Police commanders’ education: a continuous process

  • Sérgio Felgueiras
  • Lúcia G. Pais
Keywords: police higher education; police commander; teaching; learning


A permanent environmental reconfiguration introduces new educational needs for police commanders to have new integral knowledge tools which allow them to be ready for new societal challenges. Centred on the student, as part of the preparation for a long-term career, police commanders’ education is a knowledge-transfer process which means they comprehend the police environment and organisation, behaviour, law enforcement, strategic, tactical and technical options and, furthermore, leadership, management and command competencies. In the 21st century police commanders must be able to understand social phenomena and reinvent police processes to cope with those societal challenges. Observing the reality, acting with criticism and in a considered manner, in routine or crisis situations, and considering the uncertainty that characterise contemporary societies imply: the permanent tracking of theoretical, methodological and technological developments of the scientific disciplines that build the police sciences; working on the behavioural dimension; and juridical preparation with relevance for the performance of the senior police officers in a democratic rule of law. Despite the fact that a police commander could perform his job on several levels, an integral education process is the only option that prepares a future senior police officer for a real police career. Preparation of a study plan must take into consideration several issues, such as: bringing teaching and training together with reality; linking research with the problems presented by the police forces on the ground; contributing to the scientifically supported definition of security policies; and not disregarding the humanist and ethical dimensions.

How to Cite
Felgueiras, S., & Pais, L. (2017). Police commanders’ education: a continuous process. European Law Enforcement Research Bulletin, (3), 179-185. Retrieved from https://bulletin.cepol.europa.eu/index.php/bulletin/article/view/292