A link exists between the training of police personnel and their motivation levels. Inadequate training can lead to adverse outcomes over time, such as a decline in motivation and morale. Foundational training programmes carry an immense potential for meeting this need. The learning style and environment at academies also play a crucial role in determining the future performance of recruits.

Gearing recruits for duties and tasks they will be performing on the ground will make for a more efficient, motivated and well-equipped force. Historically, police reform in India has been primarily grounded in anecdotal information with little empirical evidence supporting proposed changes. The aim of this project is to highlight the recruits’ perceptions of the current state of police training practices at the Madhya Pradesh Police Academy in Bhopal and suggest improvements. An evidence-based approach to understanding how training modules can be improved in order to achieve a motivated police force is essential.

Between March and July 2019, we conducted two ‘Police Training and Motivation Perception’ surveys in collaboration with Madhya Pradesh Police and BetaGov at Marron Institute, New York University. The surveys collected feedback from the Deputy Superintendents of Police (DSP) on various aspects of their foundational training programme. The surveys’ objectives were to gauge the satisfaction of new recruits with the current training practices, understand their expectations on how the training programme can be improved, and identify the factors that motivate new recruits. The recommendations from the survey have since been used to inform improvements to the existing police training framework at the Academy.

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Note: This work was done by the author/s when they were a part of the IDFC Institute and is republished here with permission.