Paul doesn’t want to hear mashibu in his classroom.

“I’ve been to police trainings in Myanmar that ended with the instructor asking if there were any questions, to which 170 voices, all at once, recited Mashibu!”

Mashibu means “we don’t have” in Burmese.

As a trainer, Paul wants his students to ask questions, both because he wants them to understand and because thinking for yourself is one of the essentials of community policing. He believes that in order to understand emotional intelligence – a key focus of MYPOL’s three-week course on community policing – it’s important to see policing at an individual level. From there, officers can see how they can cooperate with the public and identity partners in the community.

But he knows it can be difficult to change students’ mindset. After all, he has conducted trainings everywhere – from Eastern Europe to North Africa, the Middle East to Myanmar. For him, the it all centres on taking what he experienced as a police officer for 32 years with the Police Service of Northern Ireland and sharing those experiences with others.

In terms of community policing, he always tries to help police officers understand how they can see themselves as a service to the public and to each other. Training, he believes, is simply the transfer of new skills and abilities from the classroom to the workplace to ensure an improved, more efficient MPF.

For that, he doesn’t just lecture to the trainees. He gets officers to stand up, do tasks, go through scenarios during role playing, and be as hands on as possible.

Paul says it’s all based on one saying: “I hear, I forget. I see, I remember. I do, I understand.”