Vol. 80, No. 1News notes

Female police officer sitting in front of screen holding a driving wheel.

Ukrainian police talk training with RCMP

Police officers from the Ukrainian Police Academy tested out the RCMP's scenario-based training and technologies, like this driving simulator. Credit: RCMP Depot Division


Top police officials from Ukraine visited Depot, the RCMP's national training centre in Regina, Sask., to learn how the RCMP trains its police this past September.

The weeklong trip was part of a Canadian government-supported program called the Police Training Assistance Project (PTAP), which is helping Ukraine advance its police services and develop a training academy for new recruits and current officers.

"We're drawing on the experience and skills of RCMP officers to develop a new training approach that responds to local dynamics," says Tom Monastyrski, director of the PTAP, which is run by Agriteam Canada, an international development company. "We want to enable the Ukrainian police with new capacities, equipment and facilities so they can be sustainable long-term."

The PTAP falls under Canada's $8.1 million, three-year police mission to Ukraine, supporting the reform of their police service. Following unrest surrounding the Maidan revolution in 2014, the Ukrainian government fired more than 10,000 of its police officers, opting to recruit new, young officers for the National Police of Ukraine (NPU).

Twenty Canadian police officers from the RCMP, Ontario Provincial Police and Toronto Police Service have been on the ground helping with this transition since 2016. They're training in-service officers while also working closely with Agriteam Canada to build a curriculum and training framework for a new police academy.

RCMP C/Supt. Bruce Kirkpatrick, commander of the Canadian police troop in Ukraine, says the visit to Depot provided the Ukrainian delegation with a rare first-hand glimpse at how the RCMP trains its officers.

"For us, there's a big focus on practical application of police theory," says Kirkpatrick. "We try to get away from strict academics to a model that incorporates different learning techniques with scenario-based training, the use of simulators and an updated curriculum."

Kirkpatrick and Monastyrski are working with the NPU to adopt some of the RCMP's best practices, including improved investigational techniques, gender-based awareness training, officer safety tactics and community policing models.

"We're shifting the learning culture and introducing innovative ideas — we're talking about institutional change," says Monastyrski.

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