promotion systems

Building the Police Service in a Security Vacuum: International Efforts in Kosovo, 1999-2011

Author
Morgan Greene, Jonathan (Yoni) Friedman and Richard Bennet
Focus Area(s)
Country of Reform
Abstract
In 1999, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) intervened to end a brutal war between the Kosovo Liberation Army on one side and the Yugoslav Army and Serb police on the other. After 78 days of air strikes over Kosovo and Serbia, Yugoslav forces officially disengaged from Kosovo on 20 June. The departure created a policing vacuum in a society that had deep ethnic divisions.  Kosovo’s Albanians attacked residents of Serb descent in retaliation for earlier ethnic violence.  Crime and looting spread while criminal gangs asserted control in lawless parts of the territory. Serb officers had vastly outnumbered Albanians in Kosovo’s police service and had taken their direction from Belgrade. As many Serbs fled and others refused to cooperate with Kosovan authorities, Kosovo lost its trained police and police infrastructure. To fill the void, the United Nations assumed executive authority over the territory.  Together with other international groups, the U.N. mission worked to establish and maintain law and order while organizing and training a Kosovo Police Service to assume gradual control. By 2008, the Kosovo police had become a professional force, securing law and order and developing one of the best reputations in the region. This case study offers an example of how a sustained effort by the international community can produce an effective police service in the wake of conflict.
 

Morgan Greene, Jonathan Friedman and Richard Bennet drafted this case study on the basis of interviews conducted in Priština and Mitrovica, Kosovo, in July 2011, as well as interviews conducted in Kosovo by Arthur Boutellis in July 2008. Case published February 2012.

Associated Interview(s):  Shantnu Chandrawat, Julie Fleming, Iver Frigaard, Oliver Janser, Reshat Maliqi, Muhamet Musliu, Robert Perito, Behar Selimi, Riza Shillova, Mustafa Resat Tekinbas

 

Doug Coates

Ref Batch
B
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
2
Critical Tasks
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Arthur Boutellis
Name
Doug Coates
Interviewee's Position
Superintendent
Interviewee's Organization
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Canadian
Town/City
Ottawa
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
Yes
Abstract

Doug Coates, the director of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police International Peace Operations program, recounts his experiences and lessons learned in building effective international and indigenous policing capacity.  Drawing on his experiences in Haiti from 1993 to 1995, where he served as a regional commander with the United Nations Mission to Haiti, Coates describes the challenges associated with the effective vetting, recruitment, and training of police services.  He notes that training and professionalizing local and national police forces, particularly in a country without a strong foundation in formal policing, necessitates taking into account the local context and community needs.  Coates also discusses the current efforts of the RCMP to develop a more rigorous predeployment international police-training program.  He stresses that support for police participation in international peace operations requires recognition of the fundamental linkages between domestic and international security concerns.  He argues that the international community “has to invest and invest for the long term” to strengthen police services to deal “with the challenges associated to maintaining law and order in the 21st century.”    

Profile

Doug Coates began his involvement in international policing in 1993 as a member of the United Nations advance team to the U.N. Mission to Haiti.  He then served as a regional commander in Haiti’s Grand'Anse region, where he was responsible for the development of policing services, training of the (at that time) interim security force, and maintenance of law and order throughout the region.  From 1996 to 2001, Coates managed the peacekeeping department of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, including the management of a mission in Haiti and the deployment of Canadian police to peacekeeping operations around the world.  He then served as the director of police programs and as chief operating officer to the Pearson Peacekeeping Center, a private, nongovernmental organization based in Ottawa; in that capacity, he was involved in the development and implementation of military police and civilian programming.  At the time of the interview, Coates served as the director of the RCMP’s International Peace Operations program.  His international experience in international policing included Haiti, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu; he also worked on police capacity-building programs in Africa.  Coates died in the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, where he was serving as the acting police commissioner for the U.N. Stabilization Mission.


Full Audio File Size
88 MB
Full Audio Title
Doug Coates - Full Interview

Keith Biddle

Ref Batch
A
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
4
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Gordon Peake
Name
Keith Biddle
Interviewee's Position
Retired
Interviewee's Organization
British police
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
English
Town/City
Cheshire, Manchester
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

Retired British police officer Keith Biddle recounts lessons learned from working on police reform programs in diverse contexts, including in Sierra Leone, where he headed the police force from 1999 to 2004, and in Somalia, South Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Biddle discusses the challenges of effective information gathering in police force vetting and recruitment. He emphasizes that recruitment is a community- and school-based process that should not be rushed. He goes on to discuss his experience in Sierra Leone in determining whether to recruit rebels into the police force and describes the types of challenges countries have faced in building more professional and meritocratic police forces. Next, Biddle discusses the importance of effective organizational structures to lead the police and cautions that efforts to recruit new talent may be futile to the extent that new officers enter a corrupt structure with the “wrong ethos.” Training programs, he states, should be developed in-house, with regard to context and existing skills, knowledge, and staff capacity, and include topics such as human rights, anti-corruption, and enforcement standards. Effectively combating corruption, Biddle posits, requires making the police vocation “valuable” in terms of reputation and fringe benefits. Ultimately, Biddle notes, police reform is “part of good governance” and must receive support from the highest levels of government. While police reform may be costly, he concludes, post-conflict countries cannot be expected to more forward without sustainable and effective police forces.    

Case Study:  Building Strategic Capacity in the Police: Sierra Leone, 1998-2008

Profile

At the time of this interview, Keith Biddle was a consultant on police reform efforts in Africa and a retired officer of the British police. He became involved in international police reform in 1994 as a member of the British police force, in which capacity he served as deputy assistant commissioner in the Metropolitan Police and later as assistant inspector of the Constabulary in the Home Office. In 1994, he became the policing adviser to South Africa’s Independent Electoral Commission in advance of Nelson Mandela’s election. Following his work in South Africa, Biddle began to work with the U.K. Department for International Development on issues involving police reform, including in Indonesia, Ethiopia, Namibia and South Africa. Between 1999 and 2004, while working with the United Nations under DFID, Biddle headed the police force in Sierra Leone. He subsequently worked on police reform projects in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia, and continued to be involved in police reform efforts in Africa.

Full Audio File Size
178 MB
Full Audio Title
Keith Biddle Interview

Benjamin Cestoni

Ref Batch
M
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
2
Critical Tasks
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Flor Hunt
Name
Benjamin Cestoni
Interviewee's Position
Acting Director
Interviewee's Organization
National Academy for Public Security, El Salvador
Language
Spanish
Nationality of Interviewee
El Salvadoran
Town/City
San Salvador
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

Benjamin Cestoni describes the recruitment procedures employed by El Salvador's National Academy for Public Security.  Every three months, the process begins with a national recruitment announcement, a sequence of five qualifying exams that apply appropriate standards for both male and female potential cadets, personal interviews, and a vetting process that involves background checks within the recruits’ communities.  Cestoni identifies the financial burden associated with foregoing salaried employment while at the academy as a challenge for both recruitment and completion of training.  The effectiveness of each recruitment round depends on the agricultural seasons, and there is a high drop-out rate due to cadets finding paid employment.  The main incentive to join the academy is the prospect of long-term job stability, but Cestoni says the promotion system must be improved.  He underscores the success of recruitment of women, whose enrollment increased from 4% to 7%.  He identifies areas of present and potential coordination with the National Civil Police.  First, a recent curricular shift at the academy favors hands-on, skill-intensive training over theoretical instruction, which necessitates the cooperation of the police.  Second, there is constant feedback between the two institutions, so that training workshops are developed in response to the needs of acting officers.  This process resulted in great improvement in the area of investigations.  Nonetheless, Cestoni points to a need for coordinated follow-up on students after graduation, to consolidate assessment of each officer’s career progress.  Cestoni attributes academy modernization to the support offered by the international community, especially from Spain, France and the United States.  His most important suggestion for cost-efficient cooperation is for donors to emphasize deployment of trainers to the host country over inviting trainees to donor countries.

Profile

At the time of this interview, Benjamin Cestoni was the acting director of the National Academy for Public Security in El Salvador, a position he had held since 2006.  A lawyer by training, he worked at the Attorney General’s Office for 12 years and was appointed as the executive director of the Commission for Human Rights under President Álvaro Magaña in 1982.  He subsequently served as the presidential commissioner for human eights during the administrations of presidents José Napoleón Duarte and Alfredo Cristiani.  His political career began when he was appointed as President Armando Calderón’s personal secretary.  Cestoni was then elected as deputy to the Central American Parliament, and served as minister of transportation.

Full Audio File Size
79 MB
Full Audio Title
Benjamin Cestoni Interview

José Hugo Granadino Mejía

Ref Batch
M
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
7
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Flor Hunt
Name
José Hugo Granadino Mejía
Interviewee's Position
Chief, Professional Training Unit
Interviewee's Organization
National Police of El Salvador
Language
Spanish
Nationality of Interviewee
El Salvadoran
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract
José Hugo Granadino Mejía begins by describing the process of integrating various factions into the police, and he recounts fears (that never materialized) that members of formerly opposing sides would kill each other. He gives details about the curriculum used during police training at the academy, about the entry quota system and about the academic degree requirements for new recruits. He describes in detail the promotion system within the police force and the way in which the police incorporated new ideas and procedures. Relations with donor countries are also discussed, and he gives great importance to the financial and technical support that the police force received from the international community.
Profile

At the time of this interview, José Hugo Granadino Mejía was chief of the professional training unit of the National Police of El Salvador. A lawyer and notary, he in 1993 became one of the first professors at the National Academy of Public Security (Academia Nacional de Seguridad Pública), an institution separate from the National Police. He also served as director of study and later as director general of the academy, and he worked as a professor of law at the Universidad de El Salvador for 25 years and at the Universidad Tecnológica de El Salvador.

Full Audio File Size
117MB
Full Audio Title
Jose Granadino Mejía Interview (Spanish)

José Humberto Posada Sánchez

Ref Batch
M
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
8
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Flor Hunt
Name
José Humberto Posada Sánchez
Interviewee's Position
Legal Adviser to the Office of General Management
Interviewee's Organization
National Police of El Salvador
Language
Spanish
Nationality of Interviewee
El Salvadoran
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract
José Humberto Posada Sánchez begins by describing his work with police legislation in El Salvador and the internal structure of the National Police of El Salvador (Policía Nacional Civil), its rank and promotion system and the initial quota system.  He talks about the demilitarization of the police force and the creation and integration of the new civil police force.  He also discusses crime prevention and investigation, policing and human rights, problems of funding and the role of donor countries in training with community policing.  Efforts taken to reduce corruption, internal divisions and police brutality are also referenced.
Profile

At the time of this interview, José Humberto Posada Sánchez was the legal adviser to the Office of General Management of the National Police of El Salvador (Policía Nacional Civil).  This post involved providing legal counsel, writing legislation and  implementing national legislation into the internal policy of the national police.  He previously served as a member of Congress, ambassador to Guatemala, member of the Central American Parliament and adviser to the vice minister of citizen security after the Sub-Department for Citizen Security was created in 2002.  He also worked on the Ley Orgánica de la Polícia Nacional Civil of 2002, national legislation that sought to strengthen the police force.

Full Audio File Size
114.8MB
Full Audio Title
Jose Posada Sanchez

Oliver Janser

Ref Batch
L
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
8
Critical Tasks
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Arthur Boutellis
Name
Oliver Janser
Interviewee's Position
Acting Deputy Director of Public Safety
Interviewee's Organization
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe mission in Kosovo
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
German
Place (Building/Street)
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe offices
Town/City
Pristina, Republic of Kosovo
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

Oliver Janser describes how the international community concentrated heavily on building a police service in Kosovo and on training police at the Vushtrri training facility. He gives a detailed description of the training curriculum, including the conflicts between U.S. and European Union norms. In addition to the complex political situation, he cites problems involving the public’s lack of trust in the police force, with the recruitment/appointment process of Kosovo Police Service officers, and with the lack of an initial exit strategy. He expresses concerns about the transition between the United Nations Interim Administration Mission and the EU's Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo, and explains some of the differences between the international organizations present there.

Case Study: Building the Police Service in a Security Vacuum: International Efforts in Kosovo, 1999-2011

Profile

At the time of this interview, Oliver Janser was the acting deputy director of public safety at the Kosovo mission of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, a post that he had held since January 2008. He previously served for 17 years in the German Federal Police as a counselor. His first mission as a U.N. Police officer was in Kosovo in 2001-02, where he started in the airport and later became the chief of the bicycle unit. He earned a master’s degree in risk/disaster management and peacekeeping, and joined the OSCE in Kosovo in 2002, where he started as an instructor for the tactical unit at the Kosovo Police Service training school, teaching defense tactics.

Full Audio File Size
71MB
Full Audio Title
Oliver Janser Interview

Ulrich Schiefelbein

Ref Batch
J
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
16
Critical Tasks
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Arthur Boutellis
Name
Ulrich Schiefelbein
Interviewee's Position
National Police Administration Advisory Team Leader
Interviewee's Organization
United Nations Mission in Liberia
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
German
Place (Building/Street)
Pan African Plaza
Town/City
Monrovia
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract
Ulrich Schiefelbein, the Liberian national police administration advisory team leader, talks about the objective of the United Nations Mission in Liberia, which was mainly to keep peace and to reconstruct the national police force. He identifies the challenges the Liberian police faced, including lack of proper documentation, logistical problems, limited infrastructure, lack of policing skills, financial difficulties that hindered the proper payment of the officers, corruption due to inadequate supervision and lack of public confidence in the local police. Schiefelbein explains how the U.N. police began to train the Liberian police, conduct a police census while working with the local officers, install a personnel data filing system to help curb payroll problems and create shared computer resources to ensure continuity of work between officers working different shifts. He also recommends community policing and setting a priority in the installation of communication channels as part of the process of professionalizing the Liberian police force.
 
Profile
At the time of this interview, Ulrich Schiefelbein was working with the United Nations Police in the mission in Liberia as the national police administration advisory team leader. He began his police career in Germany. He served as a patrol officer, deputy chief of the Drug Investigation Unit and as the chief of the Administration Unit. In 1997 and 1998, Schiefelbein participated in two U.N. missions in Bosnia. 
Full Audio File Size
45MB
Full Audio Title
Ulrich Schiefelbein Interview

Ezekiel Asamoah

Ref Batch
I
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
4
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Itumeleng Makgetla
Name
Ezekiel Asamoah
Interviewee's Position
Commissioner
Interviewee's Organization
Value Added Tax Service
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Ghanaian
Town/City
Accra
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract
Ezekiel Asamoah, the first commissioner of Ghana's Value Added Tax Service, discusses the development of the service and details his experience from the time the tax was introduced in 1993. He explains the factors that discouraged the successful implementation of the tax, including staffing problems, a rise in the tax rate from what was expected by the public, insufficient time to educate both taxpayers and tax collectors on what the tax entailed, a poorly structured education campaign, institutional rivalry that hindered cooperation with other revenue institutions, and resistance from political opponents who mobilized the public to oppose the plan. Due to these problems, the tax was withdrawn. Asamoah describes how the project team later prepared to re-implement the tax and how an oversight committee was expanded to include representatives of interested groups, thus curbing political divisions. The success of the second effort to introduce the tax, Asamoah notes, reflected adequate time and resources for planning, recruiting, training and educating the public. In addition, the tax rate was lowered, thus making it more attractive and acceptable. In describing how to build an effective tax service, Asamoah points out the importance of having properly motivated workers and promoting work independence while putting in a system of checks and balances to prevent misuse of power, reviewing tax laws and procedures and changing them when necessary to promote efficiency.
Profile

At the time of this interview, Ezekiel Asamoah was an associate consultant with Asamoah Tax Consultancy Services in Accra, Ghana. He joined the International Revenue Service in 1964 as a tax officer, and he later rose from the ranks to become the deputy commissioner in 1987. In 1993, he moved to the Value Added Tax project office, became the director and worked to establish the service in 1998. He became the acting commissioner, and later rose from the ranks to the position of commissioner in 2000. He retired from the service in 2001.

Full Audio File Size
81 MB
Full Audio Title
Ezekiel Asamoah - Full Interview

Ekaterine Tkeshelashvili

Ref Batch
Q
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
8
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Matthew Devlin
Name
Ekaterine Tkeshelashvili
Interviewee's Position
International Security Adviser
Interviewee's Organization
National Security Council, Republic of Georgia
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Georgian
Town/City
Tbilisi
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract
Eka Tkeshelashvili describes police reforms in Georgia. Shortly after it assumed power, the reform government fired the entire traffic police force because of rampant corruption.  Few serious consequences flowed from this decision, though some of those discharged may have joined criminal groups.  She says that the high level of organized crime and paramilitary activity that afflicted Georgia in the early 1990s was more or less under control. In rebuilding the police force, she says, the government recruited candidates with the proper credentials and training, and pay levels were increased significantly. The Police Academy was equipped with more up-to-date facilities and curricula. Prison facilities were reformed and human rights for prisoners gained improved protection.  Police management was decentralized.  External oversight of police activity and of the prisons was improved, and the public was given new ways to report and comment on police performance.
 
Profile
At the time of this interview, Eka Tkeshelashvili was the international security adviser to Georgia's National Security Council. For the last half of 2008, she served as Georgia’s foreign minister. Earlier that year, she was prosecutor general. In 2006 and 2007, she headed the Tbilisi Court of Appeals.  In 2007, she was minister of justice. She first joined the government in 2005 and served as deputy minister of interior. She graduated from the Faculty of International Law and International Relations at Tbilisi State University in 1999.
Full Audio File Size
41MB
Full Audio Title
Eka Tkeshelashvili Interview