In the coalition agreement, the traffic light alliance announced a strengthening of the police forces and an "increase in the attractiveness" of the police career - but the opposite is currently the case. According to their own assessment and that of the two police unions, the Federal Police is massively underfunded and understaffed.
In addition, there is now a conflict in the coalition over pensions for federal police officers: Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) wants pensions to be increased, as agreed with the FDP and the Greens, by changing the provisions on police allowances. Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) initially put the increase on hold.
Faeser's anger about this is now so great that, according to WELT information, she wrote a letter to Lindner in armor and turned on the Federal Chancellery. Chancellery Minister Wolfgang Schmidt (SPD) should put the issue on the agenda of the next coalition committee.
The process is currently particularly explosive because the federal congress of the police union (GdP) will meet in Berlin at the beginning of next week. Both Faeser and Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) will take part. Andreas Roßkopf, GdP board member responsible for the federal police, announced when asked that he would "be tough on the coalition" given the financial resources of the police forces.
In the coalition agreement, the traffic light parties had announced “good staffing and equipment” as well as further improvements for the federal police. "We will secure the financing," it says. It was explicitly stated that the so-called police allowance, which the officers receive, should be “pensionable”, i.e. counted against the pension. That would mean 160 euros net more for the officials. But the police officers now see nothing of all this.
Federal police chief Dieter Romann recently sounded the alarm about the financial and staffing of his agency. According to internal reports, not only are 497 million euros less than necessary in the budget plans up to 2026. In a confidential paper from the end of June, which is available to WELT, 1240 new posts are considered necessary; However, the coalition only approved 500.
According to the paper "only for official use" there are "up to 3,068 police officers at the top" on weekends to carry out the tasks, on average around 1,700 officers are too few.
The police unions blame the interior minister for the gaps in staffing and equipment. It is said that Faeser did not fight hard enough for more money. Christian Lindner, on the other hand, is accused of blocking the pension increase. "An additional 160 euros in the purse of a retired police officer is not only a sign of appreciation, but also sorely needed for some livelihoods due to skyrocketing prices," demands Heiko Teggatz, head of the DPolG federal police union.
In order to at least take the pressure off the boiler when it comes to pensions, the interior minister is now urging the finance minister to act quickly. After all, she had already presented a corresponding draft law in April, and several discussions had taken place.
When the draft law was presented at the end of April, Faeser said: “Police officers are on the front line day and night for our rule of law.” And further: “It is very important to me that the officers receive more support, respect and appreciation. This appreciation must also be felt financially.” Police representatives now expect the minister to deliver.
Nancy Faeser has now informed the "dear colleague" Lindner that she considers the blocking of the pension increase to be "difficult to convey" to the police officers for "basic budgetary reasons". "Another wait-and-see approach to this topic, which has been under discussion for years, ultimately affects the credibility of politics, especially against the background of our common will manifested in the coalition agreement," writes Faeser.
According to the draft law, future pension payments for federal police officers are to be increased by up to 160 euros per month. The police officers of the Federal Police, the Federal Criminal Police Office and the police at the German Bundestag as well as military police and officials at customs would benefit from the regulation - a total of around 56,000 employees.
The authorities are mostly desperately looking for junior staff. In view of the moderate salaries compared to the free economy and the corresponding pensions, it will probably be even more difficult to find new employees without increasing the pension.
The costs of the pension increase would be manageable: additional costs of around 15 million euros would be expected in the year the law came into force. In the next five years, this amount is expected to increase by around 2.2 million euros per year.
The Federal Ministry of Finance has meanwhile rejected the Interior Minister's criticism. “The appreciation for our police officers is also expressed in the good staffing and material resources, the condition of the properties, the reduction in overtime and the reintroduction of the pension option for the police allowance. We will ensure the financing, ”it says there on WELT request. The question is when that will happen.
A 16-year-old was hit by five shots from a police officer's submachine gun and died shortly afterwards. He is said to have attacked the officers beforehand. Was the use of firearms inevitable? "The public prosecutor's office will check that," says Rainer Wendt, head of the German police union.
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