History of the establishment of Latvian Security Police
Along with the proclamation of independence of the Republic of Latvia on 18 November 1918, the establishment of a new security and intelligence service was necessary. On 29 July 1919, the Security Department of the Ministry of Interior was established, which was tasked to combat crime aimed at the state constitutional order. On 2 October 1920, the Political Security of the Ministry of Interior was established but in the time frame of May 1924 until June 1939, the function of counterintelligence and internal security service was performed by the Political Department of the Ministry of Interior (Political Police Administration of the Security Police Department from June 1939 until June 1940). After the USSR occupation in 1940, more than 90% of the officers of Latvian security and intelligence services were killed or died in the prisons of the Soviet Union.
After the restoration of the statehood, in 1991 the establishment of the system of the security and intelligence services was initiated. In 1991, the Security Service of the Republic of Latvia and the Dignitary Protection Service as well as the Information Department of the Ministry of Interior were established, which conducted intelligence and counterintelligence activities in order to protect newly established Latvian government.
In 1993, the Information Department of the Ministry of Interior and the Dignitary Protection Service were unified, in the result of which the National Economic Sovereignty Protection Department (VESAD) was established with the aim to provide the security measures crucial at that time.
In 1994, the Law on Security and Intelligence Services was adopted which stipulated the body and legal status of security and intelligence services in Latvia. At that point, VESAD was reorganised and Latvian Security Police was established.
Latvian Security Police has had five directors since its foundation:
- 08.07.1994 – 14.11.1996 – Raimonds Rožkalns
- 18.12.1996 – 25.08.1999 – Jānis Apelis
- 25.08.1999 – 24.11.1999 – Imants Bekešs
- 22.12.1999 – 07.11.2014 – Jānis Reiniks
- Since 08.11.2014 – Normunds Mežviets