OPINION

New breed of officer required

The incidents in Maroussi and Vyronas during which the police confronted criminals illustrate in the most tangible way that Greece is increasingly under threat from a new breed of crook. What causes the greatest concern is that the country’s police force seems ill-equipped to deal with such criminals and continues to behave more like a department of the civil service than an effective force that can take control of a situation. It is obvious that many of the young people who choose to join the police force by sitting state entrance exams are unaware of how difficult their mission will be in the future and the degree of professionalism that is required. This is why we have seen the police often get caught unawares, unable to give the proper response to a given threat and lacking any plan of action. The system for recruiting and training police officers needs to be changed now so that the police force becomes staffed with people who know the demands of the job, who are dedicated to it and who have the experience to handle complex situations such as threats from armed and violent criminals and from terrorists.