Death threats target Amsterdam fire department commander: report
Amsterdam fire department commander Leen Schaap received death threats from members of his own corps. He reported at least two threats to the police in February and March this year. The Public Prosecutor is investigating the death threats, a spokesperson confirmed to newspaper AD.
The situation is so serious that Schaap is getting extra security, sources from the police team in charge of his security said to the newspaper. The police questioned multiple firefighters with regards to the threats, but so far no arrests were made, sources around the investigation said to AD. According to the sources, money was raised to have Schaap run over by a car, and another threat came from a motorcycle gang.
Former Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan appointed Schaap in 2016 to tackle the macho-culture within the corps. Schaap did so with a firm hand and fierce criticism, which obviously did not sit well with at least some members of the Amsterdam fire department. He revealed that racism, discrimination, lack of leadership and sexual harassment were problems within the corps. And requested an investigation that found that the fire department made nearly 4 million euros of illegal pay outs to firefighters and other staff members over a period of 10 years.
In May trade unions FNV Overheid, CNV Overheid, CMHF and BVB demanded an investigation into Schaap, accusing him of dereliction of duty due to criticism he made about the corps in the media.
Schaap did not want to comment to AD about the death threats. Late in April he told AT5: "I received a lot of shit over the past few years and still have to deal with it on a daily basis."
The fire department's central works council is not aware of the threats, chairman Stephane Conings said to AD. "If this story is true, it is incredibly sad. We disapprove of any form of intimidation and threat. Surprising that the works council was not informed about this."