Latvian police chief: At least 500 officers should be recruited soon

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In the coming years, an additional 500 to 600 police officers should be attracted to the State Police (VP), chief of the VP Armands Ruks said on the Latvian Television morning broadcast December 5.

According to Ruks, the situation with vacancies in Latvia varies.

"The percentage calculation of the existing vacancy rate is around 23%. [..] The most problematic is Rīga and Rīga region. Of course, there are also shortages of police in Kurzeme, Vidzeme. [..] Additional 500-600 police officers should be needed in the coming years," Ruks said.

Ruks said that the police needed new forces and were working on it. According to him, recruitment of new staff is going better than in other institutions, but more and more employees are needed as the existing police staff ages.

"Next year, many colleagues, close to 400, will reach retirement age. We have to think of compensatory mechanisms to motivate them to continue the service. Because they are professionally prepared, educated with the experience of passing on to their new colleagues,” Ruks noted.

Wages, working conditions, and overload were mentioned as the main reasons for staff shortages. Therefore, these are the things that need to be worked on to reduce the number of people leaving the police.

The VP chief said: "In October, there were a little over 100 people who had decided to go in search of work elsewhere, leaving work at the State Police. With relatively short service, five-six years. It is important for us to minimize this departing number."

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