NEWS

‘Commandos’ to guard police?

In the wake of a series of violent attacks on police stations and threats by a new terror group to target «anyone in a uniform,» top-ranking police officers are considering establishing a network of «commandos» to guard possible police targets, sources have told Kathimerini. The plan, still in draft form, reportedly foresees the recruitment of elite officers from the force’s counter-terrorism unit who would be positioned at locations overlooking key police stations. The officers would be armed and instructed to fire at anyone seen to be preparing an attack on a police target. The officers would be provided with night vision goggles to ensure that they can react just as efficiently at night. According to sources, the plan has a dual aim: to safeguard police stations and to boost the morale of beleaguered officers. A related measure reportedly being considered by Interior Ministry officials is the installation of surveillance cameras outside police stations to discourage potential troublemakers and to capture on film any hostile activities. The last time this proposal was made by the ministry, it was turned down by the Data Protection Authority on the grounds that it could constitute an invasion of privacy. Meanwhile, top police officers are reportedly planning cooperation with their counterparts from Britain’s Scotland Yard, aimed at improving the efficiency of the force through restructuring and reorganization. In a related development yesterday, Alternate Interior Minister Christos Markoyiannakis stressed that «isolated incidences of misconduct» should not tarnish the entire police force – an apparent reference to the behavior of a 37-year-old policeman who shot a security guard outside the United States’ ambassador’s residence last week.