The history of the Polish Section of the International Police Association
IPA stands for International Police Association which was founded January 1, 1950 by the British Police Sergeant Sir Arthur Troop. It is neutral politically, economically, and religiously. Belonging to the IPA undertakes to comply with the Declaration of Human Rights, which was set in 1948. The seat of the association is Switzerland, and its supreme authority is the World Congress, held every three years. The Association has its own information and training centre located in Gimborn near Cologne, Germany.
The aim of the organization, according to the intention of the founder, is to create bonds of genuine friendship and professional camaraderie between the employed in the police service in the world. This idea, contained in the sentence “Servo Per Amikeco” (service through friendship) is currently being materialized by over 400 thousand police officers from 63 countries, members of the IPA.
During the recent IPA World Congress that took place in Israel, the current activities were summarized, a calendar of future congress meetings was scheduled, and the association government for another term was elected, the dignity of the President entrusted to Pierre-Martin Moulin.
The Association in Poland.
Transfer of the IPA ideas to the Polish Police, meaning actions through friendship regardless of political differences, cultural or any other, became possible only as a result of Polish transformation and the establishment of a politically neutral Police. It was in summer of 1990, when police officers from Poznań have established the first contacts with the French police, who gave them the materials on the International Police Association and familiarized them with its statutory objectives. They offered assistance in the establishment of the Polish Section. A similar collaboration, almost the same time, was taken by the officers from Jelenia Góra, only that their partner has become Section Danish IPA. With the assistance of the Section the initiative meeting of the founding group of the International Police Association was organized – Danish branch – Esbjerg, which established a temporary administration. In 1992, the thus formed association joined 122 police officers from Jelenia Góra who have received identity cards issued to them by the Danish Section of the IPA. During this period, Polish policemen approach the IPA individually, through the organizations in Germany and France.
The growing interest in IPA of Polish police officers, led inevitably to the establishment of an autonomous Polish Section. The decisive initiative belonged to officers of the Poznań garrison. 17 June 1991, they organized a meeting on the matter, which was also attended by representatives of the Higher Police School (Police Academy) in Szczytno and police garrisons from Krakow, Gdańsk, Warsaw, Wrocław and Słupsk. On 20August 1991, after obtaining the approval of Deputy Minister Jan Widacki for the establishment and activities of the Polish Section of the IPA, there was a re-meeting in Poznań, during which emerged initiative group aimed to bring the law to legalize the Association. This was finally on 23 December 1991, when the Regional Court in Poznań issued a decision on registration of an international association under the name “International Police Association – Polish Section”. January 13, 1992, it has been entered in the Register of Court in Poznań under the heading ST 447.
Historical, because the founding Congress of the Polish Section of the IPA, was held from 16 to 17 October 1992 in Kiekrz near Poznań. It was attended by 52 delegates representing 630 members, gathered in 22 provincial groups. They emerged the 13-seater National Executive Committee. Another remembered event was the donation money given by police officers from the IPA National French Section for the development of the Polish Section of the IPA.
In 1993, during the 24th IPA conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on the recommendation of police officers from the French and Danish Section of the IPA, the Polish Section became a full member of this organization. In this way, more than two years of efforts and procedures for legal recognition in the country, as well as the introduction to the international arena were culminated. It was also evidence that the international police community, accepted principles of organization and operation of the Polish Police, respecting the canons of the democratic state.
Key decisions related to the Association’s activities are reserved for Congress. In the years 1995 – 2004, there were held four such meetings in the following order:
- Second Congress – 23 and 24 September 1995 in the Police Training Centre in Legionowo. It was attended by 70 delegates from 30 provincial groups of the country and guests representing national sections from Germany, Denmark, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and France. Also present was the Chief of Police,
- Third Congress – from 4 to 6 December 1998 in Soczewka near Plock. The were 34 out of 47 delegates entitled to vote in the Chamber,
- Fourth Congress – from 25 to 27 November 2001 in Wilga. It was where a project on organizational changes, prepared by committees of Boards of Silesia and Małopolska Provincial Groups and the National Board was approved, which resulted in liquidation of branches within the structures of provincial groups. Regions were left as the organizational units, subordinated directly to the boards of the provincial groups ,
- Fifth Congress – from 11 to 13 November 2004. 54 delegates elected Presidium of the Polish Section of the IPA and made changes in the Articles of association. The guests of the Congress were representatives of national sections IPA, from Austria, Germany, Slovakia, Romania, Lithuania and the United States.
- Sixth Congress of the IPA in Bochnia in 2007, the President of the Polish Section was elected, for the first time, Arkadiusz Skrzypczak,
- Seventh IPA Congress held in October 2010 in Muszyna. Again A. Skrzypczak was elected president of the Polish Section of IPA.
- The VIII Extraordinary Congress took place on June 18, 2011 in Łódź. We adapt the statute of the Polish Section of the IPA to the new act on public benefit activities and volunteering.
- The 9th IPA Congress in Zamość took place on October 26, 2013. Fryderyk Orepuk, the current II Vice President of the Polish Section of the IPA, became the new president
- The 10th IPA Congress in Solec Zdrój took place on November 26, 2016. Fryderyk Orepuk remained the President of the Polish Section. He received congratulations from the President Pierre Martin Moulin and representatives of 13 national sections.
- The 11th Congress of IPA in Łódź on April 14, 2018 was aimed at adapting the statute of IPA Poland to new polish law.
- The 12th IPA Congress in Janów Podlaski took place on December 7, 2019 in Janów Podlaski. Piotr Wójcik was elected the president.
Statute of the Polish Section of the IPA provides that its members can be persons performing service in the Police and Border Guard, as well as pensioners of these formations. Membership in the Association is voluntary, and each member is required to actively participate in the implementation of statutory IPA objectives.
The opening of the IPA – Polish Section to the Border Guard officers, serving in a police manner, was decided March 15, 2003, during the meeting of the National Board of IPA in Mysłowice. This position was confirmed at the Fifth National Congress, the delegates introduced a corresponding provision in the Statute. The Commander in Chief of the Border Guard authorized subordinate officers in the constant and preparation service for membership in the association on an individual basis.
IPA Statute distinguishes the following types of membership: ordinary and associative. The first is acquired by a resolution of the Executive Committee of the Provincial Group after the deposit of the declaration and payment of the membership fee and entry fee. The associative membership may be obtained by a policeman from another country, in which the national section of the IPA does not exist. The officer loses his/her membership at the time of the creation of such section. For outstanding contributions to the association a person can get the title of “Honorary Merit for Polish Section of the IPA”. It is granted by the National Board of the Polish Section at the request of the National Bureau or one of the Boards of the Provincial Groups.
The association is an editor of the newspaper „IPA Wiadomości Sekcji Polskiej” (News of the Polish Section of IPA). Thanks to the magazine, as well as publications on the website at www.ipapolska.pl growing number of people can get to know the objectives of the association, as well as the manifestations of its activity.
The motto of the association, as was mentioned and reminded above, is expressed in the Esperanto language “Servo Per Amikeco” (service through friendship). Polish Section of the IPA pursues this goal through a variety of activities and initiatives, among which can be distinguished:
1. Organization of national and international symposia, meetings and seminars;
2. Promoting and conducting individual and group study tours;
3. Encouraging the exchange travels and making young people friends – travels, youth seminars;
4. Information about the activities of the Association in its magazine;
5.The development of personal contacts with members of other national sections;
6. Awaring officials of a need to respect the law and maintain order;
7. Raising the prestige of the police through the dissemination of knowledge about the police in society and caring for preservation of the correct relationship between the public and the police;
8. Facilitating the exchange of professional experiences with the members of other national sections;
9. Participating in the preparation of Polish and international bibliography of works on the problem of police and the Association,
10. Developing professional, social, cultural, sporting and tourist collaboration with other national sections and between structures in the country,
11. Initiating correspondence to establish and maintain contacts and supporting the teaching of foreign languages.
The motto: “Service through friendship” motivates many police officers, Border Guard officers and pensioners of these formations to be active not only at the professional level, but no less important, non-professional. Members of the association are known for taking various initiatives for the benefit of citizens. Thanks to this, in public awareness increases the prestige of the police and the state of knowledge about the tasks, problems and everyday life of the institutions and the people who create them. It could be argued that mutual contacts initiated by police officers from different countries – building the foundation for genuine police friendship will often be more fruitful in action than the signed international agreements.
Pointing to the indisputable benefits of the activities of IPA, it should not be forgotten that such organizations paved the way to European integration. Today, when it is expressed by the European Union, we as police officers feel the satisfaction of knowing that we belong to an organization that was one of its pioneers. Polish policemen, no fault of their own, joined the process with some delay. By their activity and energy they make up but this time, which fortunately was not lost forever.