The Non-Functional Radars of Rama’s “Modern” Police

On letter written August 31, 2017 to the Ministry of Justice, Director-General of the Police Haki Çako discussed an operation dated August 11, in which a speedboat, supposedly used for drug trafficking, escaped during a police action near Zvërnec.

The fact that no information was given created confusion and there cases where the boats that took part in the operation started to follow each other on the open sea. After the speedboat was captured below the radar, it turned out that the system hadn’t noticed any movement.

The system Çako refers to here is the radar system deployed by the Interinstitutional Naval Operations Center (QNOD), which is supposed to aid in capturing drug trafficking at sea. Çako continued that

in quite a few cases the police has requested to retrieve from the system events with concrete times and dates, […] but in none of the cases evidence was found in the system, even though the boats captured by the Guardia di Finanze in Italy have been of the size that should have been discovered and identified by this system.

Immediately after the Çako’s letter became public, the Ministry of Defense, which is responsible for operating QNOD, denied the claims of the police director:

Through this joint declaration we inform the public that the integrated system for observation of the naval space, a system installed in 2009, is fully functional.

Any other claim is without merit, untrue, and ill-willed.

The ministry didn’t clarify whether it will investigate the incidents mentioned by Çako or when the system was inspected for the last time. If the claims of both the police director and the ministry turn out to be true, the only conclusion can be that there have been intentional interventions into the system. Nevertheless, in spite of the “interinstitutional” nature of the QNOD, the back and forth of the last few days that much is to be improved as regards cooperation between institutions,


Rama’s modernization of the police

Since coming to power in 2013, Prime Minister Edi Rama has spoken often about the modernization of the State Police, calling investments in the police “fundamental instruments for the radical and incontrovertible transformation of the State Police, from a disorganized and perverse structure into a structure that is a spitting image of the police structures in EU countries.”

The Ministries of Interior Affairs and Defense have often organized shows to present new motors, new electric cars, and a double performance of the new police uniforms (with “thanks” to Turkish President Erdoğan). Last year, Prime Minister Rama even tried to turn governance into entertainment by organizing a spectacle around the “police fair.”

Around the world, the aim and slogan of the police is to stay close to the people and to serve and protect them, wherever they are and whenever they are in need. In a regular European country, the police is considered “up close,” protecting life, property, and public order.

Meanwhile, in Albania, the institutions that are responsible for public order blame each other for “ill-willed declarations,” fail to investigate any public denunciation, even from the Director-General of the State Police, even when dealing with one of the most greatest problems of the last years, international drug trafficking.

No new car, motor, or uniform can make up for that incompetence.