History

HISTORY OF PUBLIC SECURITY SERVICE

The Internal Service Units (hereinafter – the units) already had their own prototypes in our country. The “Flag” of the Tribunal of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania can be called the precursor of the units. At that time, the term “Flag” was used to call a military unit corresponding to a modern battalion or regiment. This military unit ensured the convoying of the detainees to the Tribunal, convoying of convicted to prison or other place of execution of sentence. The Grand Marshal of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was responsible for security in the Grand Duke’s environment and, if necessary, could invoke the Flag for help.

The precursor of the current Public Security Service can legitimately be called the Brigade of the Local Army (hereinafter - LAB), established in February 1920, during the struggle for independence of Lithuania. The LAB not only controlled the command posts of the cities and counties, ensured the functioning of the discipline battalion, but also organized camps of prisoners, military prisons and their security. During the struggle for independence, the military command posts were also responsible for public order. For this purpose, military units from mobilized volunteers were formed. Lieutenant General Pranas Liatukas was the first LAB commander appointed from 23 February 1920. Later, LAB was led by Lieutenant General Jurgis Kubilius (July 13, 1920 - August 7, 1920), Major Antanas Merkys (August 7, 1920 - 23 November 1922), and Colonel Jonas Mačiulaitis served as commander of the LAB until the dissolution of the LAB on 7 December 1923.     

After the restoration of independence in 1990, Lithuanian leaders were concerned about what would ensure the protection of convicts serving their sentence in prisons in our country, their convoying, the suppression of the riots caused by the convicts, the search for escaped people and many other tasks associated with this specific state activity, when the Soviet forces that used to carry out these activities in Lithuania would be withdrawn. However, the aim was to push out the Soviet repressive structures as soon as possible, which posed risk to the state institutions under reconstruction.

On 31 May 1991, the Government of the Republic of Lithuania approved the Regulations of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania by the Resolution No 222. Paragraph 10 of Article 5 of these Regulations established that one of the most important tasks of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania is to create internal service units.

The first document relating to the organization of the internal service units was Joint Order No 380/193 of the Minister of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania and the Director General the Department of National Defence under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania signed on 13 September 1991, which approved the instructions of the call-up to National Defence Service in Internal Service Units of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania (in accordance with Provisional Law on the National Defence Service of the Republic of Lithuania of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania of 20 November 1990, the National Defence Service was also carried out in internal service units).

The second one is Resolution No. 451 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 10 October 199 “On the Establishment of the Units of the Ministry of the Interior and the Approval of the Regulations of these Units”, which had 22 articles.

The following main tasks were foreseen for the Internal Service Units:

  • Fight against crime;
  • Security of imprisonment institutions;
  • Convoying of the detainees and convicts;
  • Ensuring the public order, especially during mass events.

The entire preparatory period was crowned by the Order No 455 of the Minister of the Interior signed on 18 October 1991 “On the Establishment of the 1st Regiment of the Internal Service of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania”. This order also approved the list of posts for the staff of the regiment. 2,065 positions in total, of which: officers - 137; the reenlisted non-commissioned officers - 470; active non-commissioned officers and rankers - 1376; specialists - 6; workers - 5; servants - 71. The Colonel Sergejus Madalovas was appointed head of internal service regiment.

52 newly called-up recruits came from the military commandant’s departments of cities to the 1st Internal Service Regiment on 11 November 1991.

In autumn 1991, a cross-border agreement was adopted on the withdrawal of armed forces of the Soviet Union from Lithuania. It was agreed to perform the withdrawal in June 1992. Thus, Lithuania had more than half a year to formulate and develop its own Lithuanian structure that could take over from the Soviets the external armed protection of convicted and correctional institutions, convoying of deprived of their liberty and convicted persons to their places of appointment and court hearings, as well as to perform other special tasks requiring specific training. These tasks could be fulfilled by working hard and productively during the agreed half-year period. However, the leadership of the Soviet division stated that it had received an order from its leadership to remove the entire contingent of its subordinate soldiers and all its property and documentation from Lithuania by the end of 1991. Therefore, the creation of the regiment and the training of soldiers had to be done not in half-year period, but in almost two months.

On 16 December 1991, all works were commenced based on a schedule for the transfer of security of the objects agreed upon by the Lithuanian and the Soviet Administration, which established the transfer procedure to be commenced on December 16 and complete by December 25. Thus, this truly important national task was carried out smoothly and on time. On 24 December 1991, on St. Christmas Eve, yet since the beginning of second Soviet occupation of Lithuania, i.e. since mid-1944, the functions of all security guards of Lithuanian detention facilities guarded by Soviet soldiers, convoying of arrestees and convicts, ensuring the public order during events were handed over to soldiers of the I Regiment of Lithuanian Internal Service.

When taking over the guard, and later during the withdrawal of the convoying units of a foreign state from Lithuania, any special incidents or serious problems were avoided. It should be noted that the Soviet forces impeded their withdrawal from Lithuania until the last minute, hoping that the Government of independent Lithuania would still ask for help in ensuring the above-mentioned functions.

In the spring of 1992, riots occurred in one detention centre. They were successfully suppressed using psychological measures: by vigorous entry to the area with warning shots in the air and sirens. Later such riots will occur periodically. In the autumn of the same year, the soldiers of the regiment finally get Lithuanian uniforms.

In order to ensure the functions assigned to units in Vilnius city, it was decided to reorganize the 2nd Battalion of the 1st Regiment of the Internal Service, which was deployed in Vilnius, and to establish the 2nd Regiment of the Internal Service. Thus, in accordance with Order No 531 of the Minister of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania of 15 September 1992, the 2nd Regiment of the Internal Service was established. Colonel Stanislovas Stančikas was appointed commander of the regiment from 28 September 1992 until 1 February 1994. Colonel Jonas Rėkus replaced him. Colonel Lieutenant Anatolijus Šumskis led 2nd Regiment of the Internal Service from 22 May 2000 until the reorganization of regiments.

A 148 staff police company was set up at the II Regiment of the Internal Service by order of the Minister of the Interior of 15 June 1993, whose officers, in order to ensure public order, constantly had to patrol in Vilnius city. A part of the officers of this company were sent to the cities of Kaunas, Klaipėda, Šiauliai, Panevėžys and Alytus, as well as Vilnius, Mažeikiai and Šilutė districts, for the same purpose, which eventually reduced the number of crimes committed in public places and increased the number of arrestees suspected of committing a crime and violating administrative law.

On 20 November 1993, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania, Adolfas Šleževičius, presented battle flags to the Deputy Minister of the Interior, the Chief Commander of the Internal Service, General Arvydas Svetulevičius, the Commander of the 1st Regiment of the Internal Service, Colonel Sergejus Madalovas, and the Commander of the 2nd Regiment of the Internal Service Colonel Stanislovas Stančikas.

On the initiative of the 1st Regiment, a school of a Young soldier for employment of adolescents and after-school education aimed at patriotic, civic and military education of adolescent children and young people was established in 1994. The education of children took place on a social basis, the initiative of enthusiastic volunteers, the process of education was organized and supervised by the member of the Council, Vincas Kavaliauskas and Colonel Lieutenant Algimantas Jurevičius.

In 1995, the 1st Regiment started patrolling together with the Lithuanian police in order to ensure public order in Kaunas city.

In 1998, the Regiments of Internal Service started ensuring the public order in Palanga city.

In 2001, a project was being implemented in Lithuania, where, during the 3-month course, officers from 1st and 2nd Regiments were trained in French public order rehabilitation tactics.

According to the order of the Government and the orders of the Ministers of Interior and the National Defence of the Republic of Lithuania, the 2nd Regiment of the Internal Service of the Ministry of Interior took over the protection of the State Enterprise of Vilnius International Airport from the Volunteer Forces of National Defence on 1 January 2006.

By 2004, the basis of the regiments was comprised of compulsory military service soldiers. According to the data of 1 January 2001, there was a 990 staff of conscripts in 1st Regiment of the Internal Service and 416 staff of conscripts in the 2nd Regiment of the Internal Service. In accordance with the Law on the National Security Fundamentals of the Republic of Lithuania, the Government adopted Resolution No 1609 of 22 December 2001 “On Approval of the Refusal of the Soldiers of the Compulsory Primary Military Service serving in the System of Internal Affairs and the Reorganization of the Units of Internal Service of the Ministry of Interior into the Public Security Units and the Plan for its Implementation”. Thus, starting from January 2002, the reorganization of the units of internal into the Public Security Service by gradually refusing the soldiers of compulsory military service and forming units only on the grounds of professional service was commenced. During the reorganization, the Prison Service was transferred to the Prison Department under the Ministry of Justice since no conscripts were left in re-formed convoying company. The reform was implemented by 1 January 2004.

In 2004, the regiments of Internal Service started protection of the state leaders in Turniškės.

In 2005, convoying of arrestees and convicts by train was abandoned; for that purpose, more convenient transport was allocated to the regiments. In active cooperation with the Pagėgiai team, the regiments of internal service help to ensure the protection of the state border.

In 2006, the security of the International Vilnius Airport was handed over to the II Regiment of the Internal Service. For the first time, the officers of the regiments of Internal Service participated in the qualification improvement program for public police patrols involved in the Kaliningrad transit control. The soldiers of 1st Regiment help to locate quickly and detain two arrestees who escaped from Kėdainiai police pre-trial detention centre.

A team single combat competition dedicated to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the Units of Internal Service was held. The 2nd Regiment started cooperation with the French National Gendarmerie - a representative of the regiment participated in the exercises of the European Union law enforcement forces in France.

Due to radical change in political situation in the country, it was necessary to accelerate the reorganization of the regiments of internal service into the Public Security Service. After Lithuania became a member of the European Union and NATO, the functions of the regiments of internal service changed in part, therefore it was decided to reorganize the regiments into the Public Security Service subordinate to the Ministry of the Interior and to regulate its activities by a special law.

On 19 September 2006, the Seimas adopted the Law on Public Security Service of the Republic of Lithuania No X-813. In implementing this law, the Government approved the Regulations of the Public Security Service under the Ministry of the Interior and reorganized the 1st and 2nd Regiments of the Internal Service of special preparedness into the Public Security Service by Resolution No 278 of 14 March 2007.

In agreement with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania, Gediminas Kirkilas, Colonel Sergejus Madalovas, who headed the 1st Regiment of Internal Service, was appointed commander of service by the order of the Minister of the Interior of 1 April 2007. He was granted the rank of General of the Internal Service. A former Deputy Commander of 1st Regiment of Internal service, a Chief of Staff, Colonel of Internal Service Jonas Zautra and former Commander of 2nd Regiment of Internal Service Colonel Anatolijus Šumskis were appointed Deputies of the Internal Service. The Public Security Service consisted of a central service and two units - in Vilnius and Kaunas. It was decided to establish the central Public Security Service headquarters in Kaunas.

The Law on the Public Security Service explicitly specifies that the forces of the Public Security Service of special preparedness are used to ensure public order and security only in cases of special and extreme situations. The service has been operating in accordance with its law since 1 April 2007; it has own uniform and a battle flag. The Public Security Service was entrusted with the major part of the functions assigned to former internal service units. The officers of the Service continue protecting and convoying the convicts and arrestees, eliminate conflict situations at places of imprisonment, maintain public order during mass events, if necessary, and assist in operations of the fight against crime.  However, after the reorganization, new functions have been assigned to the Public Security Service. Specially trained Public Security Service officers ensure the protection of important state objects, conduct searches for persons, ensure public order in cases of extreme and special situations, participate in missions of the United Nations and other international organizations; in exceptional cases, assist other law enforcement agencies in accordance with the procedure established by the Minister of the Interior and by his instructions. During the war, the Public Security Service defends the state within the armed forces.

From 1 January 2007, the 1st Regiment of the Internal Service starts to protect the airport of Kaunas. In the summer, the PSS website, which contains the news related to the Service, relevant legal acts as well as photos from various PSS events, sees the light of day.

From 1 January 2008, PSS starts to protect the railway tunnel (Kaunas), the railway bridge over the Dubysa river (Raseiniai district, Lyduvėnai), and guards the medicine warehouse of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Lithuania (Nemenčinė). For the first time in Lithuanian history, two squads consisting of 17 PSS officers each represent Lithuania in exercises of the European Union law enforcement forces in France, at the National Gendarmerie Training Centre in Saint-Astier. A Public Security Service Association, uniting former and present PSS officers, is established. PSS officers started taking part in missions. The first ones departed to the European Union Rule of Law Mission EULEX KOSOVO in Kosovo under European Common Security and Defence Policy. A week courses on Public Order Recovery Tactics conducted by instructors from the French Republican Security Departments was held. PSS cynologists improved their qualifications with the help of French National Police instructors in France and Lithuania. For the first time, representatives of PSS participated in the exercises of European Gendarmerie Forces “EGEX08” in Portugal.

In June 2009, PSS was inspected and assessed by the multinational advisory group of European Gendarmerie Forces. A declaration on the recognition of the Public Security Service and the granting of the status of a partner of European Gendarmerie Forces was solemnly presented to the commander of the Public Security Service under the Ministry of the Interior during the Interministerial Committee meeting of the European Gendarmerie in Versailles (France) on December 15. PSS officers took part in the European Union Police Force Exercises (EUPFT) in Italy in 2009 launched by the EU Civilian Crisis Management Committee. A cooperation agreement between the PSS and the Fire and Rescue Department was signed.

In 2010, the Public Security Service strengthens cooperation with the Lithuanian Armed Forces. Participated in the staff exercises at operational level “Siena 2010”, the purpose of which is to assess the readiness of the Military Operations Headquarters and Joint Operations Centre to plan and maintain operations by assisting the State Border Guard Service (SBGS) in case of strengthening the state border. These are the first exercises of such kind involving the representatives of the army and state paramilitary institutions. A cooperation agreement between the PSS and the Lithuanian Armed Forces was signed. PSS officers left for the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti. According to a separate agreement between the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of National Defence, the representatives of the Public Security Service participated in a joint Police Operations and Mentoring Liaison Team established by Lithuania and the United States in Ghor Province, Afghanistan. PSS officers participated in international exercises in Germany, EUPFT 2010. A cooperation agreement with the Prison Department was signed.

A joint plan of cooperation measures between the Lithuanian Armed Forces and the PSS was signed in 2011. PSS participated in military exercises “Amber Hope 2011”. A cooperation agreement between the PSS and the Police Department was signed.

In 2012, the PSS officers participated in the international civil crisis management training “Logrono 2012” designed for the management of civilian crisis. The PSS and the State Border Guard Service signed a cooperation agreement. The PSS officers won the gold medal at the European Sambo Championship, and gold and bronze medals in the World Championship. The team of officers participated in French sniper expert courses in Lithuania.

In 2013, the PSS officers left to the United Nations peacekeeping missions in Cyprus and Liberia. A cooperation agreement with the Department of Defence under the Ministry of Interior was signed. For the second consecutive year, a PSS officer became a champion of the European Sambo Championship.

In 2014, a mobilization and two-stage tactical PSS exercises took place. PSS officers participated in the exercises of law enforcement forces (EUPST 2014) in the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Italy. Participated in the International Exercises “ISTE 2014” designed for training the staff to participate in the Multilateral Staff of the EU mission, in the exercises organized by the SBGS in Lithuania and in the military exercises “Amber Will 2014”, as well as in the table exercises for staff command posts “Uniform Response 2014”. By the resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, for the first time, a representative of PSS participates in the international military operation as a civilian component: the operation to restore public order and secure environment in the Bangor region (Central African Republic), where he performed tasks on the strength of a joint unit of the European Gendarmerie Forces. PSS officers participated in the Formation Skydiving Championship of Lithuanian Parachuting Sport and reached the formation record of Baltic States - skydiving is performed from 6,000 m altitude. A PSS subdivision was set up in Klaipėda, whose main task is to carry out the protection of the LNG terminal of AB Klaipėdos Nafta.

In 2015, the PSS officers participated in international intervention training in France. PSS took over a part of the weaponry from Lithuanian Army required for the wartime. Participated in the largest national military exercise Arcade Fusion 2015 and in the largest international exercise of special operations in the Baltic region Flaming Sword 2015, in the international exercise Baltic Host 2015. Collective agreement with trade unions was signed.

From 1 July 2015, the Colonel Lieutenant Ričardas Pocius, the officer of the National Defence System, was appointed to head the Public Security Service. He was granted the rank of colonel of the Internal Service. A four-party cooperation agreement was signed between the PSS, the State Border Guard Service, the Police Department and the Lithuanian Riflemen Union in order to cooperate in organizing summer camps for children at the Frontier School. The first Applied Biathlon Competition of PSS cynologists was held in Kaunas. The PSS officer won a bronze medal in the World Sambo Championship.

At the end of 2015, the regulations of the Public Security Service were amended by the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, and the residence of the Public Security Service was moved to Vilnius from 1 January 2016. In implementing the new Statute of the Internal Service, the Public Security Service underwent the reorganization: the structure was changed, the part of the unit officers became non-permanent - civil servants, the Colonel of Internal Service Jonas Zautra was appointed deputy of the Service Commander, and Darius Skliaustys, the Lieutenant Colonel of Internal Service, was appointed Chief of Staff.

By adapting to the pace of interactive life and seeking to inform the society more promptly and effectively, the Public Security Service created a page on the social network Facebook in 2016. The Service participated in the exercises of the Lithuanian Armed Forces Unified Response 2016 and in the exercises of the Lithuanian Armed Forces Rapid Response Force and support units Arcade Fusion 2016. The Service acquired special measures from the Federal Republic of Germany, signed cooperation agreements with the Fire and Rescue Department and Fire and Rescue School. Together with the Police and Border officers, 10 representatives of the Service were sent to the island of Lesbos in Greece, where by the EU decision FRONTEX ensured the control of emigrant flows.

Head of ICISD Evaldas Vaitkus

Last updated: 23-01-2019