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Police service marks 96th year with solemn ceremonies

Marking the 96th year since the historic founding of the first Latvian police forces, State Police (VP) Service chief Ints Ķuzis wished all police officers “strength, faith in what we do, concord and success, because police work without success is impossible,” speaking to Latvian Public Television news program Panorāma Friday.

Later Ķuzis, Saeima Speaker Ināra Mūrniece and leading law enforcement officials placed flowers at the Freedom Monument and monument to the fallen militia officers of the Barricades at Bastejkalns before attending a ceremony honoring the State Police at the Ministry of Interior.

Ķuzis told Panorāma that the VP has faced numerous challenges this year and that it was a pleasure to look back at all the hard work that has been done.

The near-term priority for the VP is to complete the investigation into the Zolitūde disaster, but on a daily basis to keep ensuring the safety of any individual member of society.

He also pointed out that this year more police officers have been hired than let go, which is testimony that they believe in the development and planned improvements in the police force.

December 5 is the day when the State Police force was founded in 1918, just three weeks after the proclamation of independence, at first with broad powers to restore public order after the chaos of war.

In January of 1991 during the time of the barricades the police forces of what was then the Soviet Latvian republic went to protect important national objects from the enemies of independence, an important sign of support for the movement. About 641 officers, or 9% of the current force were on the barricades during that historic year of change.

Altogether more than 7000 staff work at the State Police service today, making it one of Latvia’s largest employing organizations.

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