OBITUARY - IPA Cyprus bid a heartfelt Farewell to Michael Odysseos

09 May 2022

Dear IPA Friends,

It is with great sadness that I write, on behalf of the Cyprus Police Leadership, the entire police family and of course the International Police Association (IPA), our obituary for the former Assistant Chief of Police, former International President of the IPA and Honorary President of IPA Cyprus, Mr. Michalakis Odysseos.

Michalakis was a remarkable person, a great member of the Police Force and a worthy member of IPA Cyprus. He was born in Lemythou village on the 25th of October 1935 and graduated from the Mitsi School of Lemythos in June 1953.

mod4He was married to Chrystalla with whom he had 3 daughters: Androulla, Panagiota and Anthoulla and a son, Ioannis. His beloved daughters gave him 5 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren, whom he adored. Unfortunately, his only son passed away in 1992, at the age of just 33, to an incurable disease. He also had to say his final farewell to his beloved wife in 2013.

Michalakis Odysseos joined the Cyprus Police on the 4th of January 1954.

From the first years of his career, the particularly positive elements of his personality and character became apparent to all, distinguishing him from other colleagues. During his service he worked, among other roles, in rural police stations, in Limassol CID, in the Administration Department, as well as as Commander of the Port and Marine Police. Due to his qualities and achievements, he was appointed Commander of the Cyprus Police School.

He eventually rose to the rank of Assistant Chief of Police, a position from which he retired in March 1995. After retiring from the Police, he was appointed Advisor to the Minister of Justice and Public Order. Professionalism, dedication to the service, but above all, integrity, honesty and discipline are the characteristics that perfectly represented him.

The large family of the Police, as well as its Leadership came together at Michalakis’ funeral on 26 April 2022, to say their last farewells.

The IPA has always played a huge, perhaps a leading role in Michalakis’ life. His intervention in the foundation of the Cyprus Section of the IPA was decisive.

From 1985, and for almost 35 years, he was the President of IPA Cyprus. He was the first who, together with Michalakis Pachitis and Tassos Panagiotou, conceived the idea for the creation of the IPA in Cyprus, and the expansion of the institution within the Cyprus Police.

He shared with me how the IPA was created in Cyprus, when in 1982 he was Commander of the Port and Marine Police, and a ship arrived at the port of Limassol with German Police Officers, who told him that they were members of the IPA. From that moment he conceived the idea and initiated the procedure for the creation of the Cyprus Section of the IPA.

My beloved President, you have been my mentor in my IPA career both locally and internationally.mod5

As far as the international side of the IPA is concerned, Michalakis was initially elected as Internal Auditor and then served for two consecutive terms as the International Vice President from 1994 to 2000. His IPA career continued when he was elected International President in 2000 in England, a position he held for 12 years, after 4 consecutive international electoral contests. In 1986, he was honoured by the International Executive Committee and awarded the IPA Bronze Medal, while in 1993 he was awarded the Silver Medal and in 2012 at the IPA World Congress in Israel he was awarded the Gold Medal. This was also his last term.

Upon leaving the post of International President, he continued for another year to act as Advisor to the International Executive Board.

I will never forget the moment when you first chaired the World Congress in 2001 in Reno, Nevada, USA after your election as International President of the IPA in 2000 in the United Kingdom, representing the Cypriot Section along with Dimitrakis Georgiadis and the former Chief of Police, Tassos Panagiotou. We were extremely proud of what you had achieved, as a humble man from our small island was chairing a World Congress attended by 65 countries from all over the world.

Michalakis Odysseos identified his name with the International Police Association. The fact that your funeral was attended by the IPA President, Pierre-Martin Moulin, the Delegations of Greece with your friend Christos Kontakos, of Israel with your dear friends Gal Sharon and Eran Israel, of Great Britain and Scotland with Anne Sinclair, as well as the dozens of condolence messages that we received at Section Cyprus from delegations from all over the world, show the love, appreciation and recognition of the contribution of your work to the International Police Association.

Through this farewell obituary, we honour your contribution to both the Cyprus Police and the International Police Association, together with all your colleagues in the Police and the Association who were inspired by you. Your valuable legacy should be cherished and remembered.

Have a good trip, our dear President, your memory is eternal, and I wish that the Almighty God who wanted to take you near Him on Good Friday, will rest your soul in peace.

Demetris Demetriou, President IPA Cyprus