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Pre-deployment training of police officers for work in international peacekeeping missions has been concluded with the awarding of certificates to the participants on 29 October 2010 in the Police Training Centre in Gotenica.

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Certificates of successfully completed training were awarded to the police officers by training leader Aleš Grudnik and head of International Police Operations Division Vladimir Pocek.

In his welcome address to the future peacekeepers, Vladimir Pocek among other said: "On the path of peacekeeping, you will follow up on very demanding and successful work of your forerunners. You have an obligation ahead of you and you need to fulfil it for all the people who need your assistance and are counting on it. Use all the knowledge that you have acquired and upgrade it with your own experience. In performing your work, be professional and respect the humanitarian law while being guided by ethical principles in times of uncertainty."


Aleš Grudnik

Aleš Grudnik thanked them for their work and effort in the difficult days of training and added: "I am convinced that in situations you find yourselves in you will be able to use the content offered to you, including the rich experience and knowledge from the missions provided by the trainers. Please be aware that the nature of work in international peacekeeping missions requires, in addition to a high level of professional qualifications, total commitment and a great deal of resourcefulness."

They wished them every success and a happy return.

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The three-week training course was successfully completed by four female officers and 12 male officers of the Slovenian Police, two members of the 17th battalion of the military police, two representatives of the Serbian police and one representative of the Bosnian and Montenegrin police respectively. They had been trained by representatives of various units of the Slovenian Police as well as experts of other ministries and NGOs. Representatives of foreign law enforcement agencies were involved as trainers as well, coming from Swedish, French, Austrian, Slovakian, Croatian and Serbian police, with one representative each.


Foreign trainers: Željko Jović from Serbian, Cecilia Landin from Swedish, Juraj Smolek from Slovakian and Christian Schramm from Austrian police. The representatives of the Croatian and French police were unable to attend the final ceremony due to other obligations.

Cecilia Landin from the Swedish police arrived some days before the course and helped the Slovenian training leaders and trainers with the last preparations for "classes". She says that what she will remember the most from the entire training will be the friendly atmosphere among all the participants.


Audio recording of Cecilia Landin's statement  (mp3) 

According to Christian Schramm from the Austrian police, such training is very specific and is difficult, if not impossible, to compare with other police-related courses. He added that it is very nice to observe how a group is growing and making progress. He also mentioned that other police officers would not understand the strength and spirit of such a group whose members have overcome the obstacles together and successfully completed the training.


Audio recording of Christian Schramm's statement  (mp3) 

One of the trainers was also Juraj Smolek from the Slovak police, who arrived in Slovenia following a similar training course in Slovakia. During the three weeks of the Slovenian training for deployment in international peacekeeping missions he took note of individual elements that could improve the Slovakian training. He is wishing and already planning for Slovenian trainers to assist in the training of Slovakian police peacekeepers in the near future.


Audio recording of Juraj Smolek's statement  (mp3) 

The Serbian police do not have such training and so far have not had any police officers trained for deployment in such missions. The representative of the Serbian police Željko Jović observed that it is clear from the organisation of the course, its contents and the discussions that the Slovenian police have rich experience in international peacekeeping missions and can transfer an enormous amount of knowledge to others, which they have done during this particular training course. The participants have acquired all the necessary basic knowledge for deployment in missions while the rest is of course up to practice.


Audio recording of Željko Jović's statement  (mp3) 

In the first two weeks the participants have mostly acquired theoretical knowledge with some practice such as the use of radio connections, orientation in nature, giving of first aid, driving skills, shooting, work with a helicopter, practical demonstration of mine-explosive devices... During the last week they exercised various possible real-life scenarios such as kidnapping.

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The training was conducted by Aleš Grudnik from the International Police Operations Division (second from right), with the assistance of Grega Novak (second from left) from the Police Training Centre in Gotenica and Robert Kerep from the Security and Protection Centre.

One of the participants of the training course was Aleksander Bračko, who for the last nine years has been meeting and working with persons illegally crossing the state border on a daily basis. He has participated in the training also in order to see the situation for himself and learn about the migrants' life stories.


Aleksander Bračko

Stella Straus, who works in education and training of the police, became a "student" herself this time. She said that the decision to take part in the training was a special challenge in itself. She had expected strenuous training and is now wishing to connect her own professional career with the newly acquired knowledge and transfer it to the international area.


Stella Straus

For Ognjen Crnogorac, police officer from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska, this training course has been a great experience. There is no similar course like that in Bosnia and Herzegovina and he is one of the rare Bosnian officers to have completed such a course. He believes that all the acquired knowledge will be instrumental in his further work.


Ognjen Crnogorac

The Montenegrin police force was represented by Dragiša Simićević. With regard to the fact that in their police force only a few officers have been trained for deployment in missions, there is a great probability that he will soon be deployed on one of the missions himself. While before the arrival he had had various doubts about the nearly one-month stay and training abroad, he is now returning home from Slovenia greatly impressed with the people and the organisation of the training.


Dragiša Simićević

Aleksandar Ilić, a member of the Serbian police, was also impressed with everything and thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this training.


Aleksandar Ilić