New police recruits test skills in traffic controls

POSTED: 01/26/12 11:49 AM

Police academy students conducting a routine traffic control on Back Street on Tuesday. Milton Pieters Photo.

St. Maarten – Eleven students of the basic police training course are currently assisting local police in traffic controls. The young recruits, under the guidance of their mentors, are being assessed on their ability to successfully execute practical police duties. They have been in Curacao since last year after a rigorous selection process.
Police spokesman Inspector Ricardo Henson said that the potential officers successfully completed their theoretical training; they have been performing outstandingly on the streets. Drivers have remarked that they appear courteous, alert and knowledgeable about the traffic regulations.
“BPO not Bavpol candidates left the island last year and when they return they will be sworn in as full-fledged police officers. The modules that they are working on are quite extensive and we can already see that they are learning to apply these teachings correctly,” Henson said.
Aspects of the module include writing official reports, issuing fines, first aid and English or Dutch as a foreign language. The entire training takes approximately three years.
Henson revealed that the way of inducting police recruits into official law enforcement duties has changed slightly. The emphasis now is on ensuring that recruits get adequate exposure on the streets before graduating. To this end a significant amount of the practical activity comprises of real situations. “Longtime ago you would stay fourteen to sixteen months in the police academy then come out as a trainee. After that you would work under the guidance of a mentor for another eight months or so before finally being called a police officer first class. Now every time they study a particular subject, they will have to perform the practical side in reality. But before going on the street they will be sworn; so they will be sworn in several times before the actual completion of study.”

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