The police union has sounded the alarm. In view of the ongoing staff shortages, she sees security in the country at risk. The interior minister disagrees - but he concedes that young police officers are moving up more slowly than planned.
Schwerin (dpa / mv) - Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania's Interior Minister Christian level (SPD) has rejected the massive criticism of the police union (GdP) of the state government, but at the same time conceded backlogs in the build-up of staff. "The calculations made in 2016 were probably a bit too optimistic. More officials are retiring early. And more police students fail the exams than expected. The gap is therefore larger than was assumed at the time," said the level of the German press agency in Schwerin. As a consequence of this, the campaign for young police officers will be intensified and some of the training will be restructured, the minister announced.
In the previous government, the SPD and CDU decided to increase the police force in the country by 400 to 6,200 jobs. After the change of government in autumn 2021, the coalition of SPD and Left Party also stuck to the goal - but it has hardly come any closer to it. "It's a feat of strength," said level, referring to the massive drop in the number of applicants. Instead of the 4,000 that used to be the case, only just under 1,000 school leavers would apply for the police service each year, and only around 20 percent met the admission criteria. According to the level, 43 of 151 police students who started this year did not complete their training successfully, 29 of them threw in the towel prematurely. Between 100 and 170 civil servants left the service each year.
"We have to increase the range of applicants, especially in the secondary school area. When I visit the police stations, young officers say that we have to use social media a lot more. That will happen," announced level. In addition, the previously rigid training system will be relaxed, according to which all police officers are first trained for security service and then deployed there before they can later switch to the criminal police.
Following the example of such states as Hamburg or Schleswig-Holstein, it will in future also be possible in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania to be trained as a criminalist immediately after a one-year basic course in the next two years. The admission procedure for such a bachelor's degree at the University of Applied Sciences in Güstrow is ongoing. Approval is expected in October. The demand shows that there is a keen interest in it and that additional applicants could be won. While the generational change is making noticeable progress in the area of protective police, it is still to come in the criminal police, Level explained.
The police union had accused the state government of doing too little for the promised increase in jobs and thus accepting a loss of security in view of the permanent shortage of staff and constant workload. Level admitted that the officials had been under a lot of pressure because of the many corona demonstrations and that they hardly had a breather in the summer due to the many folk festivals and festivals. However, the officials did their job with great commitment to ensure security. During visits to the infirmaries, it became clear that the police were always incapable of acting, patrolled and the things that the police needed to do were worked through, Mr Level emphasized.