The CEPOL course ‘Train the Trainer for SIRENE Officers’ (82/2010) which took place in Maribor, Slovenia on 12-16 April 2010 attracted 29 participants from 22 countries.
The number of participants shows that SIRENE officers are a group with common aims who are aware of the importance training has for their successful common work. The aim of the course was to define the role and function of the trainers in the SIRENE trainer’s pool and to improve their training skills.
The course was opened by Tatjana Bobnar, Deputy Director General of the Slovenian Police. On the first day, participants learned about CEPOL; their common work; the role of the SIRENE training pool; and the function of trainers in the basic and advanced seminars. Participants discussed fact sheets they are developing and defined deficiencies of knowledge and understanding in specific fields of their work.
During the next two days Nevenka Tomovic led the workshop on learning and training. In a highly interactive session, participants were guided through the design and development of the programme, their presentation skills were assessed and training methods suggested. All participants showed great commitment and involvement.
At the end of the course, Thomas Meyer, Germany, said: “I knew everything about objectives, Kolb and programme design, but after this course, I now know how to do it as well.”
Maribor was originally chosen because the main Slovenian airport was closed at that time due to reconstruction. The Icelandic volcano eruption, subsequent ash clouds and closures of many European airports, caused further problems on the final day for participants trying to get home.
The bravest were the Nordic participants who decided to rent a car and start the long trip back home, which in hindsight was a good decision. Some participants were forced to prolong their stay in Slovenia and were taken by car by their Slovenian colleagues to the first available type of transport to begin their journeys home.
SIRENE stands for Supplementary Information Request at the National Entry and outlines the main task of the 'SIRENE Bureaux' established in all Schengen States. SIRENE Bureaux provide supplementary information on alerts and coordinate measures in relation to alerts in the Schengen Information System (SIS), and ensure that appropriate action is taken if a wanted person is arrested, a person who has been refused entry to the Schengen area tries to re-enter, a missing person found, a stolen car or ID document seized, and so on. The Schengen area is that area without internal border controls. SIRENE Bureaux also exchange data important for police and judicial cooperation, conducts database queries, coordinates cross-border operations.