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A two-day training course for police officers from the specialised police unit (PPE) from all police directorates took place in the police training centre Gotenica on 20 and 21 October 2008.

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The test features 11 teams representing the same number of police directorates. Each team featured eight police officers - five competitors, two reserves and one head of the team. The test featured a total of 88 police officers. Commanders of specialised police units participated in the test as referees.

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The commander of the specialised police unit at the General Police Directorate, Rado Abutovič, said on the occasion: "The purpose of this competition is to test the competences of police officers. They gain knowledge and experience throughout the year in training and in their work. Such a test is an opportunity for them to test their knowledge, abilities and capacities."

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Each team competes in nine events. Police officers competed in pistol and rifle shooting, had a written exam on police powers and competences, tested their driving skills with off-road vehicles, completing different obstacles, underwent a test of psychological and physical capacities, overcoming tyre obstacles, procedures for enforcing law and order, and a 7-kilometre race with hurdles. The test of preparedness of police officers from specialised police units is extremely demanding, as police officers have to compete in some of the events with full equipment.

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Journalists from several media companies (RTV Slovenija, POP TV, INFO TV and the newspaper Večer) also tested their skills in different events.

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Police officers from specialised police unit have two types of equipment. The first is intended for enforcing law and order - these are protective pads for legs, knees and elbows, vests and helmets. The second type is combat gear, which is used when it is expected that firearms will also be used. Such gear includes bullet-proof helmet, bullet-proof vest and long-range firearms. The equipment weighs more than 20 kg.

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A referee team consisting of commanders of the police directorates and inspectors from the Uniformed Police Directorate and the Police Academy made sure that this year's test of the preparedness of officers from the specialised police unit was held in accordance with the rules. Police officers showed a great deal of knowledge, psychological and physical preparedness, as well as inventiveness and courage, all very important for the everyday work of a police officer, especially a member of a specialised police unit.

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"If a police officer wants to work in a specialised police unit, he or she first has to file an application and then take a special test. The opinion of the group also has its say in a decision to staff new police officers, because there has to be understanding among the members of the group. There are numerous female police officers in our ranks," added Abutovič.

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Awards, medals and trophies were given to the winning teams at the concluding ceremony by the deputy commander of the Specialised Police Unit, Emil Pozvek, the commander of the Specialised Police Unit, Rado Abutovič, the director of the last year's winning team from the Police Directorate Nova Gorica, Alojz Mohar, and Deputy Police Director General Matjaž Šinkovec.

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IMG 7045 The winning team from the Police Directorate Postojna

Annual Preparedness Test for Specialised Police Units - Results