“Police! Come forward!”
Two officers make their way through a dark apartment. Nobody answers. They hear a noise from the next room. They turn the corner, and suddenly a man appears from the dark. With few firm commands the officers force the man to show his hands and drop his weapon. The lights are turned on and the screen with the virtual armed man disappears. The simulation is over.
Espen Bastberget and Morten Kruken from Norway belong to the group of exchange students taking part in training with the Finnish police students. For four weeks, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish and Finnish police cadets practise together at the Police College of Finland in Tampere.
“We have had tactical practices, shooting, physical training, psychology and driving lessons”, list Espen and Morten. They have one and a half week of training behind them, two and a half to go.
“Both the practical and the theoretical teaching have been great, and a great fun also.”
The NORDCOP exchange students study with the Swedish-speaking group of Finnish police diploma students, taking part in all the courses in their curriculum. This period includes practices in the new training and simulation hall, where different kinds of policing situations can be simulated. Training is recorded and analyzed with the latest techniques.
“The Finnish police training is known to be practical and true to realistic police operations. This interests students and teachers from the other Nordic police training institutes”, says Marko Mäkelä, teacher on the Swedish-speaking courses.
The grand plan
In addition to the student exchange, the colleges in the NORDCOP network have an excellent cooperation amongst the teachers. The colleges have formed working groups to discuss, develop and coordinate teaching of different subjects. Teachers participate in the exchange as well.
“The idea is, in the long run, to have a Nordic police with congruent methods and training. This dream will take generations to come true and, naturally, it has to start from the basic training”, Mäkelä explains.
Espen Bastberget and Morten Kruken find the cooperation network extremely useful for students.
“Police work across borders keeps increasing, and this is a good way to get to know the colleagues and the ways of policing in the neighbouring countries. The cultures are similar enough for us to work together, but yet different enough to make the exchange studies very fruitful”.
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