The security officer training course, which was started in May to staff the new port security corps in the port of Antwerp, already has 61 recruits. The federal police is aiming for a total of 70 security officers, who should start working on the site in the spring of 2024.
The port security corps, which was created within the Antwerp maritime police, is one of the main federal measures to combat drug crime. Currently, 50 existing security officers are already assigned to it, but the intention is that they will soon be replaced by 70 newly trained recruits. The training is a kind of abbreviated police training, with less focus on, for example, investigative tasks, but the security officers will have full police powers.
The 70 security officers will be assisted by 7 inspectors, 8 chief inspectors and a commissioner. The force patrols the port area day and night and can intervene if, for example, drug extractors are spotted.
The registration period has now ended and yielded more than 400 candidates. So far, 61 have already been selected and started training. A final group starts in December. According to the federal police, the success rate after the selection procedure, i.e. once the actual training starts, is very high and the desired number of 70 officers will therefore be reached. The training lasts 6 to 7 months.
In addition to the port security corps, the shipping police are being reinforced with other functions such as detectives. A total of 312 places have been provided, where there were fewer than 100 employees active in the autumn of 2022. The number currently stands at 184 people, including the current port security corps but excluding security officers in training. Recruitments are still in full swing, it sounds.