Amsterdam cop makes statement by wearing headscarf while patrolling
An Amsterdam community police officer raised quite a few eyebrows on Saturday by wearing a headscarf while on patrol in Osdorp. The officer is not a Muslim herself, but wore the headscarf "out of solidarity and because she is for a diverse corps", PvdA city councilor Sofyan Mbarki said to the Volkskrant.
The Amsterdam police corps leaders only heard about the action once it was already underway. "It was an individual action. Well meaning, that is clear. But it is not up to the police to make such a statement. Let politicians form their opinion first." a police spokesperson said to the newspaper. The corps leadership already had a short conversation with the officer this weekend, and will have a longer talk with her on Tuesday. What will be discussed, the spokesperson would not say.
On Twitter the Amsterdam police emphasized that the police uniform is and will remain "lifestyle-neutral".
The police officer got mixed reactions, both on the street and on social media. Some people praised the action, others condemned it. The officer has been working for the Amsterdam police for years. She is mostly involved with violence against LGBT people, and not with immigration specifically. "But because she works in Amsterdam-West, she meets many people with an immigration background", the police spokesperson said.
Last week Amsterdam police chief Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg said that he is considering allowing the wear of headscarves with the uniform in an effort to encourage diversity in the corps. VVD Minister Stef Blok of Security and Justice responded by saying that police officers are supposed to radiate neutrality and uniformity. A code of conduct from 2011 forbids police officers to wear "visible expressions" of belief and religion, among other things, with their uniform.