Police education training environments in international collaboration

“We value highly the training environments on Sagagatan and they are also admired by the Colombian police. The environments create very optimum conditions for students to practice elements related to their everyday work as realistically as possible,” said John Franco, police officer and strategic police adviser on-site in Colombia.

For the past nine years, the Swedish Police Authority has been working on education in Colombia together with Colombian police. There is low public confidence in the Colombian police. It has been found that one of the reasons for this is too little time for practical exercises during their training. 

“Colombian police training is very "heavy" when it comes to the theoretical part. You study for a year but have very few practical elements. What we are working on right now is to bring in more realistic exercises and environments into the education, which means that once the students being working as police officers, they feel secure in being able to help and respond to the citizens in a correct way,” John Franco continued.

Colombian police visited Borås and the training environments on Sagagatan in Borås in 2019 and the training environment has since been highly valued in discussions about Colombia's future police training. The collaboration is now being further deepened. In May, Fredrik Strömkvist, one of the police teachers at the University of Borås who was involved in designing the training environments, participated in a digital meeting with representatives from Colombia.

“It was an exciting meeting where I had the opportunity to explain the common thread that runs through in our educational environments. That is, how the context of society and the police training programme syllabus governs how we train and what our purpose is with our training environments,” said Fredrik Strömkvist

The meeting was very much appreciated by the Swedish Police Authority.

“Our goal is that in the future, it should be standard for every police training programme in Colombia to have a training environment such as is found in Borås, but you rarely have the budget to do what you want. What was very interesting to hear was how the goals and objectives were set based on different priorities and the thoughts behind creating such good and realistic conditions for those who will ultimately be spending time in the environments and practice,” said John Franco.

Fredrik Strömkvist is, of course, pleased that the training environments have gone from an empty warehouse to a training environment for police students to an inspiring international model.

“Before I came to the university, I often conducted training in borrowed premises that did not fully fulfil their purpose. All the time, I have had a vision of how to create an optimal educational environment and it feels fantastic that we had the opportunity to realise this vision here in Borås. We have received a very good response from both teachers and students, which is basically the most important thing,” concluded Fredrik Strömkvist.

Take a tour of our police training environments on YouTube. The tour is availiable with subtitles in English and Spanish.