Latvian State Police chief steps down

Interior Minister Sandis Ģirģens (KPV LV) announced that after 40 years of service State Police Chief Ints Ķuzis will leave the force, according to LTV on January 15.

“At the end of each year I evaluate what has been accomplished, what has been done, and think about the work that needs to be done in the next year. At the end of last year, I decided to leave the force,” said Ķuzis.

“I’ve been State Police Chief at a very difficult time for the police, that has been full of challenges, and with full responsibility I can say that both I and the police have dealt with these complicated tasks, and it’s been the honorably accomplished work of my team and each police officer. Over the last few years we’ve accomplished a huge amount of work in shaping the future of the police, and I’m convinced that a new police force must be shaped by a new police chief.” continued the Chief.

“And in my life it is also the time to turn this page, which is very important to me, so that I can open a new one,” said Ķuzis.

Ķuzis has named possible successors in a private conversation with Ģirģens, but doesn’t wish to publicly reveal his suggestions. After 8.5 years as police chief, he is certain that there are people in leadership positions in the force who are ready to take on the responsibility.

The soon-to-be former chief said also denied rumors that he was forced to resign. As for future plans, Ķuzis said he isn’t yet ready to sit around at home.

“I’m open to offers and cooperation. I’m ready to keep serving,” said the police chief.

As previously reported, State Police Chief Ints Ķuzis presented a plan for State Police reforms to the Saeima Defense, Internal Affairs and Corruption Prevention Committee on November 27, according to Latvian Radio.

A vision for a new, modern State Police has been created with the help of international experts. The reforms will be implemented after two years, and aim to improve police operations by upgrading investigation quality and law enforcement officer wages. Ķuzis says that the force must become more universal and mobile.

The plan includes the creation of a Strategic Development Unit, which will combine strategic planning, support and investigation. The Nordic countries operate on a similar model.

Police could also decline to provide security for various events. In Estonia the State Police only secures two public events, the rest are the responsibility of the organizers, and Ķuzis thinks Latvia should follow this example.

The reforms would also affect finances by equating investigator salaries to district attorney wages. Redundancies are not part of the plan, which will be completed by January 1, 2021.

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