IPA Newsletter March 2021 - Word of introduction

03 Mar 2021

In 2020, we said goodbye to predictability. Now more than ever, the IPA can only thrive if we focus on a seamless end-to-end experience. The key to success is to make every interaction with members matter, by ensuring every moment throughout a member’s journey is flawless. I will not go into detail how delivering outstanding seamless experiences will bring you closer to your members, or highlight the latest innovations made to help sections be successful. I know you all work hard to deliver online solutions such as webinars, themed meetings and board meetings.

Throughout 2020, the IPA had to innovate and find solutions to some of the challenges which arose due to a lack of possibilities to meet in more traditional ways. One of the main tasks initially was to use technology efficiently to reach our members, and to reduce the impact of social distancing.

The role of secretary general, in sections and on the international level, has seen a noteworthy change during the past year. The approach to ensure safety and security has been applied more consistently across the IPA, at work and in our personal lives. We have adjusted our working environments and made a collective effort to respond to Covid-19, and have altered our approach to risk and how personal safety solutions are specified. There has been a transition of work methods that most likely has had a direct impact on many board members – regional, national and international. I know that major decisions need to be made in our day-to-day work; however, the best decision is to join the IPA, and to be part of a network with experience and a strong will to continue the aim of our association.

Listening to all IPA members and their needs is crucial, as we are from across the globe, and the IEB composition is more “European” in the set-up decided by the delegates of the World Congress 2019. As every member of the IEB, except the President, I am assigned liaison sections, however as Secretary General, I have the privilege of serving all sections. I am therefore incredibly happy to be in contact with sections on all continents. Global diversity needs to be reflected in the IPA when we ask someone to become involved. Local events and gatherings are an opportunity for members to broaden their way of thinking and expand their network, and I would like to see branch and regional volunteers as a powerful and sustainable network, when we tirelessly endeavour to make the IPA attractive to join.

One of the responsibilities of the Secretary General is the development of Foreign Associate Membership (FAM) and new IPA sections, and I am therefore dealing with numerous requests from police officers serving in countries without an IPA section, who are interested in becoming members.

The largest number of FAM requests comes from Africa and Asia, closely followed by South America. I provide advice and liaise with neighbouring IPA sections, and my grateful thank-you goes to all sections who accept FAM’s in accordance with their national statutes. Hopefully the numbers in these countries will grow, and within a suitable time, new sections can be added to our association. The Dominican Republic, supported by IPA Spain, and Trinidad & Tobago, supported by IPA USA, are the next countries in the pipeline, and without the pandemic, both of them would by now be able to call themselves “Section in Foundation”. We are waiting for better times, and I am looking forward to the day we can invite the members to the Founding Meeting together with their sponsor sections.

The impact of Covid-19 and the new normal means that our focus is on health and safety before we start our daily business. The year 2021 offers a light at the end of the tunnel, with vaccines arriving, although it will take a while for us all to be immunised. We need to be patient and ensure our friendship flourishes in the cyber world.

What we know of today, is learned from history, and will be of good use in our future efforts. In friendship, I wish you health, happiness and safety.

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