IPA Newsletter March 2020 - Word of introduction

04 Mar 2020

Treasured members of the IPA,

I would like to imagine that we all enjoy the thought of being part of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the IPA. There will be many iconic events throughout 2020. Many of these will take place in the birth section of the IPA, the United Kingdom.  Several times our thoughts will go back to Arthur Troop who in 1950 formed the IPA together with other police officers. A friendship association for police officers to facilitate cross-border understanding and to cherish world peace. A lot of time has passed since these early days, but I am happy to say that we still safeguard the same values and the same aims.

Sections have opened their doors for members from other professions within law enforcement. We should keep in mind that membership of the IPA is something you seek since we like to be part of something more than ‘just’ being a law enforcement officer. The IPA has got additional values. IPA members gain access to a multitude of things far beyond the basics that might be granted by our employer. The IPA offers social protection, cultural knowledge, professional exchange and seminars, friendship weeks, defensive tactics, travel, external relations, hobbies, sports, IPA accommodation, and so much more … however most importantly of all, it offers friendship.

Remember that friendship will only work if you safeguard the connection with recognition in return. Friendship can never be granted, but it can be offered and returned.

I used to like the word ‘acquainted’ in this respect, as many in the IPA just meet briefly. Social media brings many acquaintances to your attention, and we believe we know each other. I am able to keep contact with many IPA members, and I can meet many new ones online. These acquaintances will acquire a higher value the day you meet in person. Up until then, a distance will be between you. Friendship asks for a little bit more effort; small talk, laughs, and sorrows shared over time. Initially we meet on neutral ground, but over time in each other’s homes. Meeting eye to eye and spending time together will raise friendship to another level. This friendship will open doors and will remain despite distance, rank, gender or age. By understanding friendship, you will grow your respect for others and for the IPA’s values.

I encourage you all to participate in the iconic events, friendships weeks and weekends that will be on offer during this jubilee year. I know that if you open your hearts, you will make acquaintances, and some of these will turn into your future friends.   

In my role as Secretary General, I have the honour to guide police officers from countries all over the world that do not yet have an IPA Section in their country, on their options on becoming an IPA member. I am pleased to see their interest, and our good standing and reputation as an association. I am grateful that we have sections that accept Foreign Associate Members (FAMs). These sections are dedicated and make an effort to support police officers in other countries in establishing a new IPA section.

Our latest addition is just ahead when I write these lines: A Founding Meeting of IPA Albania will take place in Tirana, Albania at the end of February. A few years ago, IPA Serbia accepted the IEB request to act as sponsor section for FAMs from Albania. Years of promotion and support have borne fruit. I encourage more sections to volunteer and become supporting sections for our potential FAMs. Every new FAM in 2020 will be an IPA acquaintance and a future friend that joined during the IPA’s 70th anniversary year. Time to celebrate!

May-Britt V.R. Ronnebro, IPA Secretary General