Date of Award

Fall 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)


Public Policy and Administration

Committee Chairperson

Jeremy N, Phillips, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Amanda M. Olejarski, Ph.D

Committee Member

Beth Sanborn, D.P.A.


Although researchers have studied policing in general, there has been a lack of studies focused on better understanding field training for officers. This study addressed the gap in knowledge regarding the dynamics of a specific Field Training Program (FTP) in a large metropolitan police department in the United States and whether the FTP was implemented with fidelity. A mixed methods research design was used whereby 49 FTOs participated in a survey, and eight of these officers participated in follow-up semistructured interviews. Survey data were treated as quantitative data and analyzed through logistical regressions. Interview data were treated as qualitative data, and themes were generated. Results showed that the FTP program was not implemented with fidelity. Quantitative results showed that gender, age of the FTO, and years serving were found all to be significant predictors for program infidelity. Qualitative data revealed that FTOs reported that the recommended proportion of one FTO to two rookies was not always followed during the training. Officers believed this proportion to be unsafe. Many of the officers were unaware of these incentives associated with their participation in the program; however, many of the officers interviewed reported that they would participate in the program again if given the opportunity. Recommendations for future practice include, but are not limited to, consulting with current FTOs when developing the program design and structure to identify best practices and include only those FTOs in the program who want to participate.