Emblem of professionalism | Daily News

Emblem of professionalism

The path of Sri Lanka Police which can be traced back to 152 years of pride has encountered many twists and turns. Specifically, the modern-day police officer has to face a great number of responsibilities gone beyond the aims and objectives entrusted to police during the time it was established as a formal police service on September 3, 1865, under the leadership of George William R. Campbell. Various acts of crime such as cybercrimes, human trafficking, offences related to dangerous narcotics, organised crimes, financial crimes can be observed among those.

In such a context, having just the basic training given to a new police recruit is not adequate at all for them to face the above challenges. In such a situation, the secondary training of a police officer is a sine qua non and a timely need. Therefore, it is essential to examine the development and evolution of the higher training in Police Service. While doing so, our minds go back to the day, 16.11.1905 in the first half of the 19th century, during the term of office of Inspector General of Police C. C. Langdon. That day marks the commencement of the first Police Training College inside a two-storied building on Prince Street, Colombo Fort. Later on, it has gone through various stages and currently, the basic training is given through seven sub-units established in different parts of the country, under Sri Lanka Police Academy, Kalutara.

This offers the basic training to the three categories of police officers namely, Police Constables, Sub Inspectors of Police and Assistant Superintendents of Police, who come for the basic training. In 1947, the Francis J Soutz Commission was appointed with the intention of improving the modern aims and objectives and the quality of Police Service along with the idea of identifying the due changes which should be made in Police training. It has been pointed out through the report of this commission that police officers should be patient and courteous and that the training they receive should be given with the aim of imparting a vast knowledge on socio-cultural aspects, sharpening their rational thinking while building both physical as well as mental strength.

Under such circumstances, the 1970 Basnayaka Commission was appointed to make recommendations and to look into how the training a police officer needs to undergo should be like. They have pointed out giving examples that the training of the police officers had not been performed in a methodical or organised way at the time. They had further indicated the need of establishing a Police Investigation and Higher Training Institute conforming to a high standard in order to identify the training needs and methods to develop knowledge and skills of officers who are in active police service.

Taking the recommendation of this Basnayaka Commission into account, the Police Higher Training Institute was established on November 27, 1978, in Colombo Fort. Adhikari S. B. W. de Silva has performed duties as the first director of that establishment.

At the initial stages, traditional diploma certificate courses in the preliminary investigation of crime, prosecution, public relations and practical policing methods had been conducted. Later on, the Police Training Institute was relocated to the 05th Floor of the Secretariat Building and afterwards relocated to Aththidiya, Dehiwala, where the proposed University of Police Criminal Justice will be erected. The Police Higher Training Institute had functioned until 2009.

This was a time when Sri Lanka Police had to shoulder one of the greatest tasks of building harmony between North and South following the 30 year war. Under these circumstances, promoting professionalism and developing the duty capacity of the Police officers was a timely need. Taking that condition into account, when former Inspector General of Police, H A J S K Wickramarathna was holding office, on January 7, 2009, the Sri Lanka Police Academy was established by the part (ii) of the Police Gazette No. 1583. Then on 01.04.2010, the Police Academy was established at the address; Thimbirigaskatuwa, Negombo.

Higher training of Sri Lanka Police

During its inception, steps have been taken to improve professional skills of Police officers by introducing 12 courses including one year higher diploma course on Police Science along with certificate courses in criminal investigation, forensic medicine, traffic management and community policing.

The date, November 21, 2011, has been marked as a significant day as the higher training of Sri Lanka Police was elevated to a higher position both locally as well as internationally on that day. Sri Lanka Police Training College which had been functioning under the said name was re-established as National Police Academy by the Act No. 44 of 2011 of Sri Lanka Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. During this period, N K Illangakoon held office as the Inspector General of Police. The objectives of establishing this academy have been identified as the development of skills and professional knowledge of police officers and other law enforcement officers selected for training in such a way that will offer them opportunities for career progression.

As per the Article 7 Section 2 of this Act, management and the administration of the National Police Academy have been assigned to a Board of Management. According to the composition of the Board of Management, the Secretary of the Ministry to which Sri Lanka Police belongs, shall be the Chairman. Further, it should consist of a Deputy Secretary of the Treasury nominated by the Secretary to the Ministry of Finance, an additional Secretary of the Ministry to which Sri Lanka Police belongs, Inspector General of Police, Executive Director in charge of the National Police Academy, two veteran officers in the fields such as public administration, law and order and Chief Administrative Officer of the Police Academy. Accordingly, the current Board of Management of the Police Academy is as follows,

1. Hemasiri Fernando (Chairman) – Secretary to the Defence Ministry

2. R Semasingha (Member) – Additional Secretary to the Finance Ministry

3. Thusitha P Wanasingha (Member) - Additional Secretary to the Public Administration and Management and Ministry of Law and Order Ministries

4. Pujith Jayasundera (Member) - Inspector General of Police

5. Sanjeewa Dharmarathna (Member) - Deputy Inspector General of Police (Recruitment, Training, Human Resource Management and International Relations Range)

6. M S N L de Costa (Member) - Former District Court Judge

7. Professor Anuruddhi Edirisinghe (Member) - Faculty of Medicine at the University of Kelaniya

8. Chief Administrative Officer (Secretary), National Police Academy

An Academic Board has been appointed to implement relevant affairs related to academic fields of National Police Academy as per the powers vested in Article 18 of Section 4 of the Act. The Executive Director works as the head of the board and, in addition to the Chief Administrative Officer the board consists of two persons appointed by the board, a representative appointed by the Vice Chancellor of the relevant University if the National Police Academy is affiliated to any University and heads of different academic departments of National Police Academy. Accordingly, the following members perform duties as the members of the present Academic Board.

1. Sanjeewa Dharmaratne. Deputy Inspector General of Police

2. M. K. D. W. Amarasinghe, Retired Deputy Inspector General of Police

3. Dr. Ajith Dissanayake, Department of Economics at the University of Kelaniya

4. W. P. J. Senadheera, Superintendent of Police.

5. D. M. M. A. B. Mahagirilla, Superintendent of Police

6. K. G. P. Buddika Samarapala, Superintendent of Police

7. C. M. N. T. K. Chandrasekara, Superintendent of Police

8. Darshana Gallage, Assistant Superintendent of Police

9. M. R. Noordeen, Assistant Superintendent of Police

The National Police Academy has achieved a special vision under the auspices and guidance of the Management Board and the Academic Board. Especially, the National Police Academy has taken many measures to develop facilities and to improve their health in addition to imparting knowledge and skills to police officers who enter the institution. Especially, a five-year development plan is being implemented under the main plan of modernizing National Police Academy together with the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Moratuwa. On completion, it will consist of fully-equipped male and female hostel buildings that provide accommodation for about two hundred and fifty diploma students, a library building with all the facilities, an indoor stadium with all the facilities, a ground with a pavilion and a swimming pool. As the Executive Director, I wish to express my humble sense of satisfaction on being able to achieve rapid progress in the physical and academic fields of National Police Academy with the blessings of Management Board of National Police Academy and Inspector General of Police, Pujith Jayasundara.

The four-storied administrative building which consists of lecture halls, offices and a conference hall for which the foundation stone was laid, marking that a memorable day, on 23.02.2018, by present Inspector General of Police, Pujith Jayasundera is scheduled to be declared open at the end of this year.

Many measures have been taken at present to offer the advanced training that is being offered to Sri Lankan Police officers not only to the law enforcement officers of other institutions but also to the police officers of foreign countries.

Subsequently, a number of Memorandums of Understanding have been signed nationally and internationally.

Apart from the MoUs exchanged with the Republic of Maldives on 22. 01.2014 and with the Republic of Korea on 07.10.2016 and with Vietnam on 12.12.2018, MoUs that Sri Lanka Police has exchanged with the University of Sri Jayewardenepura in 2016 and with the University of Kelaniya in 2017 are also of great significance. Higher Diploma in ‘Criminal Investigation’ which has been introduced with the affiliation to the University of Kelaniya is being conducted successfully and for the first time in police history, all the required measures have been taken to commence the proposed Bachelor's Degree Programme in Police Science, with the affiliation to the University of Kelaniya, in the near future. Apart from the aforesaid Memorandums of Understanding, some programmes are being conducted with organisations such as Interpol (The International Criminal Police Organization), Royal Canadian Mounted Police and countries such as Scotland, Australia for exchanging knowledge and developing the quality of the training in Sri Lanka Police.

Academic disciplines

Especially, after the establishment of National Police Academy, diplomas and higher diploma courses are offered to police officers under a range of academic disciplines. Courses such as Criminal Investigation, Human Resource Management, Community Policing, Cyber-Crimes, Community Counselling, Investigation of Miscellaneous Complaints and Prosecution are being conducted for improving knowledge, shaping attitudes and developing skills of police officers.

The inaugural certificate awarding ceremony of National Police Academy will be held today (21) at Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall. President Maithripala Sirisena will grace the occasion and he will award diplomas and higher diplomas to 264 police officers who have successfully completed the above-mentioned courses.

In addition to the academic staff of National Police Academy who uphold its motto, ‘Professionalism through Wisdom’, lecturers from University of Kelaniya, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, University of Colombo, the Open University of Sri Lanka, Buddhist and Pali University and instructors of Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration, Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, Skills Development Fund Ltd, National Dangerous Drugs Control Board and well-experienced senior officers from Sri Lanka Police and retired police officers have extended their support to enhance the quality of the programme. Required measures are being taken to conduct theoretical and practical sessions for all diploma courses under the supervision of the University Grants Commission and all courses are offered under the standards adopted by Sri Lanka.

Under these circumstances, the inaugural certificate awarding ceremony marks a significant milestone in the history of higher education of Sri Lanka Police as it becomes the entry qualification for these diploma holders to follow the degree programme at the proposed University of Criminal Justice at Attidiya.

I wish to pay my sincere gratitude to Hemasiri Fernando, the Secretary to the Defence Ministry under which Sri Lanka Police functions and Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundera for paving the way towards such a great opportunity.

I thank all former Inspectors General of Police, present and former Executive Directors of National Police Academy, Chief Administrative Officers and officers representing all ranks who extended support for making this moment a reality. 


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