Alexey Konstantinovich Gankin, the president of Russian Section IPA)
Police Brotherhood in Russia and in the world
(An interview of Vladimir Kislukhin, the journalist of international magazin “Atlasorbis”, with Alexey Konstantinovich Gankin, the president of Russian Section IPA)
V. Kislukhin: Alexey Konstantinovich, can you tell me about yourself, please.
A. Gankin: I was born on January 22, 1960 in Hoteichi village, Orekhovo-Zuevo district, Moscow Region, graduated the Faculty of History in Kolomna Pedagogical Institute in 1982. I served in the Soviet army. After finishing military service I was employed into Kalinin regional office of internal affairs of Moscow as a local police officer. During police service I had changed a number of positions and departments until I moved to the Main Department of Internal Affairs of Moscow, Department for International Cooperation (Petrovka street, 38). Police career ended in 2001 with the rank of “Lieutenant Colonel”, I retired from the post of the head’s assistant for academic affairs in Moscow police school. At that time I faced the question: to continue to serve in Internal Affairs agencies or to devote myself completely to the adoption of Police Association in Russia.
V. Kislykhin: Can you tell me when and how did you learn about International Police Association?
A. Gankin: I learned about IPA in 1990 from a German colleague who worked in Dortmund Police Department and who came to Moscow to attend in an international chess tournament. With his help I contacted with the members of German Section IPA, and they gave me more detailed information about the activities of this international nongovernmental organization. In 1992, German friends invited me to the police carnival. I learned from colleagues in Germany, that Russian Section IPA had been already created in Moscow. With the help of my friends who worked in regional office of internal affairs of Moscow, I contacted with one of the founders of the section - Sergey Dmitrievich Saveliev. Another founder of Russian section IPA was Vladislav Petukhov, now unfortunately the deceased, who lived in Cheboksary (Chuvashia Republic). He was a radio fan, spoke English and communicated with the foreign colleagues on air.
V. Kislukhin: How was the process of formation of new
organization, IPA by name, at Russian land?
A. Gankin: The first founding conference of national section IPA, attended by delegates from nine Russian regions, was on March 28, 1992 in Moscow. They were V. Berezhnov from Tumen, V. Petukhov from Cheboksary, S. Saveliev, A. Vovk, V. Banishevskiy, O. Rutkov, A. Mashchukov from Moscow, V. Zhukov from Bryansk, V. Turetaev from Velikiy Novgorod, V. Krasnov from Saratov and others. The conference was held in Moscow club of radio fans.
As a result of this inaugural conference Victor Berezhnov from Tumen became the first president of Russian Section IPA, Vladislav Petukhov from Cheboksary, was elected as the first general secretary, Sergey Saveliev from Moscow - the first treasurer, Vladimir Banishevski became the first vice-president of Russian Section IPA.
V. Kislukhin: How were russian regional sections created?
A.Gankin: The first regional section IPA Russia was created in Velikiy Novgorod, then in Tumen. Moscow regional IPA was created on February,19 1993. The forth region was Krasnodar, the fifth – Saratov. On December 10, 1993 employees of Leningrad law-enforcement agencies announced about IPA creation in their city.
V.Kislykhin: What were the further steps to enlarge Russian Section and to promote its international status?
A.Gankin: The comission members from the head office came to Moscow in April 1994. They were the IPA President Roy Stragner (Sweden), Theo Leenders and Hans Stoup (the Netherlands). Hans Stoup was the President of the Netherland Section IPA which was in charge of Russian Section IPA. They came with a desire to learn about the activity of Russian Section and to solve the question of its official IPA membership in forthcoming international Congress in Luxemburg. The delegation members were friendly received by russian collegues. The comission was satisfied with the results of our work.
On June 10, 1994 at IPA Congress in Luxemburg Russian Section officially became be a member of International Police Association. In October 1996 it got a status of Standing Committee Observer at Interparliamentary assembly of CIS countries.
On December 20, 1996 Russian Section IPA was registered Russian Ministry of Justice.
V. Kisukhin: Did you face any problems during the organisation of work of Russian Section?
A.Gankin: Yes, there were some problems. For example, after the registration of Russian section and its international recognition, the organisation’s activity came to naught. As Victor Berezhnov, the president of Russian section, lived and worked in Tumen, and Vladislav Petukhov, the general secretary, - in Chuvashia, because of the remoteness of the leaders began the stagnation and loss of control of Russian section. In 1995 the next conference was to be held. But nobody was engaged in its organization and the participants assembly.
At the same time there were difficult relations between the leaders of Russian section, its regional offices and the leaders of Russian and regional Ministry of the Interior. But many organizational issues of Russian Section IPA could not be solved without the participation of Ministry of Interior.
V.Kislukhin: What was done to brisk up the work of Russian Section?
A.Gankin: In autumn 1995, members of Russian section IPA (A.Gankin, A. Vovk, I.Mikhalevich, G.Yermolovich) had a meeting in Gimborn castle (Germany), during which they discussed the future of Russian section. Since the elected in 1992 leadership of Russian section did no effort to brisk up the work, our action group decided to revive the section and create a crisis committee which was created with the participation of the Council of Elders.
In September 1996, the crisis committee organized an extraordinary congress of Russian section IPA, which brought together delegates from “remained at duty” regional organizations. Delegates arrived from Krasnodar, Novgorod, Saratov, Leningrad, Sverdlovsk region. Michael Odisseos, who is currently the IPA President, took part in the Congress. As a result, the congress elected a new governing body of Russian section. Igor Mikhalevich was elected as general Secretary of the organization, Alexander Vovk – the President, Boris Kuzmin –the Treasurer. I was elected as the 1-st ??vice-president of Russian section IPA.
As a result of the Congress Russian section of International Police Association was registered in the Justice Ministry. In April 1998 IPA leaders came to Moscow. They were warmly welcomed by former Minister of Internal Affairs of Russia Sergey Stepashin. In his speech, he spoke very positively about the activities of IPA in the world and in Russia and supported the initiative of Russian section of the further cooperation with foreign sections. In September 1998 I was elected as the President of Russian section and I’m in this post till now.
V.Kislukhin: Why did Russian Section IPA change its name?
A.Gankin: In 2008, the organization changed its name in accordance with current Russian law and was named All-Russian Police Association IPA. Thus, many problems in its structure were solved.
V.Kislukhin: What is the number of IPA members in Russia?
A.Gankin: Currently, there are more than 10 thousand members in 63 regional organizations of IPA Russia. The number of members in regional sections varies from 20 to several thousand. 65% of association members are active officers, the rest - are veterans, that is, retired law enforcement officers.
We have a small category of people - honorary members of All-Russian Police Association. They are politicians, the State Duma and the Federation Council’s deputies, famous actors, who help to conduct cultural activities.
V.Kislukhin: What regional section could you cite as the most active?
A.Gankin: Of course, we have many such positive examples. For example, Moscow region, as a result of its position is leading. Now it is headed by Lt. Gen. Ivan Grigoryevich Sardak, the chief of Interpol in Russia in the past. Of course, he is a man of experience, wisdom. He has assembled an interesting team. It depends much from the leader.
In addition, we have a very strong in terms of IPA activities Tatarstan, Leningrad, Tula, Irkutsk, Tumen, Kirov region . . .
For example, Kirov regional IPA was established on August 28, 2003. In numbers Kirov regional IPA is on the third place in Russia after Moscow and Tatarstan regions.
The president of Kirov regional IPA is Nikolay Koshcheev, the retired police colonel, member of the Kirov regional Public Chamber. In the recent past Nikolay Koshcheev was the chief of the Kirov Region Directorate for Combating Organised Crime. He has rich experience with combating national and international organised crime. Nikolay Koshcheev freely speeks German that’s why he doesn’t need an interpreter to communicate with his foreign collegues and friends.
Due to Kirov regional IPA, created by Koshcheev, Kirov policemen received the opportunity to exchange the experience of crime fighting with the foreign collegues, to go to Europe, Asia, America to get professional knowledge and cultural exchange, to participate in sport events.
In its turn, Kirov Region Russian Section IPA regularly receive foreign guests, who come to Vyatka land to develop cultural ties, to broaden policemen’s outlook, to exchange professional experience and knowledge, to render help in social field, to realize ideas of police coopiration in the whole world.
V.Kislukhin: Were you acquainted with Arthur Troup, the IPA founder?
A.Gankin: Yes. I had the honor twice to meet and talk with Arthur Troup at World IPA Congresses in 1997 in Quebec, Canada and in 2000 in English city Bornimot. He made an indelible impression on me: he is a simple, friendly, modest man, yet he had managed to unite policemen all over the world and became the IPA legend during his lifetime. By the way, at the the 50th Anniversary of the association Arthur Troup gave me his book “Service Through Friendship” with his signature. “I hope this book will be read in Russia too”, - stated his desire the founder of our organization shortly before the death.
V.Kislukhin: What was the reaction of Russian Section of Police Association for the initiative of Russian President to return the historical name “police” to the Russian principal law enforcement agency and the adoption of the Federal Law of Russian Federation from February 7, 2011 “About Police”?
A.Gankin: Since last September in the media there began hot negotiations about the Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev’s initiative to rename milicia into police. Members of Russian Section IPA supported the President’s idea of ??renaming milicia to the police. Historically, milicia in Russia almost always performed police duties. Being abroad for the experience exchange, cultural and sporting events members of Russian Section IPA always pointed to positive aspects of foreign colleagues’ work, and sincerely wished our policemen to have the same high social status as german, italian, holland or american policeman.
V.Kislukhin: What directions of your activity do you develop?
A.Gankin: One direction of the activities of Russian Section IPA is a social support for those categories of employees who are in need. This is especially concerned families who have lost their breadwinners and children whose parents were injured. There are many examples of such help of our foreign colleagues. Israeli, Italian and Greek colleagues can be mentioned, who take children, whose parents were internal affairs officials and were killed in the line of duty, for free, place them in families and organize cultural events. This is one of our activities.
V.Kislukhin: Is Russian Section IPA engaged in educational process?
A.Gankin: Yes, of course. Igor Bogorodickiy, the General Secretary of Russian Section IPA, is responsible for the educational process in the organization. By his initiative College of Law was established 15 years ago in Tule. Now there are its branches in 8 regions, including Kirov, Karelia, Yakutia, Karachay-Cherkessia, Smolensk and other regions. During these years more than two thousand people graduated as certified lawyers. They currently work in various departments of Ministry of Internal Affairs and other law enforcement agencies of the country. By the way for their education it was not spent a single penny from public funds.
Six years ago we founded children's interregional public organization “Young Friends of the Law”. There are already thousand people. We publish a popular pamphlet about the dangers of drugs called “To know is to live”. There are 33 questions, all are about drug addiction, that is, about what to do to protect yourself from this addiction.
Two years ago we established a higher education institution - the Institute of Jurisprudence and Administration, received a license, began educational process.
V.Kislukhin: How and where is the main activity of Russian Section IPA conducted?
A.Gankin: The whole work is conducted in regioal organizations. The central office in Moscow holds mainly analytical work. Relations with the local leadership is important. This can be the administration of the city, region, territory. For example, Tatarstan regional section is led by the Head of Kazan Institute of Ministry of Interior, Major General of police. That’s why, it has full support for its activities from the Minister of Internal Affairs of Tatarstan and other officials of the Republic. The region has direct and close contacts with foreign colleagues from Austria, Poland and Israel. Such contacts include exchange, training, study of advanced methods of crime prevention, terrorism and drug trafficking fighting.
V.Kislukhin: How can you characterise your relations with foreign sections IPA?
A.Gankin: Since our organization is in charge of the creation of similar organizations in Armenia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, this summer IPA President Michael Odysseos is expected to visit in Armenia, where the founding conference will be held, in which we participate too.
In the former Soviet Union today besides Russia IPA includes all Baltic countries. They joined the organization practically in the same year, later Ukraine joined them, last year at the World Congress in Paris Moldova was adopted to IPA. Besides the formal name our organization has also informal one – “Police Brotherhood”. We built our relations with foreign IPA sections accordingly to this informal name and IPA motto “Service through Friendship”.
V.Kislukhin: Alexey Konstantinovich! Thank you very much for such interesting interview. Judging by your extensive answers, the activity of Russian Section IPA effectively improves the interaction between law enforcement authorities of different countries in their professional activities, so you can count on friendly support from foreign colleagues in problem situations. Such IPA cooperation is hoped to continue for many years and will not lose its relevance in the process of communication between policemen of different countries.
Vladimir Kislukhin, the free-lance correspondent of international magazin “Atlasorbis”, IPA member, retired milicia colonel.