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Training Program

Police Officer Training Program

When a new officer is hired by the Fargo Police Department, the recruit must successfully complete the 17-week Police Training Officer (PTO) Program.  During training, a PTO trainer will facilitate the recruit's learning about a variety of skills such as communication, local procedures, legal authority, officer safety, use of force, etc.

The PTO Approach

The Fargo Police Department has used the PTO model since 2003.  The program differs from the traditional FTO program in that it focuses less on the evaluation of the recruit officer and focuses more on developing the officer's problem-solving skills through problem-based learning. Recruit officers discover and utilize resources within the community and the Department to help solve problems.  In the process, the officer develops the ability to deal with most situations encountered on the job.  Another program philosophy is that mistakes accelerate learning.  Recruits are encouraged to be active in training and not fear making mistakes. 

Recruits are required to self-evaluate their own performances daily.  Recruits must also take on an active role in learning by coming up with action plans to improve performance when needed. 

The PTO program is very challenging and requires recruits to perform at their best each day.  The end result, is officers that are better prepared to deal with the complexities of police work and better prepared to successfully work without a trainer. 

Additional Training offered

The Fargo Police Department is committed to training! Training is first and foremost in the area of safety for our officers. Each officer attends a minimum of 48 hours of training per year, and many attend much more. Our training instructors strive to maintain cutting-edge training and realistic courses.

  • Firearms training every other month with annual qualification
  • Firearms Training Systems simulator
  • Defensive tactics training every other month 
  • Emergency vehicle operators training
  • North Dakota legislative review training
  • Search and seizure training 
  • Bike patrol training
  • Crime scene investigation
  • Interview and interrogation
  • Accident investigation
  • Advanced accident investigation
  • Technical accident investigation
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Community policing skills
  • Computer training
  • Computer crime training
  • Instructor development
  • Intoxilyzer training
  • Narcotics identification
  • Domestic violence training
  • Gang training