While the motto of German police is "The police, your friend and helper", it is seldom used in India. Here, the primary duty of police is maintaining law and order – an approach which does not see citizens as customers. But people-friendly policing can increase acceptance with the public and establish a synergetic cooperation. This is reflected in the theory based police training curriculum. When it comes to executing the Indian penal code, the “How” can become quite crucial, especially in sensitive situations like encountering a victim of sexual violence when she files a First Information Report. The importance of communication and character-building during police training can have a large effect on success, job satisfaction and public reception.
To address this, Hanns Seidel Foundation in collaboration with the Karnataka State Police and Bavarian State Police from Germany conducted a unique five-day workshop at Karnataka Police Academy in Mysuru on "Incorporating practice-oriented and modular police training" from 30th July to 3rd August, 2018. The workshop was conducted for 45 officers from the rank of police inspector to superintendent as well as trainers of Karnataka Police Academy. A group of senior officers who experienced the training facilities and philosophy of Bavaria’s State Police first hand in 2017, were supporting the workshop.
The workshop participants had the task of developing two to three case scenarios, which could be used by ten police training schools in Karnataka. The participants were divided into four groups and each group was asked to choose one situation (such as domestic violence, rash and negligent driving, burglary and public nuisance and street fighting) to train scenario-based practical situations under realistic circumstances.
For most of the Karnataka police officers, this was the first time to act out a crime situation. Seeing the great enthusiasm among them in learning the new training techniques was all the more enjoyable and showed the impact this workshop had.
The Police Inspector/Law instructor at Karnataka Police Academy, Mr. Khan, expressed this by stating “What I learned in 17 years of my police service, new trainees can learn all those aspects of training in just four to five years – if we follow this practice-oriented training at police academies in Karnataka.”
In order to take this promising initiative forward, a delegation of 8 police officers from Karnataka will visit the Bavarian Police training academy in the end of 2018, to learn more from Germany’s “Friends and Helpers”.