Police hone skills in port shepstone for sudan mission

2011-03-16 00:00

THE Port Shepstone Human Resources Development Centre is training another group of police officers who will be travelling to Sudan to act as civilian policemen for a year.

The centre, which makes use of three shooting ranges, is providing defensive training to a group of around 100 volunteers who arrived from all over KwaZulu-Natal.

Captain Thomas Mathebula, who heads up the Sudan training centre, confirmed that only around 30% of those who volunteer for deployment are selected.

“From here they travel to Pretoria where they are given their final training and mission briefing,” he said.

They will need to undergo medicals before leaving to police the peace treaty that operates in Sudan.

There are police officers from all over the world in Sudan and Mathebula described the situation there as “unpredictable”.

“The officers we send over there are well-trained and equipped to deal with such situations.”

Though the volunteers train at the shooting range, they arrive in Sudan unarmed and are unable to make arrests.

“They still need the firearm training just in case something goes wrong,” said Mathebula.

In addition to training volunteers for Sudan, the shooting range just outside Port Shepstone offers training to police officers from the area every day.

“There are around 2 300 officers in the area who train here,” said Captain Dereck van der Berg, who is stationed there. “They come in groups every day, depending on whether they have to shoot once or twice per year.”

Van der Berg said all police officers have been required to come in for annual and semi-annual assessments since 2006, when a demand was made for police to make greater use of firearms.

“The main aim here is to train the officers in how to defend themselves,” he said.

“Tactical shooting, survival techniques and how to handle their firearms in public all form part of their training.”


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