The International Criminal Police Organization, better known by its telegraphic address Interpol, is an organization facilitating international police cooperation. It was established as the International Criminal Police Commission in 1923 and adopted its telegraphic address as its name in 1956. It should not be confused with the International Police, which takes on an active uniformed role in policing war-torn countries.
Its membership of 186 countries provides finance of around US$59 million through annual contributions. (By comparison, Europol receives $90 million annually.) The organization's headquarters are in Lyon, France.
Its current Secretary-General is Ronald Noble, formerly of the United States Treasury. Noble is the first non-European to hold the position of Secretary-General. Jackie Selebi, National Commissioner of the South African Police Service, was president from 2004 but resigned on January 13, later being charged in South Africa on three counts of corruption and one of defeating the course of justice. He was replaced by Arturo Herrera Verdugo, current National Commissioner of Policía de Investigaciones de Chile and former Vicepresident for the American Zone, who will remain acting president until the next organization meeting, in October 2008.