CEPOL: changing for the future

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35th GB meeting
01 June 2016

Interview with Dr. Ferenc Bánfi, Director of CEPOL.

CEPOL – the European Police College - has been existing for 15 years. Thousands of police officers from all over Europe and beyond have improved their skills and knowledge through CEPOL’s training activities and by participating in the European Police Exchange Programme. In the current times of changes and in such a dynamic environment, CEPOL is moving forward through innovation and creativity.

Dr Ferenc Bánfi, Director of CEPOL, is proud of the achievements of the agency. “CEPOL’s training has improved in the past 15 years to be more effective and efficient. Just to give an example: in 2010 we trained about 2400 police officers, and in 2015 they were close to 13000. But this quantitative growth did not overshadow the quality of the training. The satisfaction rate of our training is 94%, and that is based on the judgement of the course participants.”

Dr Ferenc Bánfi

There have been some more achievements for CEPOL in these 15 years. “We grew from an intergovernmental organisation to an EU agency, and now we have a new legal mandate stepping forward again. We are more responsive to the changing criminal environment, and the agency satisfies the legitimate training needs of the European law enforcement community. CEPOL is integrated into the European security architecture. We are a prestigious partner of Justice and Home Affairs agencies, and we are an acknowledged key player for law enforcement training. We have achieved this by delivering excellent learning products, not only by CEPOL, but also by all members of our training network.”

Changes

The coming years will not be less dynamic, according to Dr Bánfi.“The future could be summarised in one word: changes. Everything is changing: our lives, technology, our security environment. You have to keep moving. Through innovation and with creativity, CEPOL has to look for solutions every day and every hour. The complexity of the challenge and to manage this organisation in a dynamic environment is what makes us motivated and inspired.”

The implementation of the new mandate for CEPOL is fastly approaching: it will enter into force on the 1st of July. The new legal mandate offers opportunities to CEPOL.“We are not only to train police officers in the future, but also other law enforcement colleagues. For example customs, border security officers or prosecutors with regards to international law enforcement cooperation. Based on a strategic training needs assessment - which is under preparation in close cooperation with the European Commission - CEPOL will develop an adequate training portfolio to serve the law enforcement community.” The new legal frame gives CEPOL more opportunities to work more globally and to enhance its partnership by cooperating with private partners.“This way we can improve the quality of training and therefore the quality of the police services in Europe.”

Trust

The most important tool to enhance cooperation within the law enforcement community is trust.“When law enforcement officials work together, they have to completely trust each other. CEPOL’s training activities and exchange programmes do not only provide knowledge and good practices, but also build confidence. Law enforcement officials can network to get to know each other and build on trust.”

The growing need for international cooperation is an obvious one for the Director.“Countries can not work on their own. Criminals do not stop at borders. We need to keep abreast and to acknowledge that globalisation of law enforcement training is a must”.

Message

During this first half of 2016, the Netherlands holds the presidency of CEPOL.“In the past 15 years I have had countless opportunities to work with the Dutch police, the Police Academy and other Dutch agencies. I especially appreciate the professionalism and integrity of these colleagues. I also appreciate the hospitality and look forward to deepen and continue this cooperation in the coming years."

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Contact

Office address

European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training
1066 Budapest
Ó utca 27
Hungary

Correspondence address

European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training
1903 Budapest
Pf.314
Hungary

Email address

Telephone: +36 1 803 8030/8031

Fax: +36 1 803 8032