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Social Democrats support moving bulk of security sciences academy to Narva

Leadership meeting of the Social Democratic Party, Feb. 7, 2017.
Leadership meeting of the Social Democratic Party, Feb. 7, 2017. Source: (Anna Aurelia Minev/ERR)

The party’s leadership on Tuesday supported the proposal to move the main campus of the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences to the northeastern city. At the same time, it is in favor of keeping the academy’s training units in Paikuse and Väike-Maarja open as well.

According to the party’s chairman, Minister of Health and Labour Jevgeni Ossinovski, the decision was unanimous. This goes counter to comments made just last week by fellow party member, Minister of the Interior Andres Anvelt, who said that such a step would be very expensive, and that a reduced move, for example of just the academy’s practical training unit, would make more sense.

Ossinovski said Anvelt had given the leadership a detailed overview of all the available options. Moving the core of the academy to Narva had received the most support.

“I’m glad that the new government has decided to direct additional investment to Ida-Virumaa, and the decision to move the Academy of Security Sciences to Narva would be a first step. I understand of course that every institution would like to remain where it has been for decades, but active regional politics demands that a lot of us leave their comfort zone,” Ossinovski said.

Anvelt meanwhile stressed that the government would have to allocate several ten million euros in additional funding to make the move possible, and also to include the fact that it would cause side costs as well.

An analysis by the Ministry of the Interior found that moving the whole academy to Narva would be very expensive, and that it would make more sense to only take part of it to Ida-Viru County, most likely connected with the practical training of the academy’s cadets. Anvelt has said previously that it is necessary to be realistic in terms of the available means to do this.

Three options on the table

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.

Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn

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