October 13, 2005

By Tom Burkindine
The Kaselehlie Press

Pohnpei State Police Department officers received what was described as refresher training last month through the Pacific Regional Policing Initiative.

A regional training team, based in Fiji, spent two weeks training officers in Pohnpei targeting key areas of police work to develop the department's capacity and improve policing techniques. The training is provided through funding by the Australian, New Zealand, and Fijian governments and services 14 Pacific nations.

Training Capacity Advisor Jim Thompson said the program emphasizes cooperation throughout the region in an attempt to promote a better understanding of security techniques and policing in a regional context. The team's visit, September 26 through October 7, was the organizations third course in Pohnpei.

The areas of training include gender and equity, family violence, discrimination, and sexual assault. During this session, 14 officers were scheduled to complete the course.

Thompson said the team will continue to visit Pohnpei two times each year to administer further training. Following the course, teaching aids are left behind for further training of officers by those who were present for the team's visit.

"This has proven to be a successful strategy," Thompson said. "It's been well received by the personnel and we've been able to create a network of officers within the region."

Along with Thompson, Ephraim Kalorip and Patrick Carl were also present as trainers from the organization. Carl, a native Pohnpeian, remained to conduct the second week of training without Thompson and Kalorip.