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History of Police Higher Training

On September 3, 1865, the Ceylon Police Service was initiated, with Mr. George William Robert Campbell serving as its first Inspector General of Police. During this period, the majority of individuals in the Ceylon Police Service were foreigners. Consequently, there is limited information available about formal training within the Ceylon Police Service.

In the early part of the 19th century, a formal training methodology was introduced in the Police Service. On November 16, 1905, the first “Police Training School” was established at the former Sri Lanka Post building on Kumara Street, Colombo Fort, under the leadership of former Inspector General of Police, Mr. Cyril Chapman Longden. Established in 1948 and having undergone various changes through different eras, the Sri Lanka Police College is currently located in Kalutara, where it conducts basic and higher training programs for police personnel throughout the country.

After the formal establishment of basic police training, there was a recognized need to enhance the quality of police service. As a result, in 1947, The “Francis J. Soutz Police Commission” was established to identify shortcomings and recommend changes that should be made in police training. In the initial stages, between the 1960s and 1970s, the focus within the Sri Lankan police service was on establishing an organized structure and improving the quality of service. This led to the establishment of the “Basnayake Commission” in the 1970s. Following the recommendations of this commission, the ‘Police Higher Education Institute’ (පොලිස් උසස් අභ්‍යාස ආයතනය) was established to meet the secondary training requirements of the police service, situated in Colombo Fort. On December 27, 1978, Superintendent of Police Mr. S.B.W De Silva assumed the role of the first director of the ‘Police Higher Education Institute’ (පොලිස් උසස් අභ්‍යාස ආයතනය). Familiarization training programs for police officers are held at this institute in accordance with their promotions.

Establishment of Sri Lanka Police Academy (ශ්‍රී ලංකා පොලිස් විද්‍යාපීඨය)

Familiarization training programs are conducted by the ‘Police Higher Education Institute’ (පොලිස් උසස් අභ්‍යාස ආයතනය) for police officers who have been promoted. During this period, the ‘In-service Training Division’ (සේවස්ථ පුහුණු කොට්ඨාසය) also conducted several training programs to meet, to some extent, the training requirements for police officers. However, these programs have limitations, and officers may find it difficult to meet the required time commitment beyond those limits. As a result, the Sri Lanka Police Academy (ශ්‍රී ලංකා පොලිස් විද්‍යාපීඨය) was established under the Sri Lanka Police Gazette No. 1583 on Wednesday, January 7, 2009 (Part II – Notification). It was inaugurated on December 1, 2008, at the address of Bellanthara Junction, Aththidiya Road, Mount Lavinia. After the establishment of the Sri Lanka Police Academy, the ‘Police Higher Education Institute’ (පොලිස් උසස් අභ්‍යාස ආයතනය) and the ‘In-service Training Division’ (සේවස්ථ පුහුණු කොට්ඨාසය) were reorganized and became units of the Sri Lanka Police Academy, which had previously operated separately. The establishment of the Sri Lanka Police Academy aimed to enhance the career progression of police officers, as well as to plan and organize educational activities for them while setting and maintaining standards for these educational activities.

Establishment of National Police Academy (ජාතික පොලිස් අභ්‍යාස ආයතනය)

The National Police Academy was established under the National Police Academy Act No. 44 of 2011, which was passed by the Parliament of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. The Act to provide for the establishment of National Police Academy, to identify the objective and function of, and to provide for the management and administration of the National Police Academy, and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

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