30 Teenagers To Train
With Belgian Road Police
12 FEB - 30 selected youngsters, aged 14 to 18, began their initial police course in a bid by Belgian Federal Police to strengthen ties with the young generation.
The initiative, called "The Rookies" started on Feburary 9, when the teenagers were able to put on special equipment worn by the police, visit the interior of an armored intervention vehicle and attended a demonstration of the cavalry and even a sprinkler. Gaining experience within the ranks of road traffic police is also planned.
At the beginning of December 2021, the Federal Police launched "The Rookies", a project aimed at young people aged 14 to 18 from all over Belgium. This project, part of the "Mutual Respect" campaign launched by the Federal Home Affairs Ministry, aims to strengthen the links between young people and the police. The Rookies will live a total of more than 10 days of immersion in police environment. Once the call for applications was launched, many young people applied, curious and genuinely enthusiastic about the new initiative. Thus, 160 applications were filed. After a careful review process a selection of 30 young people was made, based on fixed criteria defined beforehand. 15 French-speaking and 15 Dutch-speaking, 15 girls and 15 boys from almost all the provinces of the country were elected to discover the daily life of a federal police officer.
The Rookies started their program with a visit to the Public Security Directorate of the Federal Police. They were able to look inside an armored intervention vehicle and a sprinkler, put on special equipment worn by the police, and meet the riders and horses of the cavalry. “30 young people will have the opportunity to discover the work of the police up close, in real conditions”, said Minister of Interior Annelies Verlinden who met the rookies on their first day at the police. “This initiative will allow us to build trust between young people and the police. I hope that the Rookies will share their experiences with others and thus become ambassadors of our organization. Maybe we can even arouse their desire to work at the police. There are so many job opportunities here", Verlinden added.
"The Rookies program is very important for our organization. Their enthusiasm and their interest testify that a good relationship between young people and the police is clearly possible. Rookies are very close to my heart because they are the future of our organization. We hope that their enthusiasm and the experiences they will have during their period of immersion will inspire other young people with the same enthusiasm for the world of policing, with all its facets and possibilities. It is undoubtedly a step in the right direction", said General Commissioner of the Federal Police Marc De Mesmaeker.
The Rookies will spend a total of more than 10 days in training with the Federal Police. The young people will have the opportunity to pay a visit to Melsbroek in the heart of the installations of the Air Support Directorate, to be made aware of road safety with the Traffic Police, to learn the techniques used by the Technical and Scientific Police and other services of the Federal Judicial Police, attend a demonstration of canine support, go to an emergency call center and have a discussion at the cybercrime division. The various activities will be held in the weeks and months to come, until the end of July 2022.