Moving bulk of security sciences academy to Ida-Viru County not financially feasible, says minister ({{commentsTotal}})

Minister of the Interior Andres Anvelt (SDE).
Minister of the Interior Andres Anvelt (SDE). Source: (ERR)

The idea to move the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences to Ida-Viru County has been on the table for several years, and finally became part of the most recent government coalition agreement as well. According to Minister of the Interior Andres Anvelt (SDE), there are three possible options he would like the government to discuss.

There are currently three options on the table. The first includes the construction of new training facilities for up to 850 cadets in Narva. This would mean maintaining the current training facilities in Väike-Maarja in Lääne-Viru County, but closing the police school in Paikuse in Pärnu County. The investment, in this case, would amount to some €63 million.

The second option is to scale down the proposed facility in Narva, and build it for some 700 cadets. In turn, both the Väike-Maarja and Paikuse facilities would remain open. The investment here would amount to some €36 million.

The third option, currently the preference of the Ministry of the Interior, is to build facilities only for practical and complementary training in Narva that would accommodate some 100 cadets at any given time, and keep all of the academy’s other training centers open. This option represents the smallest change, as in essence the academy would remain in Tallinn.

The third option is also the cheapest, at an estimated cost of just over €2 million. A potential source of the necessary funding could be selling the plot of a current training facility in Tallinn’s Kase street.

Minister of the Interior Andres Anvelt said to ERR’s Vikerraadio on Thursday that though the coalition agreement included moving the academy to Narva, they now needed to interpret what exactly this could mean.

“The Academy of Security Sciences is today present in Pärnu as well as in Väike-Maarja, and years ago taken to Muraste. The question is, are we talking about a large-scale move of training activities to Narva? This is an option, but financially not realistic,” Anvelt said.

He stressed that several parties and previous coalitions had had the wish to strengthen Narva and Ida-Viru County, in terms of the presence of the Estonian state as well as from the point of view of security. The academy had become a kind of silver bullet in the eyes of some, one that could solve several problems at once by increasing the number of local public officials, increase local state investment, and increase security, Anvelt said.

The minister pointed out that comparing Narva to Väike-Maarja, where training could include units and professionals from other countries, they didn’t even have the kind of territory they would need in Estonia’s easternmost city.

The government will have to discuss the issue in the coming months.

Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn

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