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Police Officer Training (PTO) Program:
A Problem-Based Learning Manual for Training and
Evaluating Police Trainees

PTO is an alternative model for field training that incorporates community policing and problem-solving principles using adult education methods adapted for police to ensure that academy graduates’ first exposure to the real world reflects policing in the 21st century.


Police Training Officer (PTO) Overview and Introduction

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    In their implementation of community-oriented policing, police executives have voiced a common concern about training, especially post-academy field training for new officers. Post-academy field training has not emphasized or promoted community policing concepts and behaviors. To address this deficiency, the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services funded the development of an alternative national model for field training that would incorporate community policing and problem-solving principles. To accomplish the objective, the Reno (Nevada) Police Department partnered with the Police Executive Research Forum. The result of their collaboration is a new training program called the Police Training Officer (PTO) program. It incorporates contemporary methods in adult education and a version of the problem-based learning method of teaching adapted for police. Most important, it serves to ensure that academy graduates first exposure to the real world is one that reflects policing in the 21st century. The Overview and Introduction document provides an introduction to the PTO program, and summarizes the valuable experiences and lessons learned from the six agencies selected to participate in the PTO pilot project. The manual is part of a 4-part series that includes, PTO Overview and Introduction, PTO Manual, PTO Training Standard, and PTO Trainee Manual.

Police Training Officer (PTO) Manual

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    The Manual presents the PTO model to Police Training Officers, and is intended for use in their classroom instruction and as a resource when training new officers. It begins with an introduction of problem-based learning, which underlies the PTO model. Chapter 2 outlines the composition of the PTO program, including its phase structure and evaluation elements. Duties and responsibilities of program personnel are explored in Chapter 3. Chapters 4, 5, 7, and 8 detail the four phases of training in the model. These chapters include trainer copies of three necessary evaluation and teaching tools used in the program: the Neighborhood Portfolio Exercise, the Problem-Based Learning Exercise, and the weekly Coaching and Training Report. Chapters 6 and 9 guide the trainer through the Mid-Term and Final Evaluation components of the model. The manual concludes with appendixes containing evaluation forms and Learning Activity Packages. The manual is part of a 4-part series that includes, PTO Overview and Introduction, PTO Manual, PTO Training Standard, and PTO Trainee Manual.

Police Training Officer (PTO) Training Standard

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    The Training Standard outlines a 40-hour course for Police Training Officer (PTO). It teaches trainers how to help their trainees apply policing and problem-solving skills in a 15-week post-academy training program by outlining 15 problem-based learning instruction blocks. The manual is part of a 4-part series that includes, PTO Overview and Introduction, PTO Manual, PTO Training Standard, and PTO Trainee Manual.

Police Training Officer (PTO) Trainee Manual

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    The Trainee Manual presents the Police Training Officer (PTO) program to police trainees, and is intended for use in their classroom instruction and as a resource when training. It begins with an introduction of problem-based learning, which underlies the PTO program. Chapter 2 outlines the composition of the PTO program, including its phase, structure, and evaluation elements. Chapters 3, 4, 6, and 7 detail the four phases of training in the model. These chapters include trainee copies of three necessary evaluation and teaching tools used in the program: the Neighborhood Portfolio Exercise, the Problem-Based Learning Exercise, and the weekly Coaching and Training Report. Chapters 5 and 8 guide the trainee through the Mid-Term and Final Evaluation components of the model. The manual concludes with appendices containing evaluation forms and Learning Activity Packages. The manual is part of a 4-part series that includes, PTO Overview and Introduction, PTO Manual, PTO Training Standard, and PTO Trainee Manual.

 

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