June is the most festive month for the Slovenian police – the month, when we celebrate Slovenian statehood and the Police Day. After weeks of celebrations across the country in the framework of Police Administrations and the General Police Administration, the festivities peaked with the main celebration of the Police Day, traditionally celebrated on the 27th of June.

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This year, the main event took place in the coastal setting of Avditorij in Portorož.

Senad Jušić: "Safety is above other goods and values, because we can only live and thrive in safety."

In his address, the Director General of the Police Senad Jušić recalled the importance and the role of the police. He said that delivering the police's mission means that police officers and employees live according to the values that provide guidance in their private lives and share the sense of belonging, which unites the police as a collective and encourages their dedication to the people first, then the profession and the common goal – to ensure a safe living environment for all.

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He underlined the demanding and dangerous nature of the profession of a police officer and that what police officers experience daily in their field work would make many give up a long time ago, since police officers often see things people never should see: "And such events are far from scarce. I am referring to serious traffic and other accidents, family tragedies, suicides that we deal with in our work. In recent years, we have become targets of a growing number of serious threats from individuals as well as organised criminal groups and others because of the job we do."

"The work we get done, including the modest work that often goes by unnoticed by the media, has resulted in us having, unlike many other countries, a fairly safe environment. And the most deserved credit for this goes to each and every one of our employees, or simply put police offices. We often hear unfounded criticism of the work performance in the public sector. As if these critics didn't know that the public sector provides services that we simply cannot do without. And provision of safety is one of such services. A service that everybody needs. Persons, businesses and government institutions. To repeat the kind words of our moderators: safety is above all other goods and values. We can only live, grow, create homes and families in a safe environment. Start businesses and do our jobs and make our wishes and dreams true." he said. He reminded that it would be unfair to say that safety and security are provided by the police alone. "Other institutions and public authorities complement our work, while safety is mostly built in partnership with our citizens."

"We are not celebrating this year's Police Day in Primorska region by coincidence. Primorska still remembers what it means to be under a 'foreign master' and how essential it is to fight for justice in order to win the freedom to decide on one's own present and future. In 1991, Slovenian officers and citizens decisively stood up to the 'foreign master' and successfully defended the independence and sovereignty of the then very young country of Slovenia," Senad Jušić said before concluding by congratulating all the units of the Slovenian police for the Police day.

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Boštjan Poklukar: "Being a police officer is an honour, a mission and an oath."

Minister of the Interior Boštjan Poklukar also addressed the audience and underlined that "Slovenian police are an autonomous and trust worthy institution, based on the principles of the respect of the rule of law, equal treatment and proportionate response. Slovenian officers are in the service of and for the people."
The Minister too, congratulated the employees. "I would like to congratulate you for the Police Day and thank you for your work. I wish you a happy celebration and great success with your efforts. To those of you currently on duty in Slovenia or abroad, I wish peaceful and safe performance of duties. Being a police officer is an honour, a mission and an oath. Thank you, good luck, Slovenian Police and good luck, Slovenia!"

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The most dedicated officers receive highest police awards

The Police Day is also the occasion to thank the most dedicated and deserving employees for their efforts and contribution to the success of our big family by awarding the highest police awards. The large shield of the police with a bronze star is awarded for significant contributions to the achievements in spreading the safety culture or the increasing and development of safety.

This year the award was handed to ten recipients: Vladimir Pocek, Matjaž Leskovar, Dušan Jeromel, Tomaž Brezic, Marjan Ferk, Damjan Žagar, Niko Kolar, Darko Nerat, Milan Vrabl in Evgen Govekar.

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The Training Centre in Gotenica Renamed

One of the highlights of the celebration included the change of the name of one of the essential training centres of Slovenian police, where officers receive training and upgrade skills. The Training Centre Gotenica was solemnly renamed into the Vinko Breznik Training Centre in Gotenica. We were reminded of Vinko Breznik's contribution to Slovenian Police and the reasons for naming the training centre after him. More than the "heart and soul" and the commander of the Special unit, Vinko Breznik was one of the key men in the field of operations during the gaining of independence and the war for Slovenia, who never glorified his role. He was a man of duty and honour, of courage and rational sense. The police now proudly honoured his memory by adding his name to the official name of the training centre.

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Uplifting performances delight the audience

The celebration was directed by Tomaž Letnar, who chose to enliven the celebration with attractive music and dance performances. Professional actors Tadej Pišek and Klara Kastelec once again proved themselves as excellent moderators, while the Police orchestra performed carefully selected pieces of music, including a collaboration with vocalists Gregor Ravnik and Štefica Grasseli. The stage was also taken by dancers, who performed a choreography by the renowned Miha Krušič.

Police present their activities to the public ahead of the celebration

The Police day was also an opportunity to present police work to the public. The police serve the people and it is thanks them that police are who we are. Several aspects of policing, including the most interesting activities, police equipment and service vehicles and animals were presented to the public on the main square in Portorož ahead of the celebration.

Officers of the Special unit, police bodyguards, police service dog handlers and mounted police officers and their four-legged assistants, a police officer riding a motorcycle, a criminal investigator, a neighbourhood police chief and others presented their work to the passers-by. Watch the video here.

Tributes paid to the officers, who lost their lives in service

In the morning hours, a delegation of the Ministry of the Interior, the Police and the Association of police veterans organisations Sever, led by the Minister of the Interior Boštjan Poklukar, laid wreaths on to commemorative locations - the Park of remembrance in Tacen and the Monument to the victims of the 1991 war for Slovenia in Nove Žale, Ljubljana, paying tribute to the police officers, who lost their lives in the 1991 war for Slovenia and the officers, who died performing police service and duties after 1991.