By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Brazil’s Armed Forces began training Rio’s military police force this week as part of the intervention program installed by the federal government in February. The plan calls for the recycling training of about 500 police agents per month beginning with the police officers stationed in the Vila Kennedy region.
According to military officials the course to be applied to Rio’s police force is similar to that given to military personnel who participated in the Haiti Peace Mission. Officers will be trained in the area of conflict, patrolling, approaches, weapons and ammunition maintenance, ethics and human rights.
“The goal is not to simulate a battlefield or fight the enemy. It is to bring the skills of the military police to a simulation that can be as rich as possible,” said spokesman for the Joint Operations Command, Colonel Carlos Cinelli, on Thursday to journalists.
Cinelli explained that despite the similarities with war operations, the training does not seek to recycle police officers to fight enemies, but to stop citizens who are committing crimes.
During the first week of training 130 police officers were instructed on how to proceed in an operation, how to advance against violent criminals and protecting residents and pedestrians from the surrounding area. The policemen also faced simulations of rescuing injured colleagues.
According to Colonel Roberto Itamar, spokesman for the Federal intervention Office one of the training is to reduce lethality in these operations.
The first officers to be trained will be those serving in the 14th Military Police Battalion, which covers Vila Kennedy, one of the first favela community to receive intervention forces.