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Eduardo Ferreira, Sília Gomes and Núria Perez

Policing, understood as being the enforcement of fundamental social laws and rules, is more than ever expected to be performed with high degrees of legitimacy, transparency and accountability. It is a major challenge for governments and agencies to avoid the illegitimate use of violence or class, gender, age or minority-biased enforcement of the law, as well as corrupt conduct. Law enforcement and police officers carry a significant responsibility in enforcing formal laws and rules. Police recruitment and training cannot be fully understood outside the constitutional regime, the law system, the policing structure and the history of a relevant country. This chapter provides an internationally comparative overview on how countries, across the world, are adapting police recruitment and training policies to cope with on-going societal changes. The authors demonstrate that many agencies, in the observed countries, require their senior officers to have a university degree, which sharply contrasts with the more common policy of recruiting under-average educated and under-trained officers for the lowest ranks.