The International Criminal Police Organization, more commonly known as INTERPOL is an international organization that facilitates worldwide police cooperation and crime control.
Headquartered in Lyon, France, it was founded in 1923 as the International Criminal Police Commission (ICPC); the name INTERPOL served as the agency's telegraphic address in 1946, and was chosen as its common name in 1956.
INTERPOL provides investigative support, expertise, and training to law enforcement worldwide in battling three major areas of transnational crime: terrorism, cybercrime, and organized crime. Its broad mandate covers virtually every kind of crime, including crimes against humanity, child pornography, drug trafficking and production, political corruption, copyright infringement, and white-collar crime. The agency also helps coordinate cooperation among the world's law enforcement institutions through criminal databases and communications networks.
INTERPOL has an annual budget of around US$131 million, most of which is provided through annual contributions by its membership of police forces in 181 countries. Its day-to-day operations are carried out by the General Secretariat, which is staffed by both police and civilians and led by the Secretary General, currently Jürgen Stock, the former deputy head of Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office. As of 2013, the General Secretariat employed a staff of 756, representing 100 member countries. The General Assembly, composed of all member countries, is the governing body, electing the Executive Committee and its President—currently Kim Jong Yang of South Korea—to supervise the implementation of INTERPOL's policies and administration.
INTERPOL seeks to remain as politically neutral as possible so as to fulfill its mandate; hence its charter bars the organization from undertaking interventions or activities of a political, military, religious, or racial nature or involving itself in disputes over such matters.