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Gov’t spokesman hails upcoming launch of university police force

Gov’t spokesman hails upcoming launch of university police force

Government spokesman Ioannis Oikonomou on Monday hailed the upcoming launch of university police teams tasked with protecting academic institutions around the country.

The 400-strong force began its four-month training in the northeastern city of Komotini on Monday.

Oikonomou said in a tweet that the conservative administration was “responding to society’s demand for open and safe universities.”

The new recruits of the so-called University Institutions Protection Team (OPPI) will attend a basic training program that includes courses in criminal law procedure, constitutional law and criminology, as they will be tasked with investigations when required. For the same reason they will be trained in crime scene investigation and evidence preservation.

They will also be trained in self-defense and the use of weapons, although OPPI will be unarmed. The curriculum includes special lectures on LGBTQI rights, academic freedom and handling issues of domestic violence, for the purpose of bringing the young guards “closer to university culture.” 

Of the 400 new guards, 303 are men and 97 women, while most of them have university and technical school degrees.