State Secretary Anton Olaj appointed new police commissioner

Ljubljana – Interior Ministry State Secretary Anton Olaj was relieved of his duties as state secretary and appointed the new police commissioner. He will take over for five years on Friday, the Government Communication Office said after the government session on Thursday.

Olaj served in the police force between 1981 and 2012, when he finished his police career as Novo Mesto Police Department director.

He held several posts in the criminal police in 1986-2006, including as Novo Mesto criminal police unit head. Last June he was appointed an Interior Ministry state secretary.

In 1989 he graduated from the Ljubljana Faculty of Law, earned a master’s degree from the private Faculty of European and Government Studies in 2005 and a doctorate from the private European Faculty of Law in 2011.

Olaj also taught at the Police College within the Police Academy in 2006-2011 and has written several academic papers on international public law and constitutional law.

He is the third police commissioner since the Janez Janša government was sworn in in the middle of March 2020 and immediately dismissed Tatjana Bobnar.

She was replaced by Anton Travner, who served only until the end of June, when he resigned less than a month after he was appointed a full-fledged police commissioner.

He resigned together with Interior Minister Aleš Hojs when police conducted house searches as part of a probe into the purchases of personal protective equipment, including at Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek’s.

While Hojs later changed his mind and stayed on, the police force has been since headed by Andrej Jurič as acting police commissioner.

The newspaper Delo has recently reported that Olaj applied for the job, while the other applicant had not met job requirements.

Deputy Police Commissioner Tomaž Pečjak said, when asked at a news conference about potential changes due to Olaj’s appointment, this was a matter to be addressed to Olaj. However, since the police force is a large organisation, a change at the helm does not have an impact on the work of police officers, he added.