Public presentation of the project “Disability Awareness Training of Police Officers” were held on March 17th, 2017, at the Police Academy. CAE Validus is carrying out the project in partnership with the Police Academy with an aim of educating and sensitizing the future and active police personnel on the growing presence and participation of people with intellectual and/or psychosocial disabilities in the community as equal citizens of the Republic of Croatia. The project is funded by Open Society Mental Health Initiative.
The project at the Police Academy was presented by Natasa Tomljenović, Acting Director of CAE Validus, and Dario Hrebak, State Secretary at the Ministry of Interior.
“People with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities are increasingly present in the community and their participation is more visible due to the process of deinstitutionalization and transformation of social welfare institutions and moving individuals from institutions into the community. It was noticed that public service employees do not have required specific knowledge and skills and they are not prepared to communicate with those people. Therefore, it is often very inappropriate, ” pointed out Natasa Tomljenović.
“Police Academy together with the Ministry of Interior participate in these or similar projects for several years and our real aim is to increase the sensibility of the public, but also what is the most important from our point of view is to raise the awareness of police officers who have the obligation to apply the law, “said the State Secretary Dario Hrebak supporting this project.
In line with this, the trainings will be conducted in the next two years at the Police Academy, as well as in the police departments in order to future police personnel develop their communication skills in everyday interaction with people with disabilities.
“In the future this project has an aim to develop a model that will be applicable to other employees and workers from the public sector such as sector of education or health, which will open the door to a new partnership and a new project,” said Nataša Tomljenović.