Better all-around training for police

A process to improve the academic quality of training for police officers before they start working on the force, while reducing military-style instruction, is to be launched next month, sources told Kathimerini. The Greek police academy is to be put on the same footing as universities, meaning that instructors will have to possess the necessary qualifications and that postgraduate studies will be offered in subjects related to police work, sources said. At present, the only things that the academy has in common with universities is that applicants are accepted after sitting senior high school exams and students must matriculate for a minimum of four years before graduating. Meanwhile, trainee officers will no longer conduct basic training at army camps, as has been the case until now. In addition to saving 600,000 euros a year, this will also help the police to develop a less military outlook, encouraging officers to be less confrontational and more in tune with citizens’ problems. Greater emphasis will be placed on practical training, such as target practice or self-defense, while the theoretical curriculum will be decided upon at the beginning of each year. The government is hoping that 60 instructors will go through a new training process in September, so that they can help pass on the new teaching methods, while their names will be the first to be recorded on a new register of officially approved trainers and instructors. There are currently some 57,000 policemen on the force with another 40,000 people working as administrative staff.