Many more armed police needed in terror fight: cops' union

Nieuwezijds shooting 2
Police investigating a shooting on Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal, Mar. 13, 2014 (Photo: Jos Lubbers). (Police investigating a shooting on Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal, Mar. 13, 2014 (Photo: Jos Lubbers))

Dutch police want more manpower and better defenses in the fight against terrorism. “National and international events have required many police in recent times,” the union for police officers, ACP, wrote in a letter to Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten and police chief Gerard Bouman.

Saying that the increased security leads to a lapse in other police duties, the union proposes more officers. “For that reason, we strongly advise the expansion of the operational strength of the National Police by 2,000 permanent positions for this task,” the letter states.

As part of their proposal, the union says they want more officers outfitted with H&K-produced weaponry. More of these gunmen should be available for “possible deployment in specific threat situations,” with the decision to deploy made by the Minister for Justice and Security, the letter says.

The union also pointed to the increase in assassinations in an ongoing gang war as another reason police need to be better prepared.

The ACP also calls for revisiting the “principle of proportionality” in terms of the amount of force used to arrest suspects. They say they are concerned with potential offenders who are not interested in surviving, and the damage they can inflict on police officers.

Also singled out in the letter is a desire to expand investigative capacity into underground weapons sales.