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Police to get longer training

2015-06-08  Mathias Haufiku

Police to get longer training
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Windhoek - The Namibian police are in the process of finalizing modalities to extend the six-month basic police training course to 12 months, the Inspector General Sebastian Ndeitunga has revealed. Speaking exclusively to New Era, Ndeitunga said a study has already been conducted to facilitate the extension of police training. He added that insufficient time to complete the curriculum and the addition of more content have prompted the need for the extension. “The timeframe is not enough to fully complete the curriculum and we want to introduce new content such as basic forensic training. But for now, we are focusing on clearing the backlog and of course we need financial resources to make this possible,” Ndeitunga said. Currently police recruits are trained for six months, a situation which has left many Namibians questioning whether the training of police recruits is sufficient to produce quality officers. Ndeitunga says the availability of financial resources and the reduction of the backlog – currently at 7 800 – will dictate when the course will be extended. He said the four-month investigations training would also be reviewed to ensure the investigating skills of law enforcers are enhanced. Police officers have in recent years come under scrutiny for the time taken to finalize criminal cases, with investigations in some cases taking years. “The Criminal Procedure Act has so much content, yet we only give basic training but we expect graduates to enforce the law after graduating,” said a concerned Ndeitunga. He also revealed that millions of dollars would be required to extend the training programme. Official figures indicate the police currently spend N$154 694 to train one recruit for six months. This amount covers salary, laundry, meals, training, a graduation uniform, weapons and bedding, amongst others. Ndeitunga is optimistic the extension of the training course will not deter potential police recruits from joining the force. “Those who do not want to be trained because of the extended timeframe are not serious because policing is a calling and not for those who only want to join for the sake of getting a salary every month,” he said. The police chief also revealed that a large number of the force is ageing, resulting in mass staff turnover. The staff turnover is about 500 personnel per year, mainly as a result of retirements and resignations. “We need to replace the voids,” he said. Towards the end of last year, the backlog in the country’s police force stood at 7 886 members. A huge number of that is in the ranks of constables (5 200), plus sergeant class 1 (1 077), warrant-officer class 2 (738), warrant-officer class 1 (580), inspector (240), chief inspector (51). By Mathias Haufiku
2015-06-08  Mathias Haufiku

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