Fmr. National Police chief Gerard Bouman dies at age 64

Gerard Bouman (Photo: Commons)Gerard Bouman (Photo: Commons)

Gerard Bouman, former chief of the National Police, passed away on Monday at the age of 64, his family announced. According to a statement from the family, Bouman never regained consciousness after suffering a severe heart attack while on vacation in the United States in June. 

Bouman's family asked the media to respect their privacy in this time. "We want to guide Gerard calmly and peacefully to his last resting place."

According to current National Police Chief Erik Akerboom, the entire police corps reacted with "dismay" at the news of Bouman's death. "His entire life was in the hallmark of public service and the police in particular", Akerboom said, according to the Volkskrant. "He put the National Police together with enormous energy and collegiality, also with much fighting and resistance. For that he deserves a lot of respect. On behalf of the colleagues, I wish his family members all the strength. They can count on us in processing their great sorrow."

Minster Stef Blok of Security and Justice also wished Bouman's family luck and strength in this difficult time. "My thoughts go out to the family, friends and also to the many colleagues who knew Gerard Bouman as a driven and committed man." Blok said in a statement. According to the Minister, Bouman's career always focused on security and justice in all his positions in the police, Pubic Prosecutor and intelligence service AIVD. Even in times of personal difficulty, he was always on the job, Blok said. "For this, Mr Bouman still deserves great respect."

Albert Springer of police union NPB called Bouman "always ready for his job", reports. "Although we as union were critical and also sometimes opposed to one another, Bouman was always clear in his choices. That I appreciated in him."

Bouman was chief of the National Police between January 2013 and February 2016, when he stepped down amidst great criticism. Between 2011 and 2013 he prepared the formation of the National Police. Before that he was, among other things, chief prosecutor for the judiciary, corps chief in The Hague region and head of the AIVD. 

Bouman was subject to an investigation into exorbitant spending by the police's Central Works Council. The results of the investigation, which was done by a committee led by Maarten Ruys, was set to be presented the day after Bouman's heart attack. But the committee decided to postpone this. "In view of Mr. Bouman's health situation, we do not think it appropriate to present the investigation now", a spokesperson for the Ruys committee said to broadcaster NOS at the time.