All Ingham County Sheriff Office employees are required to go through a training program. The first week for new recruits is an orientation. After completing the orientation, depending upon their work assignment, they will either start an 8 week Corrections training program or a 14 week Field services training program.
The Corrections training program lasts for 8 weeks, consisting of 4 steps. Step 1 of the training exposes the new recruit to all aspects of the training and requires the recruit to perform 25% of the work. This step is 2 weeks in length and upon completion, and review of command, the recruit will advance to the next step. Step 2 is also 2 weeks in length and the recruit is required to perform 50% of the work load. Step 3 is 2 weeks in length and the recruit is required to perform 75-100% of the work load. Step 4 which is 2 weeks long and is considered the Shadow step. The trainee is required to do 100% of the work load.
The evaluation aspect of the program is entirely behaviorally driven. Training checklists and standardized evaluation guidelines help the training and evaluation process. Daily feedback discussion is performed after each training day. This ensures that the recruit understands what he/she needs improvement on and the positive aspects of that day’s performance. After the 4th step program is successfully completed, the recruit is placed into the working matrix schedule. The recruit is then advanced to Step 5, in which a supervisor tracks the performance of the recruit until that person is off probation.
Those officer’s assigned to the Field Services division will be trained in all aspects of the Road Patrol. Their training will begin in Step 1, where they will be assigned to a Field training Officer (FTO) for 4 weeks. During that time the recruit will be expected to complete approximately 25% of the work load, which may include: Driving, Radio Transmission, Geographical Orientation and Minor Reports.
During their Step 2 training they will be assigned a different FTO for an additional 4 weeks. During this period the recruit will enhance their patrol techniques and be expected to perform 50-75% of the work load. They will then advance to Step 3, in which they will be assigned a new FTO for another 4 weeks. During this period the recruit is expected to perform 80-100% of the work load. After the recruit completes Steps 1, 2 &3 they will be passed on to Step 4 where they will be assigned the same FTO that they had in Step 1. They will spend 2 weeks in this Step. The FTO will be dressed in plain clothes as the recruit is expected to perform 100% of the work load. The FTO is there to evaluate how the recruit has progressed through the training and if he/she can complete the everyday requirements of a Road Patrol Officer. The recruit is then advanced to Step 5, in which a supervisor tracks the performance of the recruit for one year from the start of the FTO training.
The Ingham County Sheriff’s Office provides a weeklong training to certify experienced Deputies as CTO's or FTO's. These Deputies are trained as FTO’s using the San Jose model which was first established in 1972. The goal of the Filed Training and Evaluation process is to improve the overall effectiveness of law enforcement services by introducing the recruit officer to the procedures, policies and purpose of the road patrol function.