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Exhibition MensenWerk opened at the Netherlands Police Academy in Apeldoorn

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This space is part of the MensenWerk exhibition. An image of a heartbeat is in the middle of the room.

The experience exhibition 'MensenWerk' for police employees opened again today. The exhibition has been given a permanent place in the main building of the Netherlands Police Academy. This interactive exhibition focuses on police work and its impact. Director Leonard Kok and Deputy Chief of Police Liesbeth Huyzer opened the exhibition.

MensenWerk is an experience exhibition for Police Officers. About police work and its impact on you as a person. The exhibition is based on research into resilience from the Center of Knowledge People and the Police Organization. And stories from police practice. MensenWerk is a way to allow Police Officers to talk to each other. About questions such as 'Why do you work for the police?' and 'What affects you in your work?'

How do you deal with…?

Visitors of the exhibition make a tour in small groups, together with a guide. Along five themes that matter in police work. Those are:

  • Dealing with extreme events
  • Dealing with everyone (even if you feel distance or aversion)
  • Dealing with violence, dealing with yourself
  • Your colleagues and the organization
  • Dealing with the dying and death

Visitors pass photos, audio and image fragments, works of art and setups that provide grounds for a conversation.

The exhibition gives the opportunity to talk to each other about own experiences. Sometimes there are few moments for this in practice. Gerdo Elzinga, coordinator and supervisor: "I sometimes bring in my own experience or a practical situation. And ask for responses. Then different perspectives are discussed and visitors discuss with each other why they have that view. This often creates more understanding on both sides and people get to know each other better."

From Soest to Apeldoorn

The exhibition could be visited as from December 2019 in a former police station in Soest. The exhibition has now been given a permanent place at the concern location of the Netherlands Police Academy in Apeldoorn.

Together with Deputy Chief of Police Liesbeth Huyzer, Director of the Netherlands Police Academy, Leonard Kok, opened the exhibition: "This exhibition is a place to reflect on what police work is. It is human work, which you do with your heart and soul: mentally, morally and physically. That is why it is great that MensenWerk has been given a permanent place at the Netherlands Police Academy. At the academy where we train Police Officers. We not only give them skills, but also teach them to reflect."

The person behind the uniform

Huyzer also emphasized the need to consider the person behind the uniform. "I see this exhibition as a vivid representation of our common experiences, our moral dilemmas and our deeply held values as Police Officers. And an invitation to reflect on who we are, what we do and why we do it. It would be great if initiatives such as MensenWerk could lead to deeper conversations becoming a structural part of our police culture."

The exhibition is an experience for all police employees

In this way, it helps police students to become aware of and reflect on their motivation for the profession. Experienced Police Officers consciously consider being human in their work. And employees in support services gain insight into their contribution to the professionalism of the police.

"A visit to MensenWerk can also make an impression in itself. And touch on the feeling of pride and group feeling. Everything that it evokes and what you want to show, can be there. And with this, MensenWerk offers space for people in police work", concludes project leader Hilde Heitkönig.

Are you interested in visiting MensenWerk?

Then contact MensenWerk.

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