Training rookie cops: The challenge of instilling discipline

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 12 2017 09:14 PM

Recent operations that claimed the lives of teenagers have raised questions over the kind of training that fresh Philippine National Police (PNP) recruits go through.

Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa had previously insisted that the PNP should be given authority to train its own men, saying new recruits lack proper training and discipline.

Currently, the Philippine Public Safety College (PPSC), headed by former PNP Deputy Director General Ricardo De Leon, is tasked to train police officers. 

And at the core of this training is discipline- a virtue regarded essential for anyone who wishes to carry a badge. 

"Our focus really is on discipline until finally they can develop what we call a sense of personal discipline so that when they go out…then we teach them how to become good public servants," he said.

Training new police recruits is a 6-month course, with the first 45 days dedicated to helping the recruits break away from civilian life.

The half-year program deals with general policing functions, operations of the police community relations, basic investigation, and traffic management units, and the police role as first responders.

After the 6-month academic training, the recruits join the police force. They have to return to the PPSC after a decade for a mandatory junior leadership course. A senior leadership course is undertaken after another 10 years.

As to the possibility of transferring the training to the PNP, De Leon explained that the main challenge in training policemen is instilling discipline among new recruits as well as continuing education.

And more than training, De Leon said a community-based approach is necessary to build trust between civilians and the police force.

"Training is just one. The other aspect is continuing education," he said.