Police officials from Ukraine have been in Regina over the last few days, observing how Canada trains its police.
PTAP, or Police Training Assistance Project, began a year ago in Ukraine and is funded by Global Affairs Canada through the Peace and Stabilization Operations Program.
It’s part of Agriteam Canada, which provides management and technical expertise to developing and transitional country partners on projects that promote sustainable growth and opportunities for people to improve their lives.
Tom Monastyrski is the director of the Police Training Assistance Project and works with these officials in Kyiv, Ukraine.
He says it’s important for them to observe other police training academies – especially Canada’s.
“Primarily, we’re coming to Regina to see the RCMP Depot,” Monastyrski said. “It does the 6-month training program for all RCMP recruits. In Ukraine, we’re trying to create a national police academy that will do all the recruit training for all the recruits into the police service.”
Monastyrski says Ukraine adopted this new way of training police, after a major civil unrest occurred in that country.
“Two years ago, after the Maidan revolution in Ukraine, about 11-thousand police officers were fired,” Monastyrski said. “And the government started to recuit new, young police officers. Many in their late 20s or early 30s. Many multilingual. About 30-percent of them women.”
Monastyrski says Canada has a long tradition of training police and its unified training model is known around the world. He say new officials in Ukraine are being trained consistently.
“We’re now training a new wave of recruits as we speak,” Monastyrski said. “So part of Canada’s support is to refurbish and equip a training academy. And at the same time, we’re developing courses. So, as all this is happening, we’re not doing all of this so training can start 6-months down the road. The training is happening now.”
Monastyrski says the new police is making people feel safe in Ukraine – despite a war being waged in the country’s eastern border.
“And it’s keeping Ukraine safe,” Monastyrski said. “It makes it a country that people are proud to live in. They can walk the streets and feel without threat. So, even though there is still a war going on in the east, and there is still lots of problems with corruption, the fact of the matter is, what we’re doing with the police is tangible and relevant for local citizens.”
Monastyrski says the officials are a high-level delegation from National Police and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine.
During their first day on the mission to Canada, members of the senior policing delegation from Ukraine met in Regina with Minister of Public Safety, Ralph Goodale.
The groups thanked the Canadian government for their ongoing support for policing reforms and discussed how Canada can continue to advance efforts related to the professional development of policing services in Ukraine.