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On the occasion of the Police Day, a central ceremony was held today, 24 June 2009, at the Police Academy in Tacen to honour their convincing determination to protect the country and its people. The official speaker was president of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr Danilo Turk; the participants were also addressed by Ms Katarina Kresal, Minister of the Interior, and Janko Goršek, Acting Director General of the Police.

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Besides the representatives of the Police and the Ministry of the Interior, the ceremony was attended by Pavel Gantar, president of the Slovenian Parliament, Blaž Kavčič, president of the National Council, Ms Zdenka Čebašek Tranvik, human rights ombudsman, retired officers of the MI and Police, member of the Sever Association and some members of the Parliament and representatives of the Government.

The ceremony was also attended by the Head of the Main police administration of Zala county, Dr János Tiborcz, Austrian Police Attaché Thomas Pepper, Italian Police Attaché Gianni Baldi, Deputy Main Principal of the Croatian Police Milijan Brkić, and Head of the Croatian Border Police Administration Nikola Milina.

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The event was moderated by Anja Tomažin Križnik.

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The gathering was addressed, in the role of official speaker, by President of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr Danilo Türk: "I think that it is appropriate that on the today's festive occasion we also remember the operation North, by which the Slovenian police prevented the so-called 'meeting of truth' in Ljubljana at the end of the year 1989, ensured safety and political stability and gave people self-confidence and trust in the ability of the Slovenian state authorities to protect human rights and the establishment of democracy in our country, Thanks to all  these credits and victims we live today in a modern, democratic European state governed by the rule of law. In a state in which the role of the police is primarily in ensuring and protecting its fundamental values; among them perhaps the most important ones: justice, equality and safety. These values are not created automatically, they are created by our constant efforts.  Hard work, seriousness, determination and adherence to principles are necessary. That is why the work of the police in the establishment and maintenance of these values is so important. It will not be possible to achieve justice without care; equality without the feeling for people; and safety without timely actions. This work of the police is far from being simple. It means long hours of efforts, strain and requires professional knowledge. Protection of these values in ensured by each carefully prepared police operation, each night passed in the field, every risking of one's own health and life in order to ensure that we, the citizens, can sleep peacefully. ''

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Katarina Kresal, the Minister of the Interior, said in her speech: "The figure of a police officer is distinguished and governed by several properties - among the most noticeable ones are by all means a high standard of personal moral principles, the sense of responsibility toward the community and fellow human beings, and professional competences  to carry out the work. Law and ethics are therefore part of the social role and mission of the police officer."

"Legal security and professional support to police officers must therefore be part of the leadership ethics in the police. Your demanding and important work deserves, of course, much more. It deserves, above all, appropriate moral and material valuation, quality assets for your work and general efforts for your professional satisfaction that builds the feeling of belonging to the organisation", added the minister Katarina Kresal.

The members of the authorities for internal affairs cooperated in the protection of the processes of gaining independence of the Republic of Slovenia from the very beginning. The beginnings date back to the year 1989, when on 1 December the police prevented the so-called meeting of truth and spreading of the 'yoghurt revolution'. The end of the process represents the departure of the last member of the Federal Army from our territory on 26 October 1991. To mark the event in the year 1991, when the police officers fought the Yugoslav Army at the Homec border crossing, Slovenian officers have chosen 27thJune as our holiday, the Police Day.

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Janko Goršek, Acting Director General of the Police, said at the central ceremony that "each democratic society builds its progress on the spreading of human rights and freedoms, while at the same time it is committed to enhanced enforcement and protection of the values on which it is founded. The mission of the police remains the same - to take care of the safety of citizens; however, social development imposes new obligations, increases the scope of work and burdens on police officers in the field. The duty of our profession requires from us that despite these demands we perform our work in accordance with law and professionally, and above all with a large amount of humanity. This is sometimes more difficult than we would desire. Especially in case of the heavy loads to which police officers in the field are subjected."

He also talked about the difficulties faced by the police at this moment: "Staff shortages in the police, in particular in the interior of the country, are issues that cannot be solved overnight. Many police stations have problems with shortage of space. Many our co-workers begin their workday in poor working conditions. In addition to solving spatial problems it would also be necessary to modernise equipment used by police officers and provide them with uniforms of better quality. I wish I had a magic stick and could instantly solve all problems. Unfortunately, this is not possible. The consequences of intensive economic changes can be seen in all spheres of social life. Also in the work of the police. But as the proverb says: a journey of thousand miles begins with the first step."

He also added that we must identify problems in time and talk about them openly, while at the same it is also important that we notice what is good and commend it without embarrassment. "Lately, Slovenian officers have achieved quite a few extraordinary successes in all work fields. The trend of the degree of already investigated criminal acts, in particular economic crimes, is on the rise. In the last few months, numerous comprehensive investigations of graver forms of crime acts were concluded, resulting in uncovering numerous criminal associations and seizure of larger quantities of illegal drugs and explosives. By our presence on the roads, numerous preventive activities and efficient application of the Road Traffic Safety Act, we contribute to better traffic safety. Visible are also successes of efficient protection of the external Schengen border. Such work results instil us with optimism", added Goršek.

"In order to work as well as possible and ensure a safe future of our citizens, we must first create optimal work conditions, in which there will prevail carefully thought over dialogue, mutual respect and trust among workers.  Legality, professionality and respect for human rights and freedoms must remain the basic standards of our work. However, I wish that in our work we do not forget kind words and genuine smiles, and shall always wear the police uniform with pride, responsibility and open heart", added Goršek.

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On the occasion of the Police Day, numerous ceremonies take place also in police units, where officers receive many recognitions for spreading the culture of safety and for the merits and contributions to the development and strengthening of safety. Today, 187 commemorative badges were given at Tacen to the XXI. Generation of the Police Cadet School who completed their education in the emergency situation in June 1991. After being deprived of 6-months traineeship due to the emergency situation, they then included themselves as young police officers directly after completing their studies into the work at police stations in all Slovenia.

At the central ceremony, the minister of the interior and the acting director general of the police awarded also the highest recognitions of the Police. In accordance with the Rules on Recognitions there were awarded a large shield of the police with a golden star, a large police shield with a bronze star and the golden badge of the police for collaboration.

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Katarina Kresal, the Minister of the Interior, Aleksander Regent, the receiver of the large shield of the police with the golden star, and Janko Goršek, Acting Deputy General Director.

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The Police Orchestra and the rapper Zlatko from Fužine with the Group Optimisti performed in the cultural programme.

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