Twenty-two senior police officers from 17 EU Member States took part in the recent ‘Police Commander Course on Civilian Aspects of Crisis Management’ held on 16 September - 02 October 2008 at the Police Training Centre in Traiskirchen, Lower Austria. The aim of the course is to provide an efficient and effective potential deployment capacity of the EU Police by training staff capable of leading EU missions.
The Police Commander Course creates a unique opportunity for senior police officers to exchange their knowledge and experience on an international level, as well as discuss the political and legal framework for non-military crisis management. In addition, participants pay practical attention to the social and psychological aspects connected to missions abroad.
The course was Developed and organised by .SIAK (Sicherheitsakademie) of the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior and supported by experts and trainers from Austria, CPCC, UNHCR, OSCE, Austrian Military Force, Austrian Press Agency, Italy, Germany, Denmark and France.
The main theoretical content of the course included:
- Standards and legal aspects;
- Cooperation and coordination between the different actors in charge of crisis management;
- Planning, command and control of policing at an operational level;
- Management, supervision and communication;
- Project management;
In order to implement the theoretical content of the course, a commander post exercise (CPX) - seen as the highlight of the course by participants – was set-up to accustom participants to their future roles on international missions.
The two and a half day CPX simulated a police mission in Kosovo. A main headquarters and two regional headquarters were established and ‘staffed’ by course participants in the various roles that would be needed in a real-life situation.
The exercise was organised by 16 experts from Austria who between them, have extensive mission experience. Divided into role-players and observers, the experts were responsible to keep participants busy and under stress with a range of scenarios. To end the exercise, a press conference was held.
As a result of the first evaluation, the 15th Police Commander Course was deemed a success. A similar course, merging the Police Commander Course and Strategic Planning Course, will be implemented in 2009 in Austria.