Dossin Barracks welcomes 10,000th trainee police officer

A 10,000th trainee police officer has started a course in “Holocaust, Police and Human Rights” at the museum, memorial and documentation centre that is housed at the Dossin Barracks in Mechelen, in Antwerp Province. The course entails several house in the classroom and a visit to the barracks’ museum. The aim of getting trainee police officers to take the course is to encourage critical reflection among those that will soon be there to protect us.  The 10,000th police trainee to take the course is Selm Vandendaele who is studying at the police school in Ghent (East Flanders).   



Since the Dossin Barracks opened in 2014, police officers, trainee police officers and civilian police staff are invited to pay it a visit. The idea is to encourage them to think critically about their own actions and to question things.  

The Federal Police spokeswoman Jana Verdegem told VRT News that "Police officers have important responsibilities towards the public. They need to be able to ask themselves whether certain orders they receive are conducive with their beliefs and the ethical framework in which they operate”

All trainees are obliged to take the course. Those that are already working as police officers that are invited to do so.

"In the morning they visit the museum. The tour places an emphasis on

The role of the police during the Nazi occupation. In the afternoon they look at cases in point. For the trainees these are taken from the news. Those that have experience in the field look at situation they have been involved in themselves”.  

Ms Verdegem says that the course has a positive effect on those taking part. In December last year a study revealed that those that had taken a course at the barracks were better at reflecting on how to deal with certain situations or orders they had been given.   

90% of those that took the course said that it had been beneficial.

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