Training for Police Medical Experts and Psychologists

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14 December 2011

A CEPOL workshop entitled ‘Training for Police Medical Experts and Psychologists’ took place in Bramshill, United Kingdom on 29-30 November 2011. Sixteen speakers and 19 participants from 20 Member States attended the workshop organised by the CEPOL Secretariat and managed by Zuzana Liskova, CEPOL’s Administrative and Common Curricula Support Officer.

This new activity was triggered by the creation of The European Medical and Psychological Experts` network (EMPEN) earlier this year. EMPEN is a network of and for medical, medico-legal and psychological activities in the law enforcement field which serves as a platform to exchange experiences and best practices.

CEPOL prepared the activity in order to encourage Member States to participate actively in the network through their competent national authorities, and to share knowledge in the area, and strengthen cooperation between law enforcement medical and psychological experts. Furthermore, training needs in the field were identified and topics for future CEPOL activities 2012 were proposed:

  • Healthcare within and for police organisation (health management, prevention, health education, stress, illness quotas, rehabilitation, mental health, psychological impact);
  • Psychological and medical aspects, training for police psychologist on first psychological aid, exchange of best practice and cascading knowledge;
  • Psychological assessment procedures for recruitment of police staff, effectiveness of the assessment;
  • Use of psychoactive substances (alcohol, drugs) by police staff;
  • Medical treatment for immigrants; protection of border police officers against illnesses from immigrants and animals crossing borders;
  • A conference organised by EMPEN and the creation of an EMPEN executive committee was suggested.

Deputy Director of CEPOL, Detlef Schröder, addressed his warm welcome to the attendees and also used the opportunity of this event to have less formal discussions with individual participants during the course of the workshop.

In one and a half days of intensive exchange the participants tackled the following areas:

Promoting the scientific activities of medical and psychological experts within law enforcement

The kick-off speaker Stefan Lita from Romania presented 40 years of experience of applied psychology within Romanian law enforcement.

Psychological assessment of police staff

Selection criteria for police staff and practical experience from various countries were presented by Daiga Caune from Latvia, Nora Hajdu from Hungary, Elizabeta Vovko Bergant from Slovenia and Markku Nyman from Finland. Each presentation started a lively discussion and plenty of questions were addressed to the speakers.

Psychological support for police officers

It is common knowledge that police service is a tough job, and speakers Michael Eckerskorn from Germany, Marc Stein from Luxembourg, Daina Goroviciute and Tatjana Nikitina from Lithuania as well as Eva Krivosudska from the Slovak Republic, brought up very sensitive topics such as care after traumatic events, suicides of police officers, police suicide prevention, psychological education and psychological support for police officers.

Daniela Giusti from Italy, Michaela Borovanska from the Czech Republic, Vasiliki Christodoulou from Greece and Krzysztof Skarzynski from Poland presented during the afternoon session paying attention to assistance for crisis negotiation teams, psychological services from police officers before, during and after their missions, stress management, and psychological care for police officers.

Psychological support provided by police services

On the second day the workshop discussed psychological support for victims of natural and civil disasters or major traffic accidents. Marc Stein for the second time during the workshop contributed with experience from Luxembourg; post-traumatic care provided by especially trained staff was the topic addressed by Armando Angelucci from Italy; and police contribution to establishing public health and epidemiological safety was introduced by Tamas Nagy from Hungary.

This activity for police medical experts and psychologist was the first of its kind and was highly appreciated by all attendees. CEPOL would like to thank all speakers and participants for their commitment and involvement.

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