Graduates of police academies do not receive enough training despite reforms meant to improve the various programmes, Sudpresse newspapers reported on Wednesday, quoting a commission that includes local police chiefs. The Commission permanente de la police locale (CPPL) noted in a memorandum that “despite the different reforms to improve its concept and content”, the basic training cadets receive at their academies “is insufficient in terms of the quality of the graduating cadets and in terms of quantity.”
“The final result does not correspond to the expectations of the police departments,” the CPPL concluded.
According to the Sudpresse newspapers, the police chiefs feel, among other things, that the new police officers are not apt, for example, to carry out arrests, enter homes, apply appropriate force, or use weapons. They also deplored a general lack of mastery of basic skills, as a result of which the new police officers tend to act “superficially” and sometimes to “seek a solution rather than apply the prescribed legal or regulatory procedures,” they noted in the memo.
“Mistakes are made and sometimes they are irreversible,” they added.
Three police academies, in Liège, Namur and Jurbise have reacted to the memo, which they view as unjustified.
Raymond Drisket, director of the Namur Police Academy, defended his institution’s programme, saying it was “perhaps too demanding”.
“I’ve never had any negative feedback,” said Jurbise Director Hugues Lebedelle, who stressed that his academy had contact with many police chiefs.