One of the responsibilities of the Training Division is to provide on-the-job training for recruit officers after they’ve completed the 18-week CLEET Basic Training Academy in Ada, Oklahoma. Upon successfully completion of the basic academy, officers are assigned to the Training Division for field training. The recruit officer must successfully complete the 16-week Field Training and Evaluation Program to retain employment with the agency as a Probationary Police Officer. While in the field training program officers are trained through four training phases with three different Field Training Officers (FTOs). The primary FTO covers phases 1 and 4, while the other two FTOs handle the training in phases 2 and 3. The Field Training and Evaluation Program is rigorous and provides officers with competent, real-world training, which is dynamic when compared to the sterile training environment of the Basic Training Academy. The Field Training and Evaluation Program is a critical component of the employment selection / retention process. The transition from an academy environment to the streets is difficult and stressful for most recruit officers, which is why the role filled by the Field Training Officer is so important; the FTO that must assure that the transition between the two very different learning environments is smooth.
The Field Training Officer is vitally important to the success of the Field Training and Evaluation Program. Consequently, the standards to become an FTO are high. To be eligible, officers must have completed three years of full-time patrol service, demonstrating a high level of competence and ethics. Once selected to become an FTO, the candidate must complete 40-hours of mission-specific training to achieve status as an FTO. The Bixby Police Department currently has 8 FTOs.