Ola leads the police academy
Mosaik visits the police training's new premises in the Campus area in Växjö. Among other things, we pass two furnished apartments that make up the exercise room, where the police students will train possible scenarios, ranging from domestic quarrels to burglary and hostage situations.
– The rooms will be equipped with cameras so that one can follow the course of events and the student’s actions on a screen in an adjoining room, says Ola Kronkvist, head of the police training.
The new premises have brought many benefits.
– We have got more and improved exercise rooms, and more importantly, we now have the education gathered in one place. Previously, we were scattered amongst several buildings.
We pass an open conference room where police students Anna Paulsson, Jesper Bengtsson and Hanna Bengtsson have a theoretical briefing. Spirits seem high.
– It is very stimulating to work with police students. They are very motivated, have good values and are driven by an effort to make a difference in society, Ola notes.
But the number of police students would have to increase in numbers, drastically. There is a coherent desire and ambition from the politicians to educate more police officers, but the number of students that are applying for police training is still far below the target. Although the police training in Växjö has expanded considerably, from 72 at the start to today's 1101 students, far too many seats are empty.
– We have a maximum capacity of 1,400 students but are not near that. We got and order of 256 from the law enforcement agency. In the end 207 were offered a spot but at the start of the semester only 170 started the education.
It means that almost 100 places are empty, what do you think of that?
– It is worrying.
The fact that there are two new police academies, Malmö and Borås, has had an effect, but the situation remains that not enough people are seeking out the police profession. Some are lobbying for an idea which would speed up the process by shortening the police training. There by allowing more police officers to hit the streets sooner.
However, Ola is not a fan of the proposition.
– It is not realistic. The training is already compressed as of today with an already high amount of teaching hours. The police profession is very complex and should rather be extended by another six months.
Some have suggested that you should speed up the process of training police officers to field service, what do you think about it?
– Completely misguided. The field service is after all the most complex part of the profession. The police also need to be flexible and it won’t work with officers who can only do certain aspects of the job. It would hamstring the entire organisation.
However, Ola is more than open to adjustments in the admission tests. The recruitment authority has just come up with proposals for a more flexible admission procedure.
– Among other things, it will be possible to apply for police training throughout the year.
What is needed today to become a police officer?
– The most important thing is to have a public interest, and that you have a drive to help and make things right in one’s surroundings. Curiosity, being a team player and having good morals and legal consciousness are other important characteristics.
What about the physical requirements?
– Certainly, one should have certain physical prerequisites. although you do not have to be particularly fast or strong. However, it is important to have self-discipline and structure in one’s day to day life. In order to cope with the police profession, it is necessary to eat, sleep and exercise regularly. Otherwise, one won’t manage to keep their focus.