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Several Croatian media outlets recently took notice of what would usually be an internal police matter – standard issue equipment of Croatian police officers.
On September 1, the Croatian Police Officers’ Syndicate posted images and a full transcript of a letter from the syndicate addressed to the cabinet of the Minster of Interior Davor Božinović on their Facebook page. The post revealed the surprising and mangled state of much of the issued gear and equipment and many police officers added grievances in the comments on the post.
The letter and officers alike are complaining about lack of basic standard issue equipment, gear, and accessories, while they are expected to do their job of protecting the public daily. The letter also alleges that officers have been told that there isn’t enough equipment and gear or that the delivery of these is being delayed due to lack of funding in this area and within the Ministry of Interior. The syndicate also claims that officers are “indirectly forced” to purchase some essential gear and items out of pocket.
Below is a translated partial quote from the original Facebook post:
Considering that it could recently be read in media how the Ministry of Interior is acquiring strategic equipment such as anti-drone rifles and other specialized equipment, which we consider to be essential because [current] equipment (in particular bulletproof vests) has long been outdated and useless, and for which some 24 million kuna is planned to be spent, we expect that You, as Minister, will handle the current state of police uniforms, as a burning issue currently are, as Autumn and Winter approach, police jackets. Specifically, young police officers who began working today, as well as others who began working earlier this year (March 3, 2017 and July 10, 2017) have still not been issued police jackets, so colleagues with which they work are lending them theirs, which is inexcusable. Similarly, police officers who were issued jackets have worn them for over 8 years, even though the stipulated deadline for issuing new jackets is 5 years. hence the jackets are in catastrophic states (ripped and mangled in certain areas) and leave a very bad impression in terms of appearance of police officials before civilians and foreign visitors who come to our country as tourists.