United Nations Police - Growing Numbers, Lasting Impact
In 2011, the United Nations marks the 50th anniversary of the deployment of UN Police to the Congo, the first time that United Nations sent international police officers to one of its peacekeeping operations.
That initial deployment proved highly useful in improving security, and ever since UN Police has continued to grow in size, scope and effectiveness. Today, there are more than 14,000 UN Police serving in 16 UN peacekeeping and special political missions.
UN Police work to help countries ravaged by conflict to establish law and order – not temporarily, but for the long haul. The UN’s work in reforming national police services includes broad rebuilding: redesigning police structures, vetting and training future police leaders, and imparting specialized skills.
Today’s UN Police have backgrounds in criminal investigation, forensics, administration, training, stopping organized crime, public information and community policing, and numerous other specialities. In addition to specialized individual officers, the UN deploys Formed Police Units comprised of over 140 police officers from a single country that are tactically ready to response to various situations, including crowd control, riots or natural disasters.
To better reflect the populations they serve, the UN has made a major effort in recent year to increase the number of women serving with UN Police. Thanks to this push, the representation of women police has increased to nearly 10 per cent today and the UN is committed to achieving 20 per cent by 2014.
The increasing respect and demand for UN Police is clearly evidenced by the fact the UN Security Council has more than tripled their deployment level in the past 10 years.