Milan police seek foreign students to help patrols

Especially in multi-ethnic suburbs.

Milan’s Polizia Locale municipal force is to recruit Arabic, Spanish and Chinese mother-tongue students to do an internship with patrols in city areas where residents’ knowledge of Italian is not up to scratch.

City councillor Carmela Rozza plans to reach agreement with Cattolica, Bocconi and Bicocca universities, which offer master’s courses in urban security, to find willing foreign students taking the subject. Each intern would then be assigned to a patrol made up of three ghisa, as the local police are fondly known, plus the foreign student as an interpreter.

A first step, says Rozza, will be to deploy these patrols with Arabs and Latin Americans in the Via Padova area in the city’s north-eastern sector, or Arabic speakers to S. Siro.

Interns will be paid their expenses, and be fitted out with distinctive uniform-style jackets. They will also earn points for the entry competition into the local force should they wish to apply once they have finished their studies.

The initiative dovetails with a recruitment drive for full-time officers from Milan’s ethnic minorities, because none are employed there up to now, says Rozza.

The same model should also be applied to the city’s park wardens.

Rozza says she developed the plan during a recent visit to Rotterdam, where there are over 150 ethnic minorities.