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New policewomen join ranks of Public Security Department

By Laila Azzeh - Mar 02,2015 - Last updated at Mar 02,2015

AMMAN — Dozens of new policewomen joined the Public Security Department (PSD) on Monday, continuing a four-decade legacy of women in the field of law enforcement.

The new officers displayed devotion, enthusiasm and sincerity during their graduation ceremony as the 54th batch of female police cadets, performing drills and parades to the accompaniment of music played by the policewomen’s orchestra.

Similar to previous years, the officers are from different walks of life and career paths, but united in their pledge to keep Jordan one of the safest countries in the world.

“My daughter is a lab technician. Unlike her siblings, she has always displayed great perseverance, which is a key characteristic of police work,” the mother of 25-year-old Ruba Odwan, one of the graduates, told The Jordan Times.

At the graduation ceremony, held at the Princess Basma Training Institute for Policewomen and attended by senior officers from the PSD, HRH Princess Basma, the honorary president of the institute, presented awards to excelling graduates.

The princess said policewomen have contributed to entrenching Jordanian women’s role in public life, proving their importance in maintaining the security and stability of the country.

She added that they have secured a prominent standing at the regional and international levels due to their efficiency and professionalism.

PSD Director Tawfiq Tawalbeh noted that policewomen have assumed several positions in the law enforcement domain that had been deemed as male-dominated posts.

Institute Director Col. Hanaa Afghani said the facility has become a regional training centre for women police.

Female cadets go through an “intense” and “strict” six-month training programme, during which they only visit their families on the weekends, according to Col. Kafa Halaseh, former director of the institute.

The programme includes academic lectures on the Penal Code, and the civil defence and public security laws, and training on physical fitness, combat and defence skills, according to Halaseh.

“These are part of the basic training that will be followed by annual courses throughout the officers’ years of service,” she told The Jordan Times.

The policewomen are then distributed to PSD units according to their specialties.

“For example, those who hold degrees in road engineering are hired at the traffic department,” Halaseh highlighted.

Since the establishment of the institute in 1972, “it has been proven that the capabilities of women officers are not any less than those of their male peers or than the international level of proficiency,” its former director said.

“Jordanian policewomen outperform their peers in the region, not only due to the quality of training they receive, but also because the Hashemite leadership is dedicated to ensuring women’s enrolment in all fields,” Halaseh said.

In an interview with the Jordan News Agency, Petra in 2011 on the occasion of her birthday, Princess Basma said: “I remember some years ago, when the Women’s Police graduated their first turnout of policewomen there were only 10, and it was hard for families to accept that their daughters wanted to join the police force.

“Today, we see policewomen everywhere, in numerous ranks, as a result of a growing recognition of their capabilities. When we speak about positive change in Jordan, I always remember this example.”

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