After two mass murders that happened in early May this year, Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić’s promised that 1,200 “new police officers” will be “stationed at schools at all times”. However, as it turns out, this promise proved to be unfounded and unrealistic as the Serbian police don’t have sufficient capacity for this type of engagement of police officers – the investigative website VOICE reports.
“We have close to 1,300 new police officers who have completed training at the Basic Police Training Centre in Sremska Kamenica and will be transferred to 27 police departments. However, that is not enough. It is impossible for police officers to be present in all schools at all times. We could do it if the police officers worked around the clock, without breaks or time off,” says Vladimir Džigurski, president of the Dr. Archibald Reiss Police Association.
According to the data collated by the State Statistics Office, there are 405 elementary and high schools in the territory of Belgrade. If police officers were regularly on duty in two shifts in all schools, that means 810 police officers would have to be stationed at schools at all times, during five working days a week – VOICE reported.
Between 1,000 and 1,500 candidates attend police training at the Sremska Kamenica Centre and this is the only training institution in the country that produces future police officers.
“The calculation is simple – there are 3,732 elementary and high schools with over 500,000 students in the country. This means that the aforementioned 1,000 policemen could be on duty in only a quarter of the schools and covering just one school shift,” the portal reported.
The article also says that, in order to fulfil Vučić’s promise, 7,464 policemen should be stationed at 3,732 schools in Serbia, work two shifts every day, five days a week, or “70 percent of the total number of police officers in the country”.
(Novi Magazin, 30.07.2023)
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