Welcome to the United Nations

Individual Police Officers

Individual police officers (IPOs) are police officers or other law enforcement personnel of various ranks and experience assigned to serve with the United Nations on secondment by governments of Member States.

As of 31 August 2017, 3,368 police officers from 87 Member States are serving with United Nations police in UN peace operations. 

Individual police officers cover the complete range of policing tasks, including the developmment of community policing in refugee or internally-displaced persons camps; they mentor and in some cases train national police officers; and they provide specialization in different types of investigations and in a number of countries they help law enforcement agents to address transnational crime.

Individual police officers are recruited in four categories, aligned with the Strategic Guidance Framework for International Police Peacekeeping. Depending on their expertise, IPOs work on: 

  • Police Administration: the administrative systems, including budget management, procurement, record-keeping and personnel management, needed for the effective and efficient performance of the police component;
  • Police Capacity-Building and Development: how to best prepare officers and host-state institutions to ensure the long-term sustainability of international peace efforts;
  • Police Command: the resources, skills, capabilities and structures required to lead a complex, multidimensional peace operation;
  • Police Operations: day-to-day police work, applying the basic principles of community-oriented and intelligence-led policing to carry out investigations, provide public safety and conduct special operations.

Watch the video introducing the work of United Nations police in UN peace operations.

For more information on how to get involved, read the information for individual police officers