Imagine it is a sunny day, people are sitting peacefully in a café, drinking chai. Suddenly, the people at one table start fighting over something. The whole situation escalates, people start hitting each other, it turns into a brawl. Police arrives and then... what? How should the officers behave? How can they deescalate the situation and deal with the culprits?
Service-oriented Policing and Police Education and Training
This scene was only one that a 9-member Karnataka State Police delegation analyzed during their visit to the police academy in Eichstätt, Bavaria from 8th to 13th of July this year. The aim of the visit was to exchange experiences on service-oriented policing and police training. The delegates – all responsible for training Karnataka Police officers – were headed by the Director General of Karnataka Police Training and selected from a workshop, which was held in Karnataka Police academy Mysore in 2018.
Theory and Practice
The one-week workshop had a mixture of both theory and practical sessions. The trainers were introduced to various methods of practical police training. The agenda included:
In order to experience the actual living and training conditions of Bavarian police cadets, the Indian police officers stayed in the police academy dormitory itself. This gave them experience of circumstances and daily routines of German police officers in training.
Learning through play
This workshop mainly focused on developing role play scenarios for the Karnataka Police training curriculum, designed to teach cadets how to deal with a typical day-to-day scenario an Indian police officer would have to face. The scenarios are typically set up outdoors and cadets are given instructions on what role they have to play. Each cadet is examined on the basis of legal knowledge, tactical skills and communication skills he/she applied during the role play.
The Indian officers worked on how to plan, prepare and implement such role plays. After various theoretical and practical sessions, the delegates developed 4 role play scenarios and performed them with the Bavarian police cadets, giving them instructions and grading them afterwards. The scenarios covered a pub brawl, snatching of a handbag, domestic violence and a traffic violation.
How to say ‘hello’
The role-play scenario sessions were followed by communication and conflict management exercises. These comprised communication techniques (e.g. how to address citizens in an ideal way), methods of de-escalation, group dynamics and interrogation techniques.
They also performed self-defense techniques together with the Bavarian cadets. The workshop ended with a transfer exercise: a role play which was developed by Indian officers and played by Bavarian cadets was photographed scene by scene. These photographs will be used to explain this concept to other trainers as well as trainees.
To get a real feeling of living conditions, the Indian officers visited some parts of Bavaria as well and learned about German culture. On 13th of July, they were invited to attend the oath taking ceremony of Bavarian police cadets in Nürnberg, where they had a chance to meet the State Minister of Interior Mr. Joachim Herrmann along with Police President Wilhelm Schmidbauer.
“Felt like home”
In their final report, the police delegation from Karnataka emphasized the importance of standardization of police action by education and training. They further stressed the need to invest more in this area, e.g. into infrastructure, suitable for modular training, and by including more practical approaches in the police training curriculum. Lastly, they expressed the wish to have an exchange of trainers between the Karnataka and Bavarian police academy for six months to one year for mutual learning.
In the end the experience of this workshop in Bavaria can be summed up in Dr. Dharani Devi (IPS, Deputy Director, Karnataka Police Academy) words “we never felt that we were outside of Mysore Training academy, it felt as if we were in our own home”.