Police law reform
Faeser plans compulsory identification for police officers

What is already common practice in some federal states should be applied nationwide in the future: Federal police officers must be given a label so that they can be identified in the event of potential misconduct. In her new bill, Home Secretary Weser also wants to give the police more powers.

According to a report by Spiegel, the federal government plans to introduce mandatory identification for federal police officers. A bill from Nancy Visser’s Department of the Interior states that law enforcement officers in executive units must wear a “tactical tag” by which they can be identified later. This would make it easier for police officers to investigate possible criminal offenses or breaches of duty.

Some federal states already have labeling requirements, among other things BrandenburgHesse, Bremen and Thuringia. In North Rhine-Westphalia, the black-and-yellow state government overturned it again in 2017 with AfD votes. In Baden-Württemberg, at the request of the Green Party, it was agreed that the anonymous labeling should be put into the coalition agreement. Opposition comes from police unions, who see the relevant bill as a “vote of no confidence” in the police.

As stated in the “SPIEGEL” report, the new Federal Police Law stipulates that new police officers who will be hired in the future will undergo a security check by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. This is to prevent extremists from infiltrating the federal police.

Both projects are part of a larger reform. The law was last renewed in 1994. According to Spiegel, the current draft from the Weisser Ministry also includes a number of new powers to avoid danger. For example, the federal police should be given the opportunity to preventively monitor phones in certain cases or to locate cell phones. This would make it possible to clarify the routes of cross-border travel by extremists, and it would also be possible to launch an operation against people smugglers.

It should also be regulated when the federal police can use technical means to stop drones flying in the air near airports. The bill does not include the controversial use of so-called government Trojans, which could give investigators access to chats on cellphones.

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