Nowadays, international police cooperation in Europe plays an important role in the prevention, detection and investigation of many crimes, especially crimes that are related to the organized ones. Current activities of various international police organizations associated mostly with issues of public safety and terrorism, organized crime, illicit drug production and trafficking, arms smuggling, human trafficking, money laundering, financial and high tech crime and corruption.
International police cooperation should be viewed as one of the components of the states’ interaction in the fight against crime, which itself is an important part of international relations. Therefore, there is a need to study the problem of organizing international police cooperation in training of personnel.
Thus, this paper introduces the information on international police cooperation in Europe. It presents, discusses and explores the question how traditional management principles, roles, and skills affected by Koch’s proposals for international police cooperation in Europe.
Observing this theme, it is possible to say that international police cooperation is an independent activity, which is a system of international relations between the states, regulated by a set of legal norms of international law and national laws to control crime through law enforcement, including the substantial, legal, informational, methodological aspects at the strategic, tactical and operational levels.
Training of highly qualified personnel of police officers is the most important area of any state activity that ensures the implementation of law enforcement functions. Therefore, training of police officers is a priority for many countries all over the world.
The need for international cooperation in police training is due to several factors. Firstly, there is a need to teach police officers to deal with crimes of an international character and work in close international cooperation in the fight against crime. Today’s police need to know foreign languages, especially the legal systems of different countries, the foundations of international law.
Secondly, many countries need to reform and improve their national police training. When the state participates in international cooperation in police training, it has such a good opportunity to share information about new methods of teaching, and consequently, use them in order to train police officers, receive assistance from other countries and international organizations in training, as well as mutually improve modern techniques and tactics to combat crime. Thirdly, the issue of human rights in policing is gaining more and more international importance.
Due to the growing globalization of economic relations, global markets, police work and of course crime, people often have to act in different intercultural situations. That is why it is necessary to increase intercultural human resource management in order to improve international and cross-border police cooperation.
Supporting this point of view, Koch (1996) emphasized that “…in order to fight the international, organized crime, we badly need to increase the effectiveness of police cooperation in Europe” (Intercultural aspects of police cooperation section, para. 5).
Therefore, one of the main functions of policing is aimed at cooperating not only domestically, but also internationally “as law enforcement institutions engage in a variety of international activities and have forged international cooperative structures and organizations that aim to foster collaboration in the fight against crimes that are of an international nature” (Deflem, 2006, p. 241).
Talking about traditional management principles, roles, and skills affected by Koch’s proposals for international police cooperation, it is possible to say that intercultural human resource management would be effective and useful in implementing and coordinating various methods and abilities with the purpose of improving international cooperation.
In addition, it is important to build the personal relationships between policemen from different corners of our world with the help of training coped with common motivations and values.
Culture-conscious police management is aimed at improving own various strategies with the help of intercultural cooperation. Thus, it is really necessary for policemen to get to know their associates from different countries and intimately cooperate with them. Joint international training will help to prepare skilled police officers for international cooperation in Europe. The police officers learn and get to know foreign languages, especially some professional terms. They study the legal norms and regulations of police from different countries. Another important strategy is to present and get to know about different new and up-to-date technologies.
According to Balzer (1996), “Other forms of transnational police cooperation, less commonly recognized but potentially as important, include the sharing of law enforcement expertise, technology, and resources, the exchange of cultural information and philosophy…” (Specific needs for cooperation section, para. 2). Moreover, the main organizational forms of international cooperation in police training are the seminars and conferences on topical issues of police training, the establishment of special programs for the training of practitioners, the implementation of new technologies in the fight against crime, and the publication of educational literature.
In addition to the above-stated information, it is possible to add that the forms of cooperation, such as task forces, investigation and bilateral groups should be established in order to strengthen the personal interaction between policemen with different cultural features from different corners of our world.
Thus, effective international cooperation is possible only by joint efforts of the states and their police departments and international organizations, taking into account the specificities of national systems of training and in accordance with the principles and norms of international laws.
Taking the above-mentioned information into consideration, it is possible to draw a conclusion that changes in the performance of police functions associated with the internationalization of police tasks require new and better training of employees in many areas. Only a police officer with excellent preparations, meeting the modern requirements, will be able to execute the tasks. An effective system of police training gives more than just knowledge of how to perform the police functions. It ensures some understanding of police officers’ powers and their professional role in society, which requires the execution of this role in accordance with the high standards.
At present time, it is possible to speak about an urgent need to intensify and expand international cooperation in police training due to the integration processes, the development of international cooperation to combat crime, and the need to standardize police training. It will be able to lay the foundation for future direct effective police cooperation of various countries through the integration of curricula and programs, joint seminars and practical courses, research, internships, and study abroad programs.
International cooperation in the field of police training has an important function of international exchange of knowledge and experience. It provides an opportunity to invent own methods of learning, to compare or to borrow these or other new methods and technologies of training used by other countries, and thereby, to improve police training.
Balzer, A. J. (1996). International police cooperation: opportunities and obstacles. Retrieved July 28, 2011, from https://www.ncjrs.gov/policing/int63.htm
Deflem, M. (2006). Global Rule of Law or Global Rule of Law Enforcement? International Police Cooperation and Counterterrorism. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 603, 240-251.
Koch, U. (1996). Intercultural human resource management for police cooperation in Europe. Retrieved July 28, 2011, from https://www.ncjrs.gov/policing/inter103.htm
McDonald, W. F. (Ed.). (1997). Crime and Law Enforcement in the Global Village. Cincinnati, OH: Anderson Publishers.
This conception requires an analysis of the mutuality and the differences of the cultural influences that shape the domain of the interior security in the respective countries. Thus, the possibilities, the deficiencies and the required reach of a training of security officers for the international cooperation become discernible. On these grounds, we can develop management concepts that render compatible different organizational structures and patterns of behavior as well as diverging strategic conceptions. An intercultural human resource management for police cooperation tries to apprehend, develop and coordinate the existing capacities and the applied methods in order to improve cross-border cooperation. Of course, the practical capacities for cooperation and mutual understanding must be improved by language and communication training. But this is only the basis.
Creating personal relationships between police officers from different countries by common training in combination with a strengthening and developing of shared values and motivations will in the long run lead to a set of commonly accepted forms of behavior in the application of law. A European police culture might emerge that guides the cooperation, but does not require the homogenization of national police cultures.