Minister of Interior Sándor Pintér called Hungarian public safety “reliable and free of extremism” at a swearing-in ceremony for new law enforcement officers held on Kapisztrán Square in Budapest on Saturday.

“This, combined with social solidarity, could pave the way for Hungary’s rapid development”, Mr. Pintér added. “This is a value we must take care of together, and we must not allow extremists to disrupt this peace from within or outside the country’s borders”, he declared. The Minister told the 212 graduate students of the National University of Public Service: “Have courage and tenacity, your country is counting on your steadfastness”.

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“In 2010, the Government set as its goal to make Hungary the safest country in Europe, in the interests of which it is making a huge effort”, he recalled. “When this goal was set, ‘mass migration’ had not yet begun and Hungary was not under migration pressure from hundreds of thousands of people, but the difficulties and challenges have not changed the Government’s determination”, he said. “We are doing everything possible to ensure that Hungary is the safest country in Europe”, the Minister of Interior stressed.

“We will not allow our security and future to be endangered; we will protect our borders from attacks by illegal migrants, charlatans and people smugglers”, Mr. Pintér declared. “Using legal and technical instruments, with fences if required, and through the selfless dedication of border hunters and all law enforcement staff”, he added.

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The Interior Minister also mentioned that Hungarian law enforcement officers were not only on duty in Hungary, but were also jointly protecting Europe’s external borders, and accordingly Hungary too, with the European Union’s border management agency Frontex and the countries of the Visegrád Group (V4) in third countries within the framework of international cooperation.

Mr. Pintér said protecting Hungary’s borders was an indispensable part of maintaining the country’s security, but not sufficient in itself.

“This also requires voluntary compliance on the part of citizens and the exclusion of extremist groups and ideologies from public life”, he added.

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“Maintaining everyday security also requires the efforts, expertise and professional dedication of all law enforcement staff”, the Interior Minister continued.

The 212 graduate students of the National University of Public Service took their officer’s oaths in front of a replica of the Crown of St. Stephen and Hungary’s historic flags, and in the presence of Minister of Interior Sándor Pintér and law enforcement chiefs of staff.

This year, 152 officers will be continuing their careers in the police force, having completed their studies at the departments of criminal investigation, law enforcement administration, traffic law, public law and border management. 30 of the new graduates will be employed at the National Tax and Customs Administration, 6 at the prison service and 24 at the National Directorate General for Disaster Management. The new recruits will begin active duty on 3 July.

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According to information provided by the University, the traditional training of law enforcement personnel had been reformed since the institution was established, the courses offered by the Faculty of Law Enforcement Sciences continue to be very popular and certain courses are oversubscribed tenfold.

Courses are expected to undergo major changes from the upcoming semester: three-year courses will be supplemented by full-time four-year courses, both of which prepare students to serve as officers within the law enforcement services, but with differing schedules.

Although students attending the six semester course complete their studies a year earlier, the price is that they must attend seven-eight lessons-a-day, but the additional time available within the eight semester course allows a reduction in daily study time to six hours. Correspondence courses are generally only available to staff who are already working in law enforcement, although some are also open to civilians.

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A new master’s degree course will also be launched in September: the four semester correspondence course in master’s level criminalistics will train professionals who, according to the information provided by the University “are capable of becoming involved in criminal intelligence and investigative work at a high level, and in the collecting evidence in an effective, well-founded, scientific and lawful manner”.

An anti-cybercrime department will also be established in September, which according to the institution will enable the training of professionals and officers who are capable of reacting to IT challenges.

New entrants at the Faculty of Law Enforcement Sciences will begin their basic training at the existing facility on Farkasvölgyi Street, but the former campus of the Police College will close its gates permanently at the end of September, when according to the University, training will continue in 21st century conditions at the new teaching facility that was recently completed at the Ludovika Campus.

(Ministry of Interior/MTI)