Experts from Europe Visited Polish officers of The preventive service
How to prepare police officers for ensuring security and public order during events attended by thousands of people? How to conduct exercises that can realistically simulate such events? Together with experts from Europe, we were able to learn about Polish methods during a recent meeting.
As part of the ENLETS Project, another meeting of police experts in the field of public order was held at the end of April. This time, the members of the Public Order TIG, thanks to the hospitality of the Mazovian Voivodeship Police Headquarters in Radom and the Police Academy in Szczytno, could become more familiar with the Polish strategy. We used this opportunity to accompany them to get acquainted with the methods of our police, see the equipment used, and talk about training.
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The main organiser of this meeting was Inspector Jakub Gorczyński, who is the Leader of the Technology Interest Group for Public Order Experts and at the same time serves as 1st Deputy Commander of the Provincial Police Commander based in Radom. He supervises the Prevention Division, which includes Departments and units whose task, among others, is to ensure security and public order in connection with mass events, public gatherings, and crisis situations.
The preventive service also includes some unusual tasks. This is, for example, supporting border guards as the situation on the eastern border, both with Ukraine and Belarus, is complicated. For more than a year, events in this area have been a challenge for police officers from border garrisons. That is why the help they receive from the riot police from the Mazovian garrison is so important.
In Radom, guests could get acquainted with specialized equipment used by police officers during mass events and crisis situations. They also participated in a demonstration of police drill and a presentation on the Mazovian prevention division.
Simulation of crisis situations
At the Police Academy in Szczytno, experts took part in a simulation as an element of training of police command staff during complex crisis situations. They built their own operational centre to manage police activities during demonstrations and riots. This gave them an opportunity to demonstrate their strategies.
As indicated by Commissioner Łukasz Kacprowicz, senior lecturer at the Department of Public Safety Studies at the Preventive Service Institute at the Police Academy in Szczytno, the simulator is an extremely valuable instrument for training commanders of police operations.
This tool allows us to create a simulation of a selected crisis event that would be difficult to implement in reality. These can be mass events, football matches, public gatherings, roadblocks, occupations of facilities, and even terrorist attacks. With the help of the simulator, we check, among others, knowledge of regulations, law, procedures, and tactics of action during various types of police operations, i.e. the highest forms of police security. Thanks to simulations, we are able to effectively prepare the command staff for such operations.
The main purpose of the meeting was to exchange experiences between experts from different countries. They are members of ENLETS (European Network Of Law Enforcement Technology Services) Public Order Technology Interest Group. Sharing good practices of police officers from all over Europe is just one of the important stages of action. Another is to jointly search for gaps and needs of law enforcement services, and then to look for innovative solutions that will fill these gaps and needs.
That is why the guests also visited the POLSECURE police fair in Kielce, where they could not only get acquainted with the market offer, but also establish contacts that may be very fruitful in the future.
One of the experts was Chief Inspector Joseph Stokoe, a former member of the Metropolitan Police in London and current representative of the Home Office. As he noted:
Whether it’s in London, Warsaw, or Radom, the pressure on the officer is the same. And what is most important, for us commanders, is to ensure they can do the best job they can to protect themselves and to protect the public. And those challenges are the same.
Commissioner Kacprowicz was also very optimistic about this initiative:
This was a great opportunity to exchange experiences on an international scale. Each participant could learn about our procedures that regulate the security of mass events, gatherings, and other important situations. However, it was also a valuable experience for us, because thanks to these exercises we, as the Polish side, can learn about the directions of action of other countries that cooperated with us during these exercises.
The group of experts consisted of members of ENLETS Public Order TIG monitoring technologies in this area. They are police officers from Great Britain, the Netherlands, Finland, Belgium, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, and Poland. The Polish Platform for Homeland Security acts as the Secretariat in the ENLETS network. If you are interested in joining the Network, please visit the project’s website for more information.
Senior Communication Specialist
Polish Platform for Homeland Security
Junior Communication Specialist
Polish Platform for Homeland Security