Proper handling of firearms and use of force is an increasingly important part of police education and training, reports RÚV.
Although the aspect of carrying and learning to handle weapons is not a large part of police education at the university level, Ólafur Örn Bragason, director of the Police’s Education and Career Development Center, says that firearms are part of various police equipment that students learn to handle. In the training period, students go through a virtual reality simulation where they are put in various situations and have to make decisions about what resources they should use. “Firearms can also be used in that simulation,” he says.
In 2015, mandatory training was introduced for all police officers in the country, especially in the handling of firearms. This is related to the attack in Útey, Norway, as well as increased shootings in foreign schools, companies, and other public places. General police officers here need to be able to respond to such situations, Ólafur Örn says.
Ólafur Örn says firearms have been made more accessible to police officers, although the Icelandic police do not carry firearms on a daily basis. “The police arm themselves in other ways, but it is not always possible to wait for a special forces unit. It’s rare that people have to use this, but it still means that people have to be ready when it happens,” he says.
The continuing education of police officers takes place both at the Education and Career Development Center and at police stations throughout the country. Ólafur Örn says that such lifelong learning will become an increasingly urgent part of police training. Officers undergo both training with firearms and other types of training related to the use of force and various situations that may arise.
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