Course Description

The probationary employment period presents public safety agencies with a unique opportunity to evaluate performance, identify “red flags” and take proactive measures to address misconduct. Agencies depend on Field Training Officers (FTOs) to closely supervise probationary officers, provide corrective feedback and document any fundamental performance issues before the transition to full-time officer and the legal protections that comes with it.

While it is certainly normal for probationary officers to make mistakes, there is often a clear distinction between understandable mental mistakes versus performance issues that reflect on core character issues such as honesty, willingness to accept responsibility for errors and ability to receive corrective feedback. FTOs are responsible for making this crucial distinction on a day-to-day basis during an officer’s probationary employment period.

This course will provide attendees with the knowledge necessary to recognize the most common and costly personnel liability issues facing FTOs. Federal and state statutes and case law will be utilized to illustrate the potential pitfalls of employee relations in public safety administration and the means by which those liability risks can be managed.

  • Utilizing the role of FTOs for the purposes of vetting new officers and the long-term costs associated with ignoring “red flags” in the probationary period
  • Understanding the role of FTOs as supervisors, teachers and evaluators during the probationary period
  • Engaging in corrective feedback and creating thorough documentation
  • Making inherently subjective assessments as transparent and defensible as possible through the use of objective rationale
  • Confronting toxic behavior and effectively communicating fundamental performance issues up the chain of command


Director, Dolan Consulting Group

| Attorney Matt Dolan

Matt Dolan is a licensed attorney in the State of Illinois, who specializes in training and advising public safety agencies in matters of labor and employment law. His practice experience focuses on employment discrimination claims brought under federal law, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"), the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"). He received his Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from DePaul University and his J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

Matt serves as a public safety instructor with Dolan Consulting Group. He has trained and advised thousands of public safety professionals throughout the United States in matters of legal liability related to personnel management.

| Lt. Dan Lind

Dan has more than 33 years of law enforcement experience and retired after 30 years with the Grand Rapids Police Department. He served as the Training Bureau Commander for 20 years, and previously held Sergeant (Team Leader) on the Department’s full-time SWAT and Street Crimes Unit. Additional assignments included Detective Unit Fugitive Apprehension Team, Patrol, Background Investigator, Recruiter, FTO, and Instructor. The vast majority of his career has been dedicated to Tactical Operations, Training, Personnel Development and most notably the development and implementation of dynamic scenario-based training.

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Before You Start

    • Consent Questions

    • Course Workbook

  • 2

    Day 1

    • Day 1: Section 1

    • Day 1: Section 2

    • Day 1: Section 3

    • Day 1: Section 4

    • Day 1: Section 5

    • Day 1: Section 6

    • Day 1: Section 7

  • 3

    Day 2

    • Day 2: Section 1

    • Day 2: Section 2

    • Day 2: Section 3

    • Day 2: Section 4

    • Day 2: Section 5

    • Day 2: Section 6