The Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary is in the final stages of processing the 2023 police recruit intake with the final 13,039 shortlisted candidates due to appear before recruitment screening panels for final vetting.
Commissioner of Police David Manning confirmed that screening panels will be held around the country from early April to mid-June, following which the 560 selected recruits will immediately begin their training.
Mr Manning said the recruitment process has been strengthened through the use of digital technology, and plans are also being implemented to commission two new regional training centres for future intakes.
Commissioner Manning said, “The RPNGC has made significant changes, particularly in recruitment, training and professional standards for the new generation of police.
“Moving recruitment from paper to online application processing, that is undertaken by an independent human resources company, is making the process more efficient and transparent, with the new system processing 48,772 applications.
“I would like to thank and commend each of the 48,772 men and women who applied to join our nation’s police force.
“For those of you who have not proceeded to recruitment screening panels or are not taken in as recruits, the fact that you applied to join the RPNGC is a demonstration of your interest in serving our country. I urge you to not give up but to apply for the next recruitment intake.
“While change and the introduction of new technologies can be difficult for some, it is necessary if we are to have real reform.
“Electronic application processing is very effective in overcoming the manipulation and nepotism that has been a blight on the RPNGC for decades. While there were some glitches as this is an entirely new system, these have been corrected, and online recruiting will be used again in 2024 and 2025.
“The training program has been reviewed and modified so that recruits are put through more rigorous instruction that is effective in the modern policing environment. This involves the use of new technology, community policing methods and improved skills to deal with violent offenders.
“Constable and Cadet Officer Training facilities at the National Centre of Excellence – Bomana have been enhanced in preparation for the new intake.
“We further aim to commission Gusap and Poroma Barracks as Regional Training Centres to allow us to increase the number of recruits by 2025. Apart from building appropriate infrastructure, we will also expand capacity through the number of instructors, and management staff at these two centres.
“The final round of interviews is the most stringent in the application process so that the RPNGC can be confident that selected recruits are of high caliber.
“Importantly, there is a zero tolerance when it comes to issues of personal character, and recruitment panels will be thorough with every applicant. Drug testing is mandatory, and this is not negotiable, as abusers of drugs and alcohol have no place in the modernising RPNGC.
“Further, former RPNGC members are not being considered for recruitment as we are making a distinct break from the past with this generation of police.”
Commissioner Manning said while he is satisfied with the overall quality of the potential recruits, application is just the start of the process.
“There is still a long way to go in ascertaining whether selected recruits can demonstrate that they have the right physical, mental, and emotional capabilities required to be a member of the Force.
“The RPNGC recruitment strategy is part of our focus to increase police numbers to a reasonable strength that is proportional with our growing population.
“As part of this we want young men and women that we know will contribute to nation-building through their service to our communities,” Commissioner Manning said.