Minister names stand-in for outgoing Security Police chief

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Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis nominated Normunds Mežviets Monday to lead the Security Police (DP) force after its fifteen-year veteran chief Jānis Reiniks announced his retirement Friday.

Speaking to LTV morning news program Panorāma, Kozlovskis stressed that the nomination must still be approved by the Cabinet of Ministers, who will likely take a decision on Mežviets’ candidacy on Tuesday.

Jānis Reiniks began his work at the helm of the DP in October 1995 as a deputy chief. He has led the force as chief for the past fifteen years. His announcement of plans to retire for personal reasons effective November 7 came as a surprise amidst speculation that his health is at issue.

“I took the decision after thinking long and hard about it,” said Reiniks on Friday.

“The Presidency of the Council of the EU begins in just two months, and the Ukraine conflict has brought new challenges to the fore which will undoubtedly affect the work of the DP. Yet I am convinced there are qualified and knowledgeable specialists among our officers, who have demonstrated their professionalism averting threats to national and international security and will be prepared to lead the work of the DP,” the widely-respected law enforcement official stated.

Normunds Mežviets, born in 1973, has two masters’ degrees in political science and history and has been with the DP since 2005. Prior to that he is reported to have worked in the field of national security issues already since 2002.

His first duties at the DP were in the anti-terrorism field, where he was instrumental in setting up and developing the Anti-terrorism Centre and its national anti-terrorism operations.

Since then he continued his work in the DP’s strategic planning and operational analysis departments, also contributing extensively to international cooperation among special forces, as well as the DP’s preparations for the Presidency of the Council of the EU.

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