Anyone who works as a police officer in law enforcement often has a tough job. Last but not least, the corona crisis and the protests against pandemic measures have increased the corresponding burden. This is also reflected in the rate of long-term sick police officers.
Erfurt (dpa/th) - During the two Corona years 2020 and 2021, the rate of police officers in Thuringia who were ill for a long time increased. A spokesman for the Thuringian Ministry of the Interior told the German Press Agency that around 980 police officers from the state police were on sick leave for a longer period of time last year. "This corresponds to around 17 percent of the total number of officers in the Thuringian police force."
Not taken into account for this information is the sick leave of employees of the police who, for example, only work in the office and are therefore not part of the prison service. At the end of 2021, there were around 5,700 police officers in Thuringia.
Civil servants are considered long-term sick if they were either on sick leave for more than six weeks at a time or if they were unable to work for more than 42 days in total per calendar year. In 2020, around 17 percent of Thuringian police officers were also long-term ill, said the spokesman.
In 2019 and 2018, the corresponding rates were even lower. According to data from the Ministry of the Interior, 16 and 14 percent of police officers were ill at the time for a long period of time.
The reasons for the increased rate of long-term illnesses are manifold, explained the spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior. There is no doubt, however, that in the course of the corona pandemic, more civil servants than before it began were long-term ill. Not only that police officers themselves are ill with Covid-19. In connection with the pandemic, there had been very strenuous operations for weeks by the riot police units because of illegal protests against corona measures.
There were repeated clashes between corona deniers and police officers. Some police officers were injured and were therefore unable to work. This is also reflected in the rate of long-term illnesses, said the spokesman.
According to earlier estimates by the ministry, the number of long-term sick police officers will be reduced primarily by hiring more young junior officers. Not only that this reduces the average age of officials. By having sufficient staff available, "stress-related strains in the workplace can be reduced," the company said in 2021.