Assistant General Director for Investigation, Kosovo Police
Integration and Amalgamation, Community Policing, Recruitment, Corruption, Training
Staff Performance, Training, UN Policies, UNMIK, policing, human resource management
Richard Bennet and Morgan Greene
Pristina, Republic of Kosovo,
Thu Jul 21 2011
In this interview, Riza Shillova of the Kosovo Police discusses the transition of the police force in Kosovo from one governed by the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) to the local Kosovo Police. He first describes the recruitment process of the Kosovo police, which initially fell under the umbrella of the UNMIK police until 2003, when the Kosovo police took responsibility and changed the recruitment and selection process. Shillova details the UNMIK interview process and application procedure, including the medical check, school and field training phases and evaluations. He explains the lack of consistency in practices and policing as a result of international trainers policing in different ways; for instance, the theoretical training by European trainers differed from the field training taught by members representing other, particularly non-Western, regions. Shillova discusses steps they took to overcome some of these obstacles. He highlights the process, including: problems with background checks; the establishment of policing procedures, training, and the recruitment process; announcement of vacancies and the application process; and the establishment of local procedures and standards. He defines the role of the Professional Standards Unit (PSU), which was set up to handle impartial background investigations of candidates. He explains the collaboration with the UNMIK police until the Kosovo Police began to independently run the process in 2003, with UNMIK monitoring it. He discusses the selection of candidates and the need for a balance of representation, including efforts to bring minorities into the force. He then details the effect of the 2008 Declaration of Independence in Kosovo on the police force, highlighting the walkout of Serbs from the force and the efforts in getting them back. He outlines the three types of training of the 7000 member force they have in place since 2007 and the promotion process. Shillova concludes that trust in the Kosovo police force is mainly a result of the recruitment process, which includes representation of all minorities and genders from the communities in which they serve. He further attributes the training of police, independent of the old police organizations, to its success. He stresses the importance of locals carrying out the process, while international organizations should take on the role of monitoring and advising; otherwise, he says, locals cannot learn.
Shillova is a lawyer by training and received a Masters in Public Administration. He joined the Kosovo police in September 1999, following the war in Kosovo. He finished his field training as a patrol officer and began investigation work in community policing, in the coordination office under the authority of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). In 2001, he was promoted to sergeant. In 2002, he was promoted to lieutenant and assigned to the division for the security of the government of buildings and very important persons escort. In Spring 2003, he became captain and served as a station commander until he was promoted to Deputy Head of Human Resources (HR) Directorate eight months later. During his role as Deputy Head, the Kosovo police became independent from UNMIK and the recruitment and selection process changed. In 2009, Shillova was appointed to the position of Assistant Director for Personnel and Trainings. At the time of this interview he served as the Assistant General Director for Investigation.