Meet our Advisers
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!