Meet our Advisers
Meet our Senior Police Adviser - General Policing
PPIO is pleased to introduce the next Advisor in our ‘Meet our Advisors’ section. Christian is a German colleague, very soft spoken and kind, and we are very much in awe of his years of experience and interesting expertise as a Police Officer. 1. Tell us a little about yourself (nationality, professional background and experience and expertise) My name is Christian, I am a police officer from Duesseldorf in Northrine-Westfalia in the western part of Germany and can look back on a 30-year career. I have spent more than ten years in various (leadership) positions in the riot police and I served several years in a permanent service unit that supported the Chief of Police in large operations. Since 2017 I have been a senior police officer and have held different positions in crime fighting/prevention, operations and project management. I introduced the distance electro impulse device, also known as Taser, in my (last) Headquarter, and developed regulations as to how to use it. 2. Explain your portfolio here at EUPOL COPPS I have been a EUPOL COPPS Mission Member since August 2023. I am a Senior Police Adviser in the area of General Policing. In this position, there is no unit that I look after exclusively. Conversely, I support my direct superior in areas where there is a need. Before the 7 October, it was the Bethlehem Project, while currently I am responsible for Crowd Management and Information Led Policing. 3. What do you enjoy most about forming part of EUPOL COPPS, and about working in the Region? Due to the current situation, it is not easy to respond to this question in the manner it deserves. From a personal perspective, I like the flexibility in my position and that I can get to know different portfolios and counterparts. The people are very friendly, hearty and hospitable. In a way, people are more relaxed and take life easier. In Germany we have so many rules and sometimes we make it difficult for ourselves. I experience that difference here in a positive way. This region is so rich in history, I am grateful to be able to work in a CSDP Mission here. I understand the Middle East conflict more and more because I live and serve here. I get my knowledge and understanding of the conflict from the different people I talk to, who tell me their experiences and impressions. And not just from the media like many others who don't have the chance to be here on the ground. Of course, the events since 7 October have been dramatic and many people are suffering. That also has an impact on my daily work and feelings. 4. What are the challenges you face, and how, in your view, may they be overcome? I think the situation was already challenging before the eruption of the current crisis, but now it has become even more so. Despite the challenges and the evolving situation, which we cannot influence, we as EUPOL COPPS have remained on the ground the whole time. We are aware of our responsibility and, even in this difficult situation, I think it is important to show the PCP and our partners that we are there. We are not leaving our counterparts alone and continue to offer our support. In particular for the day after the war. The situation is also challenging for all of us advisers. At first our families just missed us after we have been deployed. Now they are very worried about the security situation. We see our counterparts and our local colleagues suffering. Many other people are suffering. I think it's important to strengthen your own resilience. We talk a lot about the situation and I experience a high level of mutual support. Despite all the tragedy, that is the positive side. PPIO: Christian, many thanks for granting us the interview. It is a pleasure for us to get to know you further!
Meet our Head of Security Sector Reform Section
Despite the turbulent times here in the Mission Area and beyond, EUPOL COPPS very recently welcomed our new Head of SSRS (Security Sector Reform Section). Our Finnish colleague Kai joined us from Finland. Kai has served in the region before, also within EUPOL COPPS, and as a Mission, we are very fortunate to have him back in our midst. PPIO spent some time with Kai to get to know him a bit better, and we would like our audience to get to know him too. Tell us a little about yourself (nationality, professional background and experience and expertise) I come from Finland. I am a serving police officer with over 33 years of professional experience of which 17 years in senior management level. My current job is in the National Police Board which is the supreme command of Finnish police. My special responsibilities are the strategic management of national K9 activities, national procurement and budgeting of protective gear and weaponry and Nordic countries uniformed policing co-operation. I’m also one of the supreme command national duty officers. My background contains experience from almost all aspects of policing: uniformed policing, criminal investigations, technical surveillance, immigration and weapons administration, all in both operational and supervisory positions. I have worked as a teacher in the Police College of Finland teaching operational leadership and management. I have also worked as a head of drug investigations department of the Finnish Customs. On an international perspective I have lived away from Finland for some time of my life. As a child I lived in Australia for five years, one year in Saudi Arabia and two years in Iraq. After that I spent one year in the USA as an exchange student. As an adult I have spent one year in South Lebanon in the UN peacekeeping mission. In 2011-2012 I was seconded to the USSC Ramallah -mission as a senior police advisor with the responsibility of assessing and validating the Intermediate Leaders Course for the PA security forces. And my latest secondment here was 2016-2017 when I was the senior police advisor for community policing. So in a way my current post as the Head of SSRS seems to be a logic continuation. My expertise is widespread and I have a good understanding on almost all aspects of policing as well as their interconnectivity and dependence. I have management and leadership skills of both police and civilian personnel. Explain your portfolio here at EUPOL COPPS My post within EUPOL COPPPS is the Head of Security Sector Reform Section (SSRS). The job description contains the leadership and management of the section as well as providing expertise in the issues needed. Within SSRS, I am very fortunate to have an excellent team of Police Advisors coming from all sectors of expertise. What do you enjoy most about working in the Region, given that this is not your first experience here? The people are very friendly and hospitable and easy to talk to. For a Finn (we are mostly regarded as mute) this is very refreshing and on the other hand also slightly intimidating! I am intrigued by the history and complexity of the region. The historical sites all around the region tell stories of different times and reigns. I see them as monuments of the rise and fall of eras. I also think that the landscape is one of the most beautiful in the world, in all of its ruggedness and with all its different features from the northern mountains to the rolling hills towards the Dead Sea, the Mediterranean seashore and deserts towards the Gulf of Aqaba. What are the challenges you anticipate facing, and how, in your view, may they be overcome? I think we are witnessing the greatest challenge in EUPOL COPPS history at the moment. The situation has dramatically and sadly taken a horrendous turn in the past days and weeks. Despite the challenges, we as a Mission continue to implement our mandate with our counterparts, notwithstanding the trying times we find ourselves in. It comes as no surprise that the focus of our counterparts is very much on the current situation. However, life needs to continue and it is clear that most of the people want stability and safety in life. I believe that EUPOL COPPS, together with our counterparts are making a grand effort in making this possible. How will this challenge be overcome is a million dollar question… I believe we need to “keep on keeping on” and try to think about the “day after”. When this is over the time will come for reconciliation and stabilisation. In my perspective we play an important role. Every individual EUPOL COPPS family member has her/his part to play in supporting the communities and people. PPIO: Kai, thank you very much for granting us this interview! It is indeed a pleasure to welcome you back to EUPOL COPPS. Within the PPIO Team, we are proud to work alongside you and the SSRS Team, and sincerely look forward to building upon our excellent collaboration.
Meet our Deputy Head of Mission and Chief of staff
Against a sad and concerning backdrop, and its ensuing challenges, we are thrilled to introduce our new Deputy Head of Mission and Chief of Staff, Karin Limdal. Hailing from Sweden, Karin is a CSDP expert and recently commenced her second tour of duty here at EUPOL COPPS. PPIO sat down with Karin to get to know her further. Tell us a little about yourself (nationality, professional background and experience and expertise) I’m a Swedish secondee with a husband and son currently based in Rome but with my heart and home in Verona. I’m passionate about civilian CSDP as an important tool in the EU Foreign Policy toolbox, to increase our own security within the EU but also among our partners. I’ve worked in different capacities in several CSDP and non-CSDP missions, in the EEAS and at the European Centre of Excellence for Civilian Crisis Management for the past 20 years. Explain your portfolio here at EUPOL COPPS As the DHoM/Chief of Staff it is my job to make sure to “oil the machinery” so that the Mission can deliver on the mandate given by the EU 27. In that, and while supporting and deputizing the HoM, I will make sure that proper procedures and processes are in place and to promote a conducive working environment among other things. What do you enjoy most about working in the Region, given that this is not your first experience here? The hospitality of the Palestinian people. As crazy as they are behind the wheel, they are exceptionally friendly and helpful to their guests. We are truly fortunate to work with counterparts with whom we enjoy a relationship of trust. What are the challenges you anticipate facing, and how, in your view, may they be overcome? To insert enthusiasm and energy among colleagues after almost 17 years on the ground, in a worsening security situation, not least in recent weeks. This can partly be overcome by giving people space and independence and show them that you trust them. This makes people grow and shine in my opinion. Freedom under responsibility is something that I try to live by as a manager, until proven otherwise. Another challenge is to maintain EUPOL COPPS as a relevant and unique partner among many other actors within the Security Sector Reform and Justice sectors. There the Mission needs to focus on what is really their strength of a physical presence on the ground since 2006 with the proper peer to peer support where our experts work side by side with the counterparts on the Palestinian side. No other international entity or project can offer the same sort of support and assistance in that sense. PPIO: Karin, thank you so much for taking the time to carry out this interview. Even in the short and somewhat tumultuous time that you’ve been in the Mission, the enthusiasm of having you back is very hard to miss! We are very much looking forward to working with you, and you can be assured of our support.
Meet our Senior Police Adviser -Institutional Development - Human Resources
In our interviews so far, we’ve encountered a number of EU colleagues, as well as a Turkish colleague. Nevertheless, here at EUPOL COPPS, we are also fortunate to have two Canadian colleagues forming part of our Security Sector Reform Section (formerly named the Police Advisory Section); Canada being one of the three Third Contributing Countries to EUPOL COPPS. Our dear colleague Shelly has been with us for over a year. Always ready with a helping hand, our counterparts not only benefit from Shelly’s long years of experience and expertise, but also her kind and soft spoken approach. Tell us a little about yourself (nationality, professional background and experience and expertise) Thank you for this opportunity. I have over 35 years of policing experience with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada’s National Police Service and 5 years’ experience as a Vancouver City Police Reservist. As a result, I have been afforded many opportunities that have provided me with a diverse background of experience, ranging from serving in Indigenous/Diverse communities, at Municipal, Provincial and National levels and at various ranks. This has provided me with comprehensive experience in multiple fields of expertise. I have worked at the strategic, tactical and operational levels throughout my career and have been afforded the experience to develop and work with strategic frameworks at Provincial/Federal government levels in Canada. I have a comprehensive back ground in a variety of specialties in policing: General Duty Policing, Crime Scene Analysis, Community Policing, Crime Prevention/Crime Reduction, to name a few. All from operational, tactical, philosophical and strategic perspectives; as well as extensive knowledge of Police Administration, Conduct and Human Resources practices and procedures. At a Federal level in Canada, I was seconded to the Office of the Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-status Rights (now Indigenous and Northern Affairs). I worked on and participated in the development of multi-jurisdictional social programs for Indigenous peoples at both the Federal and Provincial levels. Cultivating and fostering strategic long term partnerships was a critical component of achieving success. Prior to arriving in Mission, I was the acting Criminal Operations Officer in New Brunswick. In this role I was responsible for all operational, tactical and police operations responses in the RCMP jurisdictions of New Brunswick, including Gold Commander (Critical Incident Command) during a national incident. My substantive position was the Officer in Charge of the RCMP North-East District in New Brunswick. There, I was responsible for the operational and administrative policing functions for one third of the Province. I had a team of 181 employees. My area of responsibility consisted of 10 detachments, 5 Indigenous communities, approximately 99 communities/villages, with a land radius of approximately 20,000 square miles. I have a Masters in Consitutional Law and Certficate in Human Rights law. Explain your portfolio here at EUPOL COPPS During my nearly year and a half in Mission, I have been holding the following portfolios: Institutional Development - Human Resources In this portfolio, I have been actively working with my counterpart on the development of individual performance assessments. This project is being piloted in Jenin and Bethlehem, and will train unit leaders on supervision and performance indicaters of their team members. Accountability The project in this portfolio started with a baseline study of public complaints and was done in conjunction with my counterpart in the Grievance and Human Rights‘ Department. The project is in phase 4 of 7 phases. Field visits to police detention/holding cells have also been conducted to look at their processes. The Palestinian Police Women’s Network I was honoured to be part of the original organizing group for the conference held in May 2022, and since that time I have been the portfolio lead, assisting the 25 founding members to develop their Terms of Reference, elect their Board Members and assist with their official launch in January 2023. To date they have organized their application processes, logo and communication, whilst work is continuing on their annual plan. What are the challenges you face, and how, in your view, may they be overcome? At times I found it difficult when other international stakeholders are working on same or similar projects and there was no communication or coordination. This has been overcome by cultivating and fostering relationships/partnerships, along with increased communication. What do you enjoy most about forming part of EUPOL COPPS, and about working in the Region? I most enjoy the people here, my counterparts in the region, as well as my colleagues from around the world who join me here in the Mission. The Region is filled with so much history, that prior to arriving here, it was a bit of a mystery to me; however now seeing and hearing from the people here, as well as forging what I believe will be long lasting frienships, the history and culture have come alive for me. It truly is an honour to be here working alongside my colleagues and with our counterparts.
Meet our Planning and Policy Advisor
Seeing a colleague sporting a Turkish uniform in the corridors of an EU CSDP Mission is not an everyday sight. Nevertheless, with Turkey being one of the three Third Contributing Countries to EUPOL COPPS, we are fortunate to have our dear colleague Ozkan in our midst. Always with a ready smile, Ozkan’s friendly approach is never failing. Despite his years of experience, Ozkan’s humility makes him an asset within the Mission, and we are fortunate to call him a colleague and friend. Tell us a little about yourself (nationality, professional background and experience and expertise) My name is Ozkan Baran and I am a National Police Officer from Turkiye. My rank is 2nd Degree Police Chief Superintend or Police Colonel. I have been a member of the Police Advisory Section at EUPOL COPPS since June 2022, where I am the Police Adviser for Planning and Policy. Turkiye is one of the third contributing countries to this Mission, together with Norway and Canada. I have more than 26 years of policing experience, both at the national and international levels. I managed many administrative and judicial responsibilities back in my country. On the international scene, I have been posted within the United Nations Missions in Kosovo and in Haiti and the NATO Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, and at the Turkish Embassy in Bangkok/Thailand. I have much experience on combating against human trafficking, drugs, illicit goods and weapons; armed robbery; counterfeit and money laundering and serious/organized/transborder crime investigations as well as planning and capacity building areas. I am currently the only Turkish Police Officer working in the mission area. I am very proud of being here in the Palestinian Territories and assisting the Palestinian Police both in their present responsibilities as well as in preparation for their future. Something that makes me very happy is the warm welcome of both our local counterparts as well as the Palestinian population, which certainly makes my work more pleasant. Explain your portfolio here at EUPOL COPPS Within the Police Advisory Section, I am the Police Adviser for Planning and Policy. Essentially, this means that my role is to assist the Palestinian Police improve the safety and security of the Palestinian population, as well as to support the Palestinian Civil Police reform and development, not least by contributing to the PCP Strategic Plan for the coming years. What are the challenges you face, and how, in your view, may they be overcome? I am very happy to be here and working with very professional Mission Members from EU Countries. Working with different colleagues hailing from varied cultural understanding and different working habits of law enforcement only serves to enrich my experience. The Mission is taking an important role to make the Palestinian Territories more stable and secure and also to improve the Institutions under Palestinian ownership. I am here to support them in assisting in the building of their institutions. Being part of this Mission is a great opportunity and I enjoy all my time working with my international colleagues and Palestinian counterparts, in addition to enjoying the close and warm relationship with the Palestinian citizens during our activities. What do you enjoy most about forming part of EUPOL COPPS, and about working in the Region? I consider myself fortunate not to face many serious challenges during the daily execution of my responsibilities. Of course, being far from home and my family sometimes causes a degree of stress, as expected. However, the plus side is that, these days, long distance communication has definitely made our lives easier. A special thanks goes to my wife for always handling all kinds of challenges back home, in my absence. I would like to end by wishing all the very best to my local counterparts and Palestinian citizens, as well as a safe and secure return back home to all my international colleagues. PPIO: Ozkan, many thanks for taking the time to grant us this interview. Your positive approach and outlook are undoubtedly examples for all of us to follow!
Spotlight on our Translators
Since the inception of EUPOL COPPS in January 2006, interaction between the Mission’s Palestinian counterparts and international advisors who speak different languages and come from different cultures has been a fundamental part of the Mission’s work and a natural consequence of face-to-face communication. In its broad sense, the purpose of interpretation and translation is to facilitate communication, create bridges and aid others to cross linguistic and cultural boundaries. Undoubtedly, communication is central to the work of a translator. Inasmuch as without translators there can be no facilitation of communication, translators are not only a backbone of the Mission, but indispensable to its success. EUPOL COPPS employs a pool of eight qualified and experienced translators that do verbal interpreting, non-verbal translation and cultural communication in a multicultural milieu. Verbal interpreting is generally performed in two modes: consecutive and simultaneous. Consecutive interpreting usually takes place in formal meetings during which interpreters render what is said in the target language, English or Arabic. Simultaneous interpreting is performed in real time during workshops and conferences involving large audiences. Occasionally, Mission translators use background interpreting or chuchotage, which is one-to-one direct interpreting where the interpreter whispers the translation to a very small audience. In the context of the work of the Mission, non-verbal or written translation may include the translation of various texts such as police related documents, legal papers, laws, press releases, action plans, manuals and guidelines. The high level of concentration, accuracy and prompt response underpinning both verbal and non-verbal translation as well as the mental activities involved in the comprehension, deverbalisation and reformulation processes bring to the fore the challenges faces by our translators on a daily basis. In addition to the important role of translators as converters of messages from one language to another, they are of paramount importance to cross-cultural communication. As cultural mediators, EUPOL COPPS translators have both the linguistic and cultural competences to facilitate communication between international advisors and their local Palestinian interlocutors. Their familiarity with the cultures of the source and target languages is instrumental in bridging the cultural gap between international experts and their local counterparts. Lack of knowledge and understanding of other cultures may cause confusion, misunderstanding and sometimes offense during communication, hence missions prudently employ local translators to avoid or minimise potential for misunderstanding. Understanding the customs, manners and social traditions of communities where missions operate will enhance and optimise their work. In the case of EUPOL COPPS, such understanding indicates the respect of international mission members for the Palestinian community and their integration into the reality of Palestine. Indeed the interest of international mission members to learn the local language, Arabic, demonstrates their interest in the Palestinian community and its culture, and reflects cultural sensitivity and good breeding. Nonetheless, the cultural role of translators is not limited to bringing mainstream social cultures closer. Mission translators render effective communication in two other cultural domains, namely the police and the rule of law subcultures. Both policing and law are socio-cultural phenomena linked to the larger mainstream culture of the Palestinian community. Given the seriousness of the work of the police and the justice system, the translators of the Mission undertake assignments knowing full well that if the act of translating or interpreting is not carried out to a satisfactory and professional standard it could have grave and far-reaching consequences. Translation/interpretation is a communicative activity that signifies interchange between cultures. Such interchange takes place through the medium of language and it requires a human agency – or a translator. In the words of the British novelist Anthony Burgess, “Translation is not a matter of words only; it is a matter of making intelligible a whole culture.” PPIO Comment: The entire Mission is very grateful to have such a dedicated and professional team of translators on board. Your work is an essential part of the EUPOL COPPS engine, and I speak on behalf of all Mission Members in expressing our sincere thanks to you all for making our constant interactions with our local counterparts possible! Thank you!
Meet our Information Led Policing Senior Advisor
Simon Remillard, our Information Led Policing Senior Advisor, has held a number of thoroughly interesting portfolios during a career spanning more than 30 years! In addition to his vast career, Simon is exceptionally knowledgeable about a vast number of issues, including but not limited to languages, cultures, history, geography and political science to name but a few. Always ready with a friendly smile, it is with sincere regret that Simon is approaching his end of Mission shortly. Yet, as we say in Mission life, colleagues may come and go, but true friendships endure… Tell us a little about yourself (nationality, professional background and experience and expertise) My name is Simon Remillard. I am Canadian, 55 years of age, and my studies include 3.5 years of Police College, and both a Bachelors + Masters in Administration. I possess over 30 years of policing including 2 months in Haiti, 1 year in Afghanistan, 1 year in Ukraine, and one year and (almost) three months here at EUPOL COPPS. I hail from Montreal city, which is the second largest city in Canada. I started my career with patrolling, then spent several years in the tactical team (SWAT), followed by investigations in a wide array of areas, including general, crime scene, narcotics, fraud; and I now supervise criminal investigations. I also have a strong focus on linguistic, historical and cultural studies. Other than English and French, in my career for work purposes I have studied the culture, history and language of Haitian Creole, Spanish, Russian and now Arabic. Explain your portfolio here at EUPOL COPPS I work on ILP, Information Led Policing. This is essentially the police activities and behavior of collecting information from all sources and police actions; analyzing emerging, shifting or migratory criminality trends, and recommending to the Strategic level how to better allocate Police resources, to act earlier or better police responses and police services. The objective is to prevent, mitigate or stop such criminality trends. By way of example: Analysis can reveal that when the COVID pandemic struck, and all restaurants and bars closed for months, while there were nor increase, nor decrease of violent crimes, and previously 65% of violent crimes would occur between 11PM and 4 AM; the trend shifted and the bulk of violent crimes occurred between 8 PM and 01 AM. The theory and relation was made between the occurrence of violent crimes, and the opening hours of areas where alcohol was served. By plotting all violent crimes on the map, and where all restaurants/bars are located, it was confirmed that previous violent crime hotspot concentrations were mainly located close to bars. It was also confirmed that the violent crimes regions were migrating from where the bar areas were, to where the AirBnB apartments were concentrated, as they were being used to replace bars for parties. We could thus tell the Strategic level WHERE and WHEN to increase patrolling officers, and that when the National level would allow bars to reopen, to immediately shift patrolling resources from the AirBnB areas to the Bar areas, as we could anticipate the migration of violent crimes back to the hours and areas of where the alcohol sales would occur. What are the challenges you face, and how, in your view, may they be overcome? There are many challenges, but none that cannot be overcome. The first is dissociating Modernisation from Westernisation. The Palestinian Civilian Police, our main counterpart, want to modernise to be more effective, whilst maintaining their unique Palestinian culture and heritage. In the words of Samuel Hungtington, political scientist, Modernising does not mean Westernising. Our modern policing techniques were historically built on Western culture and values. We must recognize what is modernity vs western, and seek to offer modern practices all while recognizing opportunities to respect Palestinian culture. An example is a Central command of policing and emergencies vs regional committees that manage areas/Districts. This latter can be considered a ‘clan’ approach, which can be a challenge to the Central approach. The Palestinian people must navigate these waters and decide what policing model they want, whilst we at EUPOL COPPS stand ready to support. The other challenge is time. (PPIO: we can all relate to this, Simon!) We wish we could assist the PCP in overhauling their practices overnight and give them all the best of what we can offer, but we often forget that neither Europe nor Canada did it overnight. Rome was not built in one day, and nor were any of our police forces. Montreal police has existed for 180 years, and the RCMP for 150 years. In my 30 years of policing, I have seen the evolution of my own police force (for the better), which means that after its initial 150 years of existence, there still was place for both modernization and improvement, and I have no doubt the Montreal police will continue striving to make itself better in the next 30 years to come, and beyond. We need to be patient, and not think that it should take the Palestinians 10 or 20 years. Cultural values, practices and technology will always evolve, and so should the notion of Good Governance in all its efforts. What do you enjoy most about forming part of EUPOL COPPS, and about working in the Region? Firstly, the execution of the mandate of EUPOL COPPS is very important to local and regional peace, and global stability. In all the countries I have visited or worked in, it is common in our culture to be good citizens by helping our neighbours. I see this as an extension of this philosophy. When other regions of the World need help, it is relevant to try and help when we can. Secondly, this region is so rich in Humanities History, it is fascinating to see such ancient traditions and cultures, historical sights side by side with modern technology and global integration. This loops back to the previous comment. What used to be a neighbor has evolved in time. Today, due to globalisation and integration, we are all neighbors, including Canada who is a big EU partner, and who has both Israeli and Palestinian citizens back home. While my individual help might be one grain of sand in the bucket, I am glad to be a partner of both Palestinian people abroad, and Palestinians who now call Canada or Europe home. Simon, it has been an absolute pleasure working with you during your tenure at the Mission, and we sincerely wish you all the best in the next chapters of life. Know that you’ll be very fondly remembered here at EUPOL COPPS.
Meet our Environmental Crime Expert
Undoubtedly one of the most gentle souls in the Mission, this edition’s interview is with our colleague Michael, our Environmental Crime Expert. Despite his wealth of experience and expertise, his humility is exemplary. Whenever one meets Michael, he always has a kind word at the ready, and his qualities make him a most loved member of EUPOL COPPS. Tell us a little about yourself (nationality, professional background and experience and expertise) I hail from Malmö in Sweden and am a trained telecommunications technician and worked as such for 10 years. I joined the Swedish Police Force in 1988 and spent the first 10 years of duty in patrol service, riot police and as a computer instructor. In 1999 I started as a Crime Scene Investigator to deal with major crimes. During my time as a Crime Scene Investigator I was in Thailand on two different occasions working with DVI (Disaster Victim Identification) to identify victims after the Tsunami. The first time as a release officer responsible for the release of identified bodies and the second time as Site Command responsible for the identification work at the site. I am also an expert in performing blood pattern analysis. After 20 year as a Crime Scene Investigator/Coordinator/blood pattern expert I started as an Environmental Crime Investigator in 2019. In special criminal law, there are many different crimes to work with. I mainly investigate environmental crimes and work environment crimes. Explain your portfolio here at EUPOL COPPS I am seconded by Sweden as an Environmental Crime Expert within the Police Advisory Section. This is basically to support the PCP Environmental Crime Unit facing the challenges of the daily work (e.g. lack of equipment, defines roles and responsibilities of the Unit and coordination with Environmental Quality Authority (EQA) and Prosecutors office) but also on a more holistic level (raising awareness about environmental crime to the population) What do you enjoy most about forming part of EUPOL COPPS, and about working in the Region? Working with other internationals and locals in the mission as well as with counterparts. To be able to work in Palestine and living in Jerusalem gives fantastic opportunities to get to know historical and most relevant places of the world. What are the challenges you face, and how, in your view, may they be overcome? Since 2019, EUPOL COPPS supports and advises the PCP Environmental Crimes Unit in developing a suitable organisational structure and relevant policies, procedures and practices to assist the unit in becoming fully functional and capable of investigating environmental crimes. Supporting the PCP in the development of a prioritised comprehensive framework for Environmental Crime Unit, as well as coordination with the Environmental Quality Authority (EQA) and the Prosecutors office is a main activity along with trying to close some of the illegal dumpsites currently found in the West Bank.
Meet our Cybercrime Expert
Our Cybercrime Expert at EUPOL COPPS can easily be described as ‘a smile in uniform’. Esther Sense, an experienced Police Officer from Germany, holding the rank of Chief Police Investigator, joined EUPOL COPPS earlier this year and aside from her years of experience in her fields of expertise, has brought to the Mission a sunny demeanor that is a pleasure to witness daily. Esther is always ready with a kind word and a pleasant greeting, which of course, made our interview with her all the more pleasant. Tell us a little about yourself (nationality, professional background and experience and expertise)I hail from Hannover, Germany. I joined the German Police Force in 2001 and spent the first years of duty in the riot police and carrying out patrol service. In 2008 I was seconded to one of the first, newly founded Cybercrime Units in Germany, where I was part of the team building the unit from scratch.From 2013 to 2016 I worked in an IT-Development Department as a software developer for police related software.Since 2013 I have been seconded to the IT-Forensic Department. First as a regular Officer for IT-Forensics and since 2020, following a three year course at the federal CID and at university, I became a certified expert for IT-Forensic with specialisation in Linux and Car Forensics. Explain your portfolio here at EUPOL COPPSI am seconded by Germany as a Cybercrime Expert within the Police Advisory Section, and my direct counterpart is the Cybercrime Department of the Palestinian Civil Police. My portfolio seeks to support the PCP in their cybercrime endeavours, taking into account the many challenges they face, such as lack of updated equipment. I also support them on a more holistic level, including raising awareness of cybercrime within the population, a topic which is not only increasing in importance, but is one which is of direct interest to the community as a whole. What do you enjoy most about forming part of EUPOL COPPS, and about working in the Region?Working with our counterparts, as well as all Mission Members, and building friendships with such a diverse set of colleagues. Operating in a sensitive theatre such as ours, I feel very fortunate to witness different cultures in my daily life, and to call this historically special place in the world home. It is a very special experience, and one which I appreciate daily. What are the challenges you face, and how, in your view, may they be overcome?As with any other branch of the PCP, a number of political issues contribute towards the challenges faced in executing the PCP’s mandate on a daily basis. The Cybercrime Department is relatively new within the PCP, founded in 2013. In keeping with their mandate, the department works on a high technical level, which is hardly understandable for non-technical persons. Since digital evidence becomes more and more important for criminal investigations, I am of the view that this department needs to increase their capacities, specially in the forensic lab, to ensure a proper and acceptable way of collecting evidence and to prevent illegal investigation methods. This has to be done not only by expanding the working environment to contend the rising numbers of cases in the Palestinian Territories, but also through constant training in investigation of digital evidence and data privacy to face the challenges that come with this very fast evolving and internationally linked field of police work. Esther, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with the PPIO Team. Your portfolio is indeed fascinating. Despite the challenges, keep up your positive approach and we are always on hand to continue to support your highly commendable efforts!
Meet our Community Policing Team
The Community Policing Team within the Police Advisory Section here at EUPOL COPPS is composed of two very experienced colleagues, hailing from Italy and Canada respectively. Pietro Tripodi, Sostituto Commissario della Polizia di Stato holds the post of Community Policing Senior Advisor, and joined EUPOL COPPS in November 2021; whilst Sergeant Brian Lowe, Halton Regional Police Service is our Community Policing Advisor and joined the Mission in October 2021. Whilst Pietro and Brian have had very diverse careers, the evident silver thread is their years of experience (over 70 years between them) in their respective Police forces, which in turn has enabled them to not only form an excellent team, but to establish a strong and fruitful working relationship with our local counterparts, as they successfully execute their mandate within the Mission. The Community Policing Team sat down with the PPIO Team and shared their experience within EUPOL COPPS. Tell us a little about yourself (nationality, professional background and experience and expertise)Pietro: I’m a Police Officer serving in the Italian State Police for the last 36 years. During my career I have held various roles, such as armed response patrol crew and supervisor, as part of United Nation Police in Kosovo and as part of the European External Action Service as a duty officer within the Situation Room and at the Military Staff Watch Keeping Capability.Brian: I am seconded by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to this Mission. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology, and have 35 years of policing experience and have been involved in community patrol, investigations, SWAT, Explosive Disposal, Ground Search and Rescue and Marine Patrol. My skill set includes planning, training, and operations of the various functions I have worked within. Explain your portfolio here at EUPOL COPPSPietro: Within the Mission I hold the post of Senior Police Advisor for the Community Oriented Police. In a nutshell the duties and responsibilities revolve around advising our counterparts within the Palestinian Civilian Police the best way to close the gap between the Police and society as a whole. Not an easy task given our area of operation and its challenges, but we are fortunate to enjoy an excellent working relationship with our counterparts, both centrally and throughout the districts, which in turn enables us to execute our mandate strategically and in partnership with the PCP.Brian: I am a Community Policing Advisor, and my role is to provide my PCP counterparts with strategic advice on Community Policing operations and training. As Pietro has mentioned, our working relationship with our local counterparts is a very fruitful one, and this thanks to our joint efforts in establishing a solid ground for our partnership, which goes from strength to strength. What do you enjoy most about forming part of EUPOL COPPS, and about working in the Region?Pietro: Forming part of EUPOLCOPPS is a truly rewarding experience: The Mission is formed of colleagues from all around EU as well as from Contributing Countries. That creates a very unique “melting pot” in term of fields of expertise and personal experience. Within the EUPOLCOPPS Police Advisory Section I have the pleasure to lead a Community Policing team in which Brian, my Canadian colleague and friend, and I ensure that our duties and responsibilities meet the requirements of our direct counterparts, and that we are able to positively contribute to the Community Policing portfolio within the PCP. The clear perception of everyday efforts by all Mission members in order to “make a difference” in working with our respective counterparts is what makes me proud to work in the Region.Brian: aside from our operational activities coming to fruition, what I value is the unique opportunity to meet and work with so many colleagues and local citizens from a wide variety of operational, national and cultural backgrounds. What are the challenges you face, and how, in your view, may they be overcome?Pietro: It is evident that EUPOLCOPPS operates in quite a delicate and unique right in the middle of the longest standing conflict in history. That places on our shoulders the added responsibility to understand the present situation and to do our utmost to collaborate closely with our local and international counterparts, drawing from our personal experience and expertise, thus exchanging best practices and solid policing values, the ultimate goal being the building of a modern Police Force enjoying the full trust of the society.Brian: Changing mindset in regard to adapting more community policing approaches versus the traditional reactive “catching bad guys” approach. While old school reaction to calls from the public still forms a significant percentage of police work, getting ahead of issues in response to community input and tackling problems in a collaborate multi-stakeholder approach is an effective tool when added to the police “tool kit”. Pietro and Brian, thank you! The PPIO Team is very pleased to support your endeavours. Given that your portfolio is very closely linked to ours in terms of public perception and trust in the local Authorities, we look forward to our continued partnership on our projects. Keep up the good work and the excellent teamwork!