Staff Reporter
AROUND 200 hopefuls began initial trial selection tests yesterday to qualify for the 110 places in the Tourist Police force established this year by the Balearic government. The successful officers will start work on 1 May next year. The Interior ministry reported that of the 200 applicants, 160 were going through their paces in Palma, 22 in Ibiza and 18 in Ciudadela.
The tests, which on Majorca will go on through today but which finished yesterday on Minorca and Ibiza, consist of physical exercises, general knowledge exams, and verification of the level of understanding of Catalan and English. Once the sorting process is complete, the ministry will make public the final list of those selected on 31 December.
The people who will eventually go to make up the new Tourist Police force will begin training courses on 21 January, split up numerically on the islands of the archipelago as follows: 78 on Majorca, 12 on Minorca and 20 on Ibiza and Formentera. Training will include 300 study hours, under the auspices of the Balearic School of Public Administration, and will finish in April so that the fresh recruits can officially begin their work on 1 May, 2004. The Interior ministry originally received some 300 applications but only 200 were accepted.
Lack of documentation or the inability to fulfil initial requirements of the job were the reasons why 100 applications were rejected.
In Palma, the 120 candidates who turned up for the selection process at 10.30am yesterday were kept on their toes for two-and-a-half hours. A positive, friendly atmosphere was the keynote of the day in spite of the occasional crestfallen face when an exercise didn't go as well as expected. Monitors, appropriately qualified staff from local police units, took careful note of individual performances. They commented that the overall level of performance was good and that there was no “incident” to report when the trials had come to an end. Applicants were visibly more relaxed once the tests had come to an end a little before 1pm.
Today, they will have to submit themselves to the general knowledge tests, and to making it clear just how much they understand in Catalan or English.

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