Army ready to step in to enforce COVID-19 rules if needed

If the government implements stricter COVID-19 safety measures, the police will have to strengthen control. The commander of the Armed Forces (NBS) told Latvian Radio December 1 that NBS would be ready to help the police.

The security measures imposed by the government are often overlooked, so more police control is needed. Resources, however, are insufficient, as earlier indicated by Juris Rancāns, Head of the Saeima Defense, Internal Affairs and Corruption Prevention Commission. In his opinion, help from the Ministry of Defense might be needed.

The armed forces are ready to give their support if the Cabinet decides on it, said Lieutenant General Leonīds Kalniņš.

“We are fully prepared to engage in measures that need support from the armed forces in order to reduce the risks that threaten Latvian society,” said Kalniņš.

Former Minister for the Interior and Defense Linda Mūrniece agreed that the police lacked resources, but the involvement of the armed forces was not necessary.

“By involving an army, we would simply show that we are a totalitarian country. I certainly would be against such a solution,” commented Mūrniece.

In her opinion, the municipal police should be more actively involved in the control, thus also saving the resources of the State Police. It is true that not all municipalities have local police, so the involvement of the State Police is necessary.

 

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