THE recruitment and training of the next generation of police officers has just started with this year’s intake of 707 recruits who are currently undergoing their basic training at the Ruben Danger Ashipala Police Training Centre at Ondangwa in the Oshana Region.
NamPol’s Inspector General Sebastian Ndeitunga revealed in an interview with Informanté that the latest intake of police cadets has ushered in a new era of police training.
Unlike in the past when the basic police training lasted six months and the minimum requirement was Grade 12 with 23 points, the new police recruits are undergoing a 12-month basic training and only those who passed Grade 12 with 40 points, qualified for admission.
“We are professionalizing and modernizing our workforce,” said Ndeitunga, adding that the decision to improve police training was based on concerns about a seemingly poor performance by police officers, including allegations of badly written sworn statements, sloppy crime investigations and a general lack of professionalism.
Ndeitunga further said that the number of police officers needed to be replenished to undo the gradual numerical decrease caused by factors such as resignation, death, retirement and dismissal.
“The number of officers has decreased gradually and such a gap needed to be filled urgently. We thank the Government for providing the necessary budget that made the latest police intake a reality,” said Ndeitunga.
The 707 new members started their training two months ago but the training was only officially launched by Safety and Security Minister Charles Namoloh on Friday.
General Ndeitunga expressed hope that all the 707 recruits would successfully complete the training course.
He said that there were instances in the past where some police trainees desisted alleging that the training was too tough.
“My hope is that all the 707 cadets would graduate at the end of the 12-month training course,” he said.
Beside the Ruben Danger Ashipala Police Training Centre at Ondangwa, the police have two other training centres – in Omaheke and Zambezi region respectively, while the Israel Patrick Iyambo Police College in Windhoek offers advanced and specialized courses.
Ndeitunga further pointed out that the development of human capital is going hand in hand with the infrastructure development to improve the working conditions of the police officers.
This includes the construction of police barracks, new police stations and regional headquarters.
A new police station was recently inaugurated by General Ndeitunga in Oshifo, Ruacana town in the Omusati Region.
New regional police headquarters were built and inaugurated in four regions – Ohangwena, Oshikoto, Zambezi and Hardap – while similar facilities are nearing completion in Omusati and Oshana.
The Omusati police regional headquarters will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila on 8 November.
On the other hand, contractors are busy putting the final touches to the Oshana police regional headquarters that is expected to be inaugurated by Vice President Nangolo Mbumba later this year.
Ndeitunga also revealed that the contruction of a new police station and regional police headquarters will start shortly at Nkerunkuru, Kavango West and at Opuwo in the Kunene Region.
Police officers at the Ongha settlement in the Ohangwena Region, who are currently operating in dilapidated structures, will soon have a state of the art police station.