Interior ministry wants EDF law enforcement training ahead of legislation ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

EDF conscripts' boots on the ground.
EDF conscripts' boots on the ground. Source: Karl Jakob Toplaan

Military conscripts and reservists could also be given police duties training, interior minister Mart Helme (EKRE) says, ahead of the legislation which would actually legally enshrine such functions.

The Riigikogu is currently considering a draft amend to the Defense Act, which would also amend the Law Enforcement Act and include changes to the regulation of involvement of the regular Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) and the Defense League (Kaitseliit).

The amends, if they passed into law, would facilitate EDF and Defense League personnel to be involved in law enforcement duties, if they had completed training conducted by the relevant law enforcement body, and at the latter's expense.

Mart Helme says, however, that it is not reasonable or expedient to carry out this training immediately before tasks which might require it, meaning the training should take place ahead of the legal amend, should it pass.

"This is very important, for example, in police duties, which can also be subject to state supervision measures and direct coercion," Lauri Lugna, interior ministry Secretary General, wrote to the defense ministry, ERR's online news in Estonian reports.

"For a member of the EDF or the Defense League to be involved, they must already have the relevant knowledge and skills at the time of involvement."

"We propose that in the case of the EDF, the relevant law enforcement body could conduct training within the service of the defense forces, ie during military service and reserve service," the letter continued.

Luugna also noted that the Ministry of the Interior agrees that the costs of the training would be reimbursed by the relevant law enforcement body.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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