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Sunday, May 28, 2023

Police career system according to Golob, Poklukar, and Jušić

By: Dr Vinko Gorenak

Of course, I intend to write about today’s transfers (read punishments) of high-ranking police officials, but to begin with a personal story that is quite similar to today’s punishments of high-ranking police officials.

It was Thursday, May 13th, 1999, I was sitting in my office as the head of the personnel department of the Ministry of the Interior and the police (at that time, the police were not a body in composition – about 8,000 people), I was responsible for all personnel matters, including the salaries of all employees. Just before that, the “Vič-Holmec” affair took place, in which the then leadership of the Ministry of the Interior took advantage of the situation and accused a Carinthian police officers, completely unjustifiably, of robbing and killing prisoners of war during the war for Slovenia in Carinthia. Together with a handful of colleagues, I resisted this, and the result was an interpellation against the then Minister of the Interior, Mirko Bandelj, who had to leave the position. And a punishment followed for me as well. On the day in question, one of the assistant chiefs of police walked into my office and informed me that they had decided to transfer (read punish) me. I was sent to the then Police Security School, where I was said to be “urgently needed” to carry out the learning process, even though I had my first lectures only in March 2000. Such a transfer would not stand in any court, and it did not in my case either. I was awarded compensation, which of course was paid for by the taxpayers and not by those who illegally transferred me. Although at the time I perceived the transfer as a punishment, over the years it has become clear that I made good use of this punishment, namely I obtained a doctorate and made a solid political career, I was State Secretary four times, I was a member of the National Assembly three times, and in 2012/2013 also the Interior Minister. All of this would not have happened if I had not been transferred in 1999.

Also today, the transfer (read punishment) of a bunch of high-ranking police officials took place. Under the documents is signed acting general director of the police, Senad Jušić, and the decision-makers were, of course, Prime Minister Robert Golob and Interior Minister Boštjan Poklukar. I do not believe this is the last batch of senior police officials who have been transferred (read punished). And what does this punishment look like in practice?

According to labour legislation, of course, everyone keeps the salary and title to which they were promoted until they were punished. Concretely, it shows that it was like this, the previous acting Director General of the Police Boštjan Lindav, had to go to the Škofja Loka Police Station, where he probably started his police career. As a career criminologist, Igor Lamberger was sent to police forensics, but he never worked in this profession. Janez Rupnik got an office at the Ljubljana Police Administration, where he used to be the director. Danijel Lorbek was given an office at the Maribor Police Administration, where he was once the director. Slavko Koroš, the current head of the minister’s supervision of the work of the police, whose shameful report about how the police performed their work during mass and violent demonstrations during the previous government, as well as crying in front of the cameras about how ashamed he is that he is a policeman, did not help, as they sent him to the Police Station in Slovenj Gradac.

Of course, you are right to wonder what that means. First of all, these transfers mean punishment for the work done during the previous government, when the policemen and the aforementioned police chiefs, I believe, performed their duties as correctly and responsibly as possible. Even the locations where they were sent, especially Boštjan Lindav, are nothing but punishment and ridicule. But if you are wondering what they will be doing, your question is spot on. My answer is also clear. They will do nothing for which, through no fault of their own, at the expense of the taxpayers, they will receive high salaries, similar in amount to that of the Prime Minister. Crazy, of course you are right.

What about the career police system, which is sworn to both in the police with Jušić at the head, as well as in politics, Boštjan Poklukar also apparently swears by the career police system, at least that is what he said in the National Assembly. But already in the case of Jušić, who is not a leading career police officer, he failed (he was fulfilling Robert Golob’s wishes), let alone in the case of those who were transferred criminally today. He contradicts himself with the announcement that the highest positions in the police (general director of the police) can be occupied by people from outside the police who have never been employed by the police. This is a point that even socialism and communism did not cross, at least not after 1985. Even then, the regional police chiefs became only policemen, and those at the top of the national police kept the cities until Slovenia gained independence.

If Boštjan Lindav spent his first police working day at the level of one of the police stations, and after that he rose to the highest position in the police according to the managerial career ladder, and today he was sent back to the police station, then this is not a career police system. The same applies to all the others listed.

Senad Jušić, today sitting in the “general” police office, naturally feels like a “general”. He also happily fulfils the wishes of Robert Golob and Boštjan Poklukar. But I am not sure if he is aware that neither Robert Golob nor Boštjan Poklukar signed any document on the punishment of subordinates, but he personally, who is also responsible for all of this. I also do not know if he realises that those who come after him could send him to where he started his police career, which is to one of the local police stations on the coast. If today he enjoys it as “general”, he will certainly not enjoy it if he is punished in this way by his successors.


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