IPA Placement Programme between Ireland and Poland

26 Nov 2018

From 6-17 September 2018, two officers from Ireland’s An Garda Síochána, Grace Heffernan and Síobháín Ní Firbhisigh, visited Wrocław and Jelenia Góra, as part of the cooperation between IPA Section Ireland and IPA Lower Silesia. The delegation from Ireland began their stay with a visit to the Provincial Police Headquarters in Wrocław, where they learned about the history of the building, visited different departments, such as a Crime Lab and holding cells where they observed the work of the Polish police, and had the opportunity to meet the Provincial Chief of the Police, Chief Inspector Tomasz Trawiński.

During the following two days, a charity event for children suffering from cancer and sightseeing in the city of Wrocław, plus a chance to watch the International Mounted Police Championships, where Grace and Síobháín met with mounted officers from Poland and other countries, were on the programme.6

On day four, the Irish officers visited the Wrocław-Fabryczna Police Station, where they learned about the structure of the Police station and the work of the different departments. This was followed by a visit to the Polish Border Guard Station at Nicolas Copernicus Airport in Wrocław to observe the main tasks of the Border Guard.

During the fifth day of the visit, the national football teams of Poland and Ireland played a friendly match in Wrocław, and therefore both Irish police officers were able to observe the work of the Police Riot Division and the Anti-Terrorist Team preparing for securing a sports event. Later on, they watched the match and met the Deputy Chief of the City Police in Wrocław, Chief Commissioner Karol Pawłowski.

The following day, our guests from Ireland visited the City Police Headquarters in Wrocław, where they had the opportunity to watch and learn about the work of police officers from the Prevention and Patrol Department, the Forensic Department, and were able to see the equipment used. Both were interested in the use of cameras on uniforms, when patrolling the streets of Wroclaw, because this is not the case in the Irish Police. Furthermore, meeting with police technicians gave a chance to exchange experiences in the field of securing traces at crime scenes.

The second part of the placement programme involved five days in Jelenia Góra, where Grace and Síobháín got acquainted with the specifics of the mountain Police Stations in Karpacz. This included visits to the Wang Temple, Kowary with the Park of Miniature Monuments of Lower Silesia, Jelenia Góra with its historic old town and the charming Cieplice hot springs and the Norwegian Park. Each of these visits provided a chance to learn about the work of Polish police officers and get to know their equipment.

In their free time, our Irish guests were able to enjoy the picturesque sights of the Jelenia Góra Basin while hiking to the top of Śnieżka (5,259 ft.), Szrenica (4,469 ft.) and Śnieżne Kotły (3,855 ft.), and visiting the Kamieńczyk and Szklarka waterfalls. In addition, they visited the IPA Hall at the City Police Headquarters in Jelenia Góra.

There was also time for a meeting with members of the IPA Region Jelenia Góra, and while enjoying a meal at a campsite in Ścięgny, Grace and Síobháín talked about their work in Ireland. The outcome of our friends’ stay was not only a deeper knowledge of the Polish Police, but also integration, new friendships and contacts that will allow for more visits and meetings in the future.

A return visit of Polish officers to Ireland is planned for October 2018.

Sara Stanisz-Szachnowska and Michał Sługocki, IPA Poland