Interior Minister Sar Kheng yesterday instructed all police chiefs to strengthen discipline in their units and provide equal training opportunities for all police officers, including those who are inactive in their positions.
During an inauguration ceremony of school departments at the Police Academy of Cambodia yesterday, Mr Kheng raised concerns over the division of academic opportunities to police officers.
He noted that police chiefs have punished their officers by assigning them for training, a practice that must end.
“Some police chiefs hold on to a belief that appointing a police officer to attend training is a form of penalty. This is completely wrong,” he said. “Those police officers will not absorb new knowledge and skills if they are told that it is part of their punishment.”
Mr Kheng said the trainers will also have a difficult time if these police officers are not committed to learn.
He also advised police chiefs not to give up on inactive police officers in their units, but instead educate them and direct them.
“We must convert lazy police officers to become active ones and offer them opportunities to improve their capacity to be just like hard-working police officers,” he said.
Mr Kheng also ordered the creation of a working group to track down police officers who were appointed for both local and international training, but failed to observe discipline or gave up in the middle of their lessons.
“It is a waste of national budget and it ruins the reputation of the police and the country as a whole when such police officers are not committed,” he said.
Police Academy spokesman Lieutenant General Ek Monosen yesterday noted that only a few police chiefs were not aware of the problem.
“Some police officers appointed by their chiefs for training were not qualified due to their ages, health, and capacity,” he said, “Some were also assigned to learn what they are not specialized in.”
Lt Gen Monosen said the academy is now strictly monitoring the discipline of police officers and provides sufficient training courses to give them opportunities to improve their capacities in the fields they are in charge of.
Yong Kim Eng, executive director of People Development and Peace Centre, yesterday said some police officers were dissatisfied when they are appointed for training because their chiefs did so just to get rid of them and promote someone else into their position.
“It has become a habit for police chiefs to appoint police officers for training because they are not disciplined,” he said. “They devalue the training and there is also nepotism when some police chiefs send officers for training in order to replace them with cronies.”