I’ve been a member of the International Police Association for many years.
I believe there are some worthy purposes which underpin the Association; their motto is Servo per amikeco which I think is Esperanto for Service through Friendship. Basically, I used it as a source of drinking and tremendous fun in foreign countries.
I used to go abroad on trips under the auspices of the IPA. Mostly before I was married or before we had children. A group of us would go some where in Europe, meet up with a load of foreign coppers and spend the time socialising, drinking and eating amongst some semi official police business. Apart from having a laugh it as quite educational; we learnt much about each other’s methods of policing. We got to check out the gear, drive their vehicles, fire their guns, visit their training centres, all sorts.
I mentioned recently about a trip to Russia. We also visited Germany several times, Holland, Belgium, France, Italy, Germany. We stayed in hotels, police barracks, training schools and officers’ own homes.
Over the last 30 years, I also hosted many foreign police officers, from all over the world. Some of them became long distance friends, others we never heard from again. I’ve never been to the States, at one time I had about 15 different offers for a place to stay from New York to Colorado to New Mexico & California. I even hosted a sheriff from Transylvania County and have the badges and patches to prove it.
I particularly remember one American cop, who came over with his wife. We got in touch with each other via a police chat list on he Internet. I invited him to stay, gave him a tour of the factory and got him a coupalongside ride-alongs. We corresponded for a couple of years until he stopped respondingwhile er some emails and letters unanswered Â I Â heard from his wife. It turned out he had been shot at work, whilst it wasn’t fatal, it was serious enough to end his career, whereupon things had gone downhill, he fell victim to depression and his marriage broke up. It was so sad.
I’ve paid my dues to the IPA every year but for at least 10 years I’ve not done a single IPA related thing. Well, I say I pay my dues, actually my wife does. Back in the mists of time and for reasons I cannot recall, the annual fee got swapped over to my wife’s account. Every January since, when the subs come out of her account, she reminds me to swap it back. I think she’s been paying to for over 25 years. I’ve never swapped it back.
I think I’ll probably just cancel the subscription, if I ever get round to it.