patrol vehicle, fails to handcuff when appropriate. Conducts poor searches and fails to maintain a position that would prevent attack or escape.

(4) Acceptable - Follows acceptable safety procedures with suspicious persons, suspects, and prisoners.

(7) Superior - Foresees potential danger and eliminates or controls it. Maintains position of advantage in even the most difficult situations. Is alert to changing situations and prevents opportunities for danger from developing. Serves as an "officer safety" role model without conveying a message of paranoia.


Evaluates the trainee's ability to gain and maintain control of situations through verbal command and instruction.

(1) Unacceptable - Speaks too softly or timidly, speaks too loudly, confuses or angers listener by what is said and/or how it is said. Fails to use "voice skills" when appropriate or speaks when inappropriate.

(4) Acceptable - Speaks with authority in a calm, clear voice. Proper selection of words. Displays knowledge of how and when to speak. Commands usually result in compliance.

(7) Superior - Completely controls situations with voice tone, word selection, inflection and body language which supports what is said. Restores order in even the most trying situation through voice and language usage.


Evaluates the trainee's ability to use the proper level of force for the given situation.

(1) Unacceptable - Uses too little or too much force for the given situation. Is physically unable to perform the task. Does not use proper restraints or is unable to properly use restraints.

(4) Acceptable - Obtains and maintains control through use of the proper degree of force application in routine situations. Uses restraints effectively. Unlikely to lose control.

(7) Superior - Excellent knowledge and skill level in use of restraints. Extremely adept in the proper use of force for the given situation. Does not lose control regardless of conditions present.


Evaluates the trainee's performance in terms of ability to perceive accurately, form valid conclusions, arrive at sound judgments, and make proper decisions.

(1) Unacceptable - Acts without thought or good reason. Is indecisive, naïve. Is unable to reason through a problem and come to a conclusion. Cannot recall previous solutions and apply them in like situations.

(4) Acceptable - Able to reason through a problem and come to an acceptable conclusion in routine situations. Makes reasonable decisions based on information available. Perceives situations as they really are and makes decisions without assistance.

(7) Superior - Able to reason through even the most complex situations. Has excellent perception. Anticipates problems and prepares resolutions in advance. Relates past solutions to current problems.


Evaluates the trainee's use of communications equipment in accordance with Department policy and procedure.

(1) Unacceptable - Violates policy concerning use of communications equipment. Does not follow procedures or follows wrong procedures. Does not understand or use proper codes/language

(4) Acceptable - Follows policy and accepted procedures. Has good working knowledge of most-often-used sections of the codes/language.

(7) Superior - Always follows proper procedure. Adheres to policy in every instance. Has superior working knowledge of all codes/language and applies that knowledge.


Evaluates the trainee's ability to pay attention to radio/MDT traffic and to understand the information transmitted

(1) Unacceptable - Repeatedly misses own call sign and is unaware of traffic in adjoining beats. Requires dispatcher to repeat radio transmissions or does not accurately comprehend transmission.

(4) Acceptable - Copies own radio transmissions and is normally aware of radio traffic directed to adjoining beats.

(7) Superior - Is aware of own traffic and what is occurring throughout the service area. Recalls previous transmissions and uses that information to advantage.


Evaluates the trainee's ability to communicate with others via telecommunications network.

(1) Unacceptable - Does not preplan transmissions. Over or under-modulates. Improperly uses microphone. Speaks too rapidly or too slowly.

(4) Acceptable - Uses proper procedure with clear, concise and complete transmissions. Few complaints from communication center regarding articulation skill.

(7) Superior - Transmits clearly, calmly, concisely and completely in even the most stressful situations. Transmissions are well thought out and do not have to be repeated.



Evaluates the trainee's ability to interact with citizens (including suspects) in an appropriate, efficient manner.

(1) Unacceptable - Abrupt, belligerent, overbearing, arrogant, uncommunicative. Overlooks or avoids "service" aspects of the job. Introverted, insensitive and uncaring. Poor "non-verbal" skills.

(4) Acceptable - Courteous, friendly and empathetic. Communicates in a professional, unbiased manner. Is service oriented. Good "non-verbal" skills.

(7) Superior - Is very much at ease with citizen and suspect contacts. Quickly establishes rapport and leaves people with the feeling that the officer was interested in providing service to them. Is objective in all contacts. Excellent "non-verbal" skills.


Evaluates the trainee's ability to interact effectively and appropriately with members of ethnic/cultural/social groups other than their own.

(1) Unacceptable - Is hostile or overly sympathetic. Is prejudicial, subjective and biased. Violates policies regarding treatment of said groups. Creates problems for the organization as a result of his/her treatment of group members. Is ineffective when dealing with member(s) of a group.

(4) Acceptable - Is at ease with members of other ethnic/cultural/social groups. Serves their needs and requests objectively and with concern. Does not feel threatened or intimidated when in their presence.

(7) Superior - Understands the various ethnic/cultural/social differences and uses this understanding to competently resolve problems and issues. Is totally objective and communicates in a manner that furthers mutual understanding and respect. Represents the agency and the agency's position well.


Evaluates the trainee's ability to effectively interact with other Department members of various ranks and in various capacities.

(1) Unacceptable - Patronizes FTO/Superiors/Peers or is antagonistic to them. Gossips. Is insubordinate, argumentative, sarcastic. Resists instruction. Considers self superior, belittles others, and is not a "team player". Fawns on others.

(4) Acceptable - Adheres to the Chain of Command and accepts his/her role in the organization. Good FTO, Superior, Peer, relationship and is accepted as a member of the group.

(7) Superior - Is at ease in contact with all members of the organization while displaying proper consideration for their position. Understands superiors' responsibilities, respects and supports their position. Peer group leader. Actively assists others. Loyal to the agency.

[Special Note: Adapted from those first developed by the San Jose California Police Department, improved upon by the Houston, Texas Police Department, and revised by Glenn F. Kaminsky in 1986, 1991, and 1997."]