Challenges for police training after COVID-19
Seeing the crisis as a chance
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how vulnerable the world is and posed unprecedented challenges to almost every part of society including the police. While the scope of research within the police on the impact of COVID-19 has been on police officers and their stress levels, their mental health, demands, and coping resources as well as the potential impacts of police legitimacy, the impact on police training due to COVID-19 has been a minor topic of research. COVID-19 and its consequences on police training illustrate a lack of digital preparation, equipment, and infrastructure, as well as a multitude of other challenges, which lie ahead of the police training. Among them are a demographic change combined with a divergent family educational background of the future police recruits, a new generation of police recruits (Generation Z) linked to a necessary new style of leadership, and the possible damage of the police reputation because of popular cases related to extremism and racism (e.g. public loss of legitimacy and acceptance). Furthermore, continuous new challenges can be found in the daily police work (e.g. cybercrime, complexity of operations), which affect police training as well. Lastly, there is the question of how the police force is willing to face, manage, and overcome these challenges after the Covid-19 pandemic to be prepared for the future. The challenges and solution approach will primarily focus on Bavarian police training, but can easily be transferred to almost any police training in Europe and even in some aspects to the German dual educational system.
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