Minister of Interior Sar Sokha has outlined how his ministry is paying close attention to supporting reforms at the Police Academy of Cambodia (PAC).

The academy is responsible for developing capable, skilled and professional human resources for the National Police, in order for it to maintain security, public order and safety for the nation. 

Sokha delivered his remarks as he chaired the February 26 closing ceremony of an annual meeting to summarise the achievements of the PAC in the past five years (2019-2023).

Sokha instructed the PAC to continue to implement the reform programme, noting that it must embrace creativity and innovation so it can produce the kind of human resources that align with the ministry’s development plans and meet the needs of all police units, said a ministry social media post.

He also demanded that all leaders under the ministry be scrupulous when drug-testing their officers, reminding them that they must eliminate loopholes and identify lacklustre performances by all National Police officers. He reiterated the need for honesty in all of their work.

According to the post, he warned them against covering up any positive drug tests, whether for their own personal interests or out of sympathy for staff who are approaching retirement age.

The minister advised that they should not fear a lack of manpower resulting from drug-related dismissals because the ministry will replace those who are sacked.

PAC president Ek Monosen noted that the academy had accomplished 81.74 per cent of the goals outlined in its five-year plan, despite the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

He explained that the review meeting had featured several discussion groups on many specific topics, aimed at increasing the efficiency of the training services the academy provides to recruits.

Among the topics discussed were plans to train the next generation of instructors to ensure education remains sustainable, as well as new measures to enforce discipline among trainees. Curricula improvements and the digitalisation of the academy were also addressed in detail.

Chey Tech, an independent socio-economic analyst, supported Sokha’s remarks, noting that the PAC has played an important role in producing police officials who are capable and able to perform their tasks with integrity.

He cautioned, however, that some police officers appear to lack an in-depth knowledge of recent legislation and modern policing techniques.

“Providing constant updates to the skillsets of the police is crucial. Most officers who graduate from the academy have few problems, but it is problematic when officials fail to attend classes. There is a danger that they may fail to fulfil their duties correctly,” he said.