Police officers’ initial training programme and their participation in social transformation in Uganda
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Provoked by reports showing increasing deteriorating performance of police officers, this study analyzed the influence of initial police training programme on police officers’ participation in the social transformation specifically, their participation in environmental awareness, prevention of gender based violence and promotion of good police community relations. The study adopted a mixed method approach involving pragmatic philosophical paradigm and a concurrent triangulation design. Data was collected using questionnaires, interviews, Focused Group Discussion, participant observation and documentary analysis. A total of 412 police officers and 80 non police officers participated in the study. Quantitative data was analyzed using SPSS by use of descriptive statistics, correlation analysis, Regression analysis and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) while qualitative data was coded and themes derived. Findings showed that the initial training programmes had inadequate time, teaching and learning aids, and content of environmental sustainability. This was reported by 53%, 51% and 51% of the respondents respectively. In addition, 63% of the police officers were actively participating in environmental awareness. In relation to good police –community relations, there was a strong positive relationship between training programme and promotion of good police- community relations. Qualitative results showed that the content on police-community relations was covered during initial training and the adequate time was allocated to it. However, 67% reported the need for more training in this area. For the third objective, results showed a strong positive relationship between training programme and prevention of gender based violence by police officers. The content of the police officers programme included GBV preventions and allocated it adequate time as reported by 56% and 55% of the respondents. Up to 60% reported that the police officers were able to participate in GBV prevention. Overall, this study showed that there is statistically significant positive relationship between initial police training programme and police officers participation in environmental sustainability awareness ( ESA), good policecommunity relations (GPCRs) and gender based violence prevention (GBVP) , PV≤ 0.050, (= 0.000). It further showed that police training programmes are predicators of police officers participation in ESA, GPCRs and GBVP. The researcher concluded that police training programme influence police officers’ participation in environmental sustainability awareness, promotion of good police - community relation and gender based violence prevention. It was recommended that police management should strengthen the teaching of these areas and also allocate more resources for training. During training police officers should practice some of these skills before graduation.