Crisis looms unless police wages hiked

General Prosecutor Ēriks Kalnmeiers warned again today that the state could face an attrition crisis inside the ranks of the State Police force (VP) unless wages for cops, prosecutors and other law enforcement officials are not raised soon.

Appearing on LTV news program Rīta Panorāma, Kalnmeiers, who is also in line to be approved for another term at the position, said that prosecutors could be the first to quit their posts, especially those who are at or close to retirement age. Young people aren’t flocking to the profession, either, as the monthly salary there tends to be just between €600-700 net.

If a number of qualified prosecutors were to resign, the quality of work of the remaining police employees would deteriorate as well, causing even further negative impacts on the job they must do.

He stressed that police cadres are well aware of the government’s budget forming concerns and have been expecting a raise in financing to the interior sector, not least of which as regards their own wages. If the supplemental funding fails to appear, the consequences could be dire, the General Prosecutor acknowledged.

Last October Kalnmeiers came forth with a statement warning that low wages and high rate of turnover in key positions is causing a lack of interest among qualified applicants wishing to work for the Police force, while the quality of prosecutors’ work is approaching "catastrophically" low levels.

Recently the Interior Ministry's State Secretary Ilze Pētersone-Godmane made a similar plea on public television news, calling for wage hikes across the law enforcement professions.

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