By ANDREW MUKOMA
THE Zambia Police Service has urged media houses as a group or individually to engage Lilayi Police Training College to provide training in practical safety and security of Journalists.
Lilayi Police Training College Commandant Charles Mbita said the college had qualified officers in possession of undergraduate and graduate degrees from various universities across Africa and outside as well as doctorates in various disciplines.
Dr Mbita said officers at the college were adequately equipped to train journalists in Safety and Security matters.
He was speaking on Thursday when he presented certificates to 19 journalists from Lusaka, Eastern, Southern, Central and Western provinces who completed a four-day practical course in safety and security of journalists at Lilayi Police Training College.
The first of its kind training at the college, which was organised by Bloggers of Zambia and the Police with support from the German and Swedish Embassies in Zambia, included topics such as safety and security of journalists during planned and unplanned riots or violent demonstrations.
Other topics were online safety and security tips for journalists, physical endurance in hostile environments, first aid, understanding police cordon and crime scenes as well as covering Very Important Persons (VIPs).
Dr Mbita said the Zambia Police Service signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Zambia (UNZA) sometime back to offer degree programs in fields such as safety and security.
He urged media houses to sponsor journalists to the degree programs at an appropriate time to sharpen their analytical skills.
Dr Mbita urged the trainees to hold in-house workshops and share what they leant with colleagues who did not have an opportunity to participate in the training.
And course Coordinator Godfrey Chilabi said the training was a testimony that the Police and journalists could co-exist.
Mr Chilabi, who is Zambia Police Service Assistant Public Relations Officer, said the two parties were expected to have a cordial relationship going forward.
In a vote of thanks, Jubel Zulu thanked the Police and Bloggers of Zambia for training journalists in safety and security matters.
Ms Zulu, who is Zambia Institute of Independent Media Alliance (ZIIMA) Vice President, said it was clear from the training that the police and journalists were interdependent in their work irrespective of their different roles and hence the two parties should work with each other without conflicts.