Highly concentrated during training: Helmut Brendt (left) and Marc Rau
The joy of training
They develop training courses, pass on their knowledge and experience how their colleagues are constantly developing. Deployment trainers have a demanding role - with many success stories.
Streife editorial team

When the colleagues are called to a disturbance call, the situation suddenly takes a completely different turn than expected. One of the men they are talking to suddenly attacks his colleagues physically. Such operations are dynamic and highly complex. Decisions have to be made quickly and flexibly in order to ensure the success of the operation as a team. The basics of police self-defense are essential for this. What is important in such situations is taught by operational trainers who are trained at the Landesamt für Ausbildung, Fortbildung und Personalangelegenheiten (LAFP) der Polizei NRW.

"Teaching the content of operational training makes a significant contribution to ensuring that police officers can cope with difficult operational situations and return to their families in good health," says Chief Superintendent Helmut Brendt. He is a training instructor at LAFP NRW, where he trains, among other things, operational trainers who, after successfully completing their training, pass on their acquired knowledge to police officers in their authorities.

The course lasts 13 weeks, making it one of the most comprehensive and demanding courses offered by the NRW police. The paths to becoming an operational trainer can be very different. Participants often stand out positively during their own operational training sessions and recommend themselves as a result.


Planning, structuring and leading seminars

After a performance review at the beginning of the qualification, the "Professional Leadership and Training" (PLuT) section follows. Mission trainers must be able to plan, structure and lead seminars, recognize and respond appropriately to group dynamics and strengthen social skills. At PLuT, they learn how to do this with various exercises, practical examples and training methods for planning and conducting a seminar.

"We provide participants with the tools they need to teach in front of a group," says police superintendent Marc Rau, who, like Brendt, is also a teaching trainer at LAFP NRW. How do I deal with a group, what values, what image of humanity and what error culture do I exemplify and how do I present the content in such a way that it is interesting for the participants and therefore better absorbed? These are just some of the things that are taught in PLuT.

Following this, the prospective operational trainers can expect three training blocks of three weeks each at the introductory training course (EFB). They are constantly challenged, have to prepare training days for the group and deepen the knowledge and skills they have already acquired on a daily basis - for example in arrest techniques including secure transport in a patrol car, bodycam, Amok TE or tactical behavior in attacks with knives or similar objects.

The training is designed in such a way that the participants are regularly pushed to their physical, cognitive and mental limits. This is the only way to ensure that they are able to make the right decisions and recall the necessary movement patterns even under great stress.

At the end of the course, the prospective operational trainers, who have grown together during training thanks to the great mutual support, take an exam lasting several days in front of "real participants" and receive their operational trainer license.


Police on standby (BP) or training centre

"A lot has changed for us in recent years. We have become more modern," says Brendt. "We want to make learning fun, focus on emotional learning, convey clear objectives, offer feedback with concrete suggestions for solutions and provide participants with many more methods than before." Brendt and Rau experience how well this works time and time again on their courses. "It's incredibly impressive how much people can develop professionally and personally in just a few weeks," enthuses Rau. Mental training also plays a major role in this.

The licensed operational trainers can pass on their knowledge at the BP or at a training center, where they use a target group-oriented participant analysis to develop topics from which they can design individual operational training courses for each BOE, provide feedback and directly experience the positive developments of the participants in the training themselves.

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