Citizens’ Protection Minister Takis Theodorikakos on Monday announced a string of changes and measures to improve the efficiency of the Greek police in the aftermath of a car chase and shootout in the Perama district of Piraeus last month that resulted in the death of a 20-year-old Roma man.
More specifically, Theodorikakos stated that there will be a complete reform of the rules of operation governing the immediate response squad, the introduction of continuous retraining programs for all police officers, as well as a digital overhaul of the Hellenic Police’s (ELAS) Operations Center.
At the same time, he noted that all officers of different sections including the Dias motorcycle, riot and street patrol units will be provided with cameras.
“The goal is a citizen-friendly police force that respects the democratic rule of law and is relentless and effective against crime – a police force for the 21st century,” he said. He also added that he is in touch with the Justice Ministry to “modernize” the penal code.
The move came after Theodorikakos on Friday received the findings of the internal investigation into the Perama shooting, which highlighted a series of leadership failures and shortcomings, as well as a lack of coordination.
It also followed a public backlash over the way the incident was handled by the seven officers involved in the shootout.
“What has been done so far in terms of the judicial and disciplinary investigation of the case is absolutely by the letter of the law,” Theodorikakos said.
“The Hellenic Police [ELAS] is a state organization that is constantly improving. Nothing and no incident goes by without being assessed. Based on the facts that emerged and the conclusions handed to me by the chief of ELAS, we are moving forward with a five-pronged police reform plan and initiatives for its immediate implementation, as well as two institutional actions,” he added.