Slovakian Municipal Police Chiefs Association



Dear Visitor,

          The Slovakian Municipal Police System is a relatively new phenomenon in our country. In 1990, immediately after Czechoslovakia's Velvet Revolution, several concerned individuals spearheaded an initiative to establish a new form of Law Enforcement, separate from the State Police, which was unknown to that time in Slovakia.  That system was Community Based Policing. The group was headed by Ex-Slovakian patriot, Colonel Andrew T. Adam von Rhédey, who returned to Slovakia from Canada during the political changeover in the spring of 1990.

          After a great deal of hard work, on December 3, 1991, the Slovakian Parliament enacted the Municipal Police Act. Shortly thereafter, the Slovakian Municipal Police Officers Association (AMOPS) and the Slovakian Municipal Police Chiefs Association ( SANMOP ) were established. The founding mandate of these two organizations is to maintain the highest possible standards in administrating police services in their jurisdictions. 

         The new Municipal Police Act did not guarantee that all Slovakian Municipal Police Agencies formed during that time subscribed to uniform standards or that they  all  adopted the Community Based Policing System. Many Municipal Police Chiefs were appointed to their posts by the dominant political parties and were totally subservient to the mayors and the city counselors who saw their Police Agency as their own power authority to achieve their personal mandates. As a result, many Municipal Police Chiefs were under the threat of constant dismissal. As well, the uncertainty of the State Police's future in the country caused a great deal of animosity between the two camps, resulting in harassment of many Municipal Police Chiefs and Police Officers by the State Police during that period.

          Today, SANMOP's objectives for responsible policing and public control of the Police through the Civilian Police Commissions are still the subject of debate in Slovakia. However, more and more Municipal Counsels and City Mayors are realizing the importance of their Municipal Police Services. Today, in 180 Slovakian Cities, the responsibility of Public Security falls directly under the jurisdiction of the City and Town Police Services. To a large degree, our successes are attributed to the help we've received and are still receiving from our North American law enforcement colleagues.

Today, our cities are safer and our country is that more pleasant to visit. We welcome you to visit and enjoy our country.

Mgr. Jozef Belicky, Acting President

The beginning of the development of Slovakia's Municipal Police System started with the return of Slovakian ex-patriot Andrew T. Adam von Rhédey from his Canadian home in Halifax, Nova Scotia to his birth country of Slovakia during the early stages of Czechoslovakia's Velvet Revolution. His past work experience in security and investigation in North America, and his lengthy experience with the issues of East-West Relations immediately gained him a position as an Advisor to the Ministry of the Interior of the new Provisional Government of Czechoslovakia. As well, he became Special Advisor to Major Jan Kopnicky of the City of Košice, Slovakia.

Prior to Andrew's departure from Canada to Slovakia, he put in place in Halifax an organization of political and economic advisors to assist Slovakia in the process of change.  Andrew, and the Halifax - Košice Association, eventually came to have significant influence on the events in Košice and the country. With the new political changes came also an opposition to his work, unfortunately not only from the communists but also from "new revolutionaries" who saw Andrew's work as threatening to their own agendas as to their own newly acquired influence. Regardless of this, SANMOP made a significant and positive impact on Košice and Slovakia. However, the price that supporters of the new changes were forced to pay was very high. 

The relationship between the Halifax City Police and development of the new Slovakia municipal police system dates back to 1990 when Chief Blair Jackson of the Halifax City Police responded to an official invitation from Mayor Jan Kopnicky of Košice. Chief Jackson visited Slovakia with a contingent of sixteen Canadian advisors and professionals from Halifax to assist the City of Košice with new strategies to manage the new political and social changes.

Many Canadian recommendations were taken to heart by Major Kopnicky, who used them to influence the development of Slovakian national legislation relating to the Municipal Act and the Municipal Police Act. Immediately afterwards the Slovakian Municipal Act was enacted by the Slovakian Parliament. Mayor Kopnicky appointed the first Košice Police Commission to oversee the creation of the city's new municipal  police department. Andrew T. Adam von Rhédey became the Chief Commissioner, and the training of the first twenty Košice city police officers began. 

The relationship with the U.S. Law Enforcement Agencies is also lengthy. During a September 1990 investigation assignment in Minnesota - U.S.A., Andrew, then a Major with the Czechoslovakian Counterintelligence Agency UOUD, met Training Sergeant John Denoma of the St. Paul City Police. Major Adam von Rhédey and Sergeant Denoma met at the St. Paul City Police Headquarters and initiated the process that eventually established a relationship between the St. Paul City Police and the Slovakian Municipal Police Chiefs Association. 

Shortly thereafter, Sergeant Denoma and Major Adam von Rhédey organized a series of police workshops in Slovakia. At the initial stage, fourteen Police Instructors from several Minnesota City Police, State and County Sheriffs Departments arrived in Košice. By the time the first training session started on April 21, 1991 the Slovakian cities were so advanced in the development of their own city police departments that when the first training session began several hundred new Slovakian municipal police officers arrived into Košice for their first workshops.

These events did not go unnoticed by the opposition. On the opening day of the first workshop the local and national Slovakian mass-media unleashed a barrage of slandering articles in their newspapers against the proponents of the program. But mostly against Major Adam von Rhédey. The action was coordinated by the Czechoslovakian Federal and the Slovakian Police, and the Slovakian State Security Forces together with federalists and the Slovakian centralists who wanted to see the Czech lands and Slovakia being governed by the French style centralized police and political system. This was the beginning of a long fight for survival of the new reform program.  

(Betrayal within it's own ranks is the worst. Following is a well know example to many Americans).  

After one year of constant harassment in an attempt to stop the development of North American style policing in Slovakia, the Czechoslovakian Federal Agents decided to take a different approach. Having been unsuccessful with their dirty mass-media campaigns and false prosecution of Major Adam von Rhédey, and without any success in sight in their attempt to stop the implementation of the new municipal police system the Federal Agents under directive from Prague resorted to even more draconian methods. On May 19,1992, two weeks before the Czechoslovakian Federal elections Major Adam von Rhédey was arrested by the Federal Agents. In fear that the issue would become a full and open public debate he was detained without any legal cause and placed in the Pankrac Detention Facility in the Czech Capital of Prague (Praha). Two days before election day on June 2, 1992, in handcuffs and under guard, he was put on a plane and was expelled from his birth country to Canada. 

While Major Adam von Rhédey was detained in Pankrac his mother, who was residing in Slovakia, was officially served with a Military Court's verdict absolving her son of any involvement in any wrong doing on all previous charges. The Military Court issued the verdict of "Not - Guilty" several weeks before the arrest and eventual deportation of Major Andrew T. Adam von Rhédey from his birth country. Despite these actions the CSFR federal election was a disaster for the federalists. Six moths later on December 31st, 1992 Czechoslovakia fell apart and the Republic of Slovakia was born on January 1st. 1993.

Regardless of the events described above, the pressure to scrap the development of  the Slovakian Municipal Police System continued to be further undermined by the Slovakian centralists and the State Police. 

In September 1992, Mayor Jan Kopnicky, Košice Police Commissioner Gabriel Kladek, Police Commissioner Jaroslav uha, Police Commissioner Jana Turcsányi and Košice City Counselor Jozef Krińan met with Mayor Moira Ducharme of Halifax and with the Executives of the Halifax City Police.

During this visit a strategy was put in place to continue the development of the newly created Slovakian Municipal Police system with the assistance and the cooperation of various U.S. and Canadian Law Enforcement Agencies. A special program was put in place to provide training in North America for Slovakian Municipal Police Instructors for the new Slovakian Municipal Police system. While these historic events were taking place in North America, Deputy Mayor of Kosice - RNDr. Rudolf BAUER, City Manager - Ing. Juraj MOCIK, City Financial Controller - Ing. Ludovid PRIESTER, aggressively plotted the impeachment of Mayor Kopnicky during his absence. Shortly after Mayor Kopnicky returned from Canada he was impeached and BAUVER became a Mayor of Kosice. The shady privatization process of the city's real-state and companies began. 

In 1992 SANMOP established a Liaison Office in Canada with training facilities in Halifax and Kentville, Nova Scotia.  Andrew was appointed SANMOP's Liaison Training Officer in Canada and by the summer of 1993 the first contingent of Slovakian Municipal Police Chiefs arrived in Halifax for training.

The training continued throughout 1994 and 1995. Many Slovakian Municipal Police Chiefs, apart from receiving training from the Halifax City Police, the RCMP and the Nova Scotia Department of Justice - Policing Services - Canadian Coast Guard College, also completed Dalhousie University's Continuing Education Program in Police Management and Police Leadership. As well, hundreds of Slovakian Municipal Police Officers completed many long distance training programs through prearranged U.S. Law Enforcement Television Network (LETN). 

By 1994 a very powerful opposition of centralists and the State Police proponents in Slovakia were doing everything possible to put an end to the U.S. / Canada / Slovakia training program. In fact the State applied so much pressure on the Slovakian city mayors and city counsels to withdraw funding from the all programs that supported new police reforms that in many cases there was no option. Many City Police Chiefs were harassed by the Slovakian State Police and pressure was put on the mayors to dismiss those Chief who were part of the program. Many Police Chiefs were fired during this period and their personal lives were negatively affected. Among those who were fired or had to leave their jobs under pressure for their participation in the program were Chief Milan Gejdoš - Liptovsky Mikulaš City Police, Chief Milan Vasiliak - Senica City Police, Chief Jan Vitko - Špišska Nova Ves City Police, Chief Igor Kluka - Zvolen City Police, Chief Anton Pišta - Prievidza City Police, and many more. Even the Mayor Kopnicky was impeached by his city counsel and the Košice Police Commissioner Gabriel Kladek, Police Commissioner Jaroslav uha and Police Commissioner Jana Turcsányi were also dismissed for their participation in the process of democratization of the Slovakian Police, again under pressure from the "centralists". Once again, and regardless of these events, the program survived and continues to this day, however always under budget, and therefore unable to demonstrate its true potential.   

In May, 1995, the SANMOP Canadian Liaison Office was responsible for organizing a visit to Slovakia by the Halifax City Police Department's Rock-and-Roll Band  "Blue Thunder" to kick off  SANMOP's National Crime Prevention Program  "Blue Line". During Blue Thunder’s two week stay in Slovakia, they  performed several concerts in seven Slovakian cities. They also visited numerous public schools and shared their crime prevention message with over 25,000 Slovakian Youth. The Canadian Television Network ATV / CTV produced a one hour documentary of the events. The film "Blue Thunder Rocks Slovakia" was televised on their network several times with a great response from the Canadian public. Since that time several dozen Slovakian youth have been trained in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Sudbury, Ontario, on how to develop and maintain youth crime prevention programs in Slovakia. To this day, with an assistance from the U.S., Canadian, British, and Netherlands Embassies, Government of Slovakia, and various private and corporate sponsors, some 400.000 Slovakia Youth have participated in the Junior Police Venturers (JPV) Programs. SANMOP has also exposed this program to other post communist countries in central - eastern Europe. 


You can also fined HRP Blue Thunder on Halifax Regional Police Website. See HRP Family Page, and than select "Blue Thunder".