OMiK (OSCE Mission in Kosovo), among the OSCE's largest field operations, forms a distinct component of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). It is mandated with institution and democracy-building, including the promotion of human rights and respect for the rule of law. In 1999, the OSCE was mandated with training the new police service that was to uphold human rights and democratic policing principles. To do so, the Mission’s Department of Police Education and Development (DPED) created an institution – the Kosovo Police Service School – that in 2006 evolved into the Kosovo Centre for Public Safety Education and Development (KCPSED) and in 2011 into the Kosovo Academy for Public Safety (KAPS).
In order to better reflect the broader context of its programmes with justice, safety and security sector development, the DPED itself became the Department for Security and Public Safety (DSPS) in 2006. The DSPS experienced an acute reduction in its personnel figures, dropping from 30 international mission members and 57 local staff in January 2007 to 19 international and 36 local staff in December 2007. At the same time, the KCPSED was fully staffed by Kosovo/UNMIK civil servants and the transfer of the KCPSED to Kosovo/UNMIK's provisional authorities was completed. Having been renamed as the Department for Public Safety (DPS) in 2008, the name was once again changed in 2009, officially becoming the DSPS.
A core objective of the OSCE's Strategic Police Matters Unit (SPMU) is to support the organization's Field Operations in their police-related activities, as well as to accumulate information and guidance to be used in preparation for, and planning of, future police-related activities. According to the OSCE Strategic Framework for Police-related Activities, the sharing of best policing practices among the organization's participating States is a key element of its police-related activities. The gathering, evaluation, and sharing of this information takes place at the request of participating States and with their consensus.
The OSCE’s Law Enforcement Development Programmes in South-Eastern Europe, which started 1998 in Croatia, are the longest running police-related activities of the OSCE in any of the organization's geographical regions. These Programmes offer a wealth of invaluable information and lessons, which should be recorded not only to preserve the institutional memory of the OSCE, but also to use the identified good practices in the planning of police development programmes in other OSCE regions in the future.