2017 Young Police Officers’ Seminar
Two years ago I was completely heartbroken: I was sitting in a library, studying police law before an important exam on my higher education police course, but my thoughts were in Warsaw – where young police officers from the whole world had their YPOS meeting. I was a candidate of the Polish Section for the YPOS 2015, but because of the timing of my exams, I could not participate. I did not think I would get a second chance.
Life, however, can be full of surprises, and when I received an email informing that I was chosen as a candidate of IPA Poland for the Young Police Officers’ Seminar 2017 in the United States of America, I promised myself that whatever happened, I needed to go. That was the moment when the programme started for me because the YPOS was not only the 5-day event – those days were the cherry on the cake – but it also involved all the things that had happened before and – I hope – will be happening after the programme.
Thanks to Arcee Kaine from IPA Chicago and friends from New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Spain, I and Rafal Gula – the second delegate from IPA Polish Section, had an opportunity to visit Chicago before the Seminar, where we were able to go on a ride-along with Chicago Police Officers – an absolutely unique experience.
The actual YPOS programme was held in Green Bay from 11-16 July 2017. About 60 police officers from around 30 countries attended the Seminar. The organisers, and in particular Joe Johnson, were very focused on the task, taking care of every single detail. Everything was planned perfectly. We were accommodated in St Norbert College, a great place for socialising and building friendships with other delegates from around the world. We came from various countries, different parts of the world, spoke many languages, had a different life experience and perception of the world, but we were all members of IPA. And guess what? When we met more closely, it turned out that we have a lot in common; the thin blue line with the message ‘Servo per Amikeco’ goes around the world. The friendship on the Young Police Officers’ Seminar 2017 woke up every day early in the morning and lasted until late at night. I started my days jogging with friends from Mauritius, Cyprus, Sweden and Canada, played ‘kartoshca’ with Japanese, Estonian, Finnish and Kenyan friends, and my days ended with interesting conversations. This was the time when friendships were born and established.
The programme was very diverse. Every day brought new adventures in new places. We visited Fox Valley Technical College, the Public Safety Training Center in Madison, the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, the Academy University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and Green Bay High School. All classes were led by experienced instructors with extensive and impressive knowledge. Each day featured a theoretical and a practical aspect. After the classes, we had the chance to visit shooting ranges, tactical workshops and do some sightseeing. There was something interesting for everyone.
During her introductory lecture, May-Britt Rinaldo from the International Board of the IPA mentioned the different lifelines of police officers – we all have some bad moments. Participation in the YPOS 2017 was one of the highest among my police lifelines. I highly recommend participation in this programme to all my IPA friends!
I think the YPOS is an excellent example of a project that fulfills the motto of our organization ‘Servo per Amikeco’, and I would like to thank IPA IEC, the IPA USA Section, all the sponsors and our national IPA, as well as all police agencies involved for the wonderful time I had, without divisions according to rank/position, gender, race, language or religion.
It has been an honour for me to represent the Polish IPA Section and the Polish Police at the 4th Young Police Officers’ Seminar.