Prague, June 5 (CTK) – The Czech government extended today by another two years the concept based on which the police are to admit 4000 new members and raise the total number to 44,000, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec told reporters.

The deadline had to be extended because the police are not managing to recruit new members so as to attain the set goal by 2020.

The deadline extension implies an increase in the financial sum for the police to use, Chovanec (Social Democrats, CSSD) said.

“Among other things, it will enable us to face new security threats, such as terrorism, more effectively,” he said, adding that additional three billion crowns are to be earmarked for this purpose in the following years.

The concept started to take effect last year, when 850 new police were to be recruited, but 61 positions were not fulfilled by the end of last year. On the whole, the police were 1364 people short.

The difference is due to that the police lacked staff still before new positions were created based on the concept. Due to the difference, the Interior Ministry did not demand the creation of 1000 positions for this year, which the concept originally presupposed.

However, the situation can still change this year and new positions can be created. It is supposed that people without a secondary school leaving exam and foreigners could start serving in the police. Foreigners are banned from this as yet.

Demands placed on physical fitness could be eased, which could also attract IT experts and analysts.

Talking to media, Chovanec said nine in ten applicants for admission to the police fail in psychological and physical tests.

He said a change in assessing officers’ past diseases may help solve the trouble. The current rules require the departure of the police officers who underwent certain types of diseases, though they recovered and are healthy again. This should be changed, Chovanec said.

Furthermore, the education criteria for police officers might be softened. In some posts, a secondary school leaving exam should be required instead of a university education, Chovanec said.

The document says the problems are due to a low unemployment in the country (the national rate was 4.4 percent in April) and the fact that the police as an entity offering jobs is little competitive.

Another negative aspect is the demographic development and the competition represented by the military and municipal police which are looking for similar recruits.

Chovanec says it is not possible that the starting pay of security corps’ employees be 17,000 or 18,000 crowns while a storeman usually gets 25,000 crowns.

As from July 1, police salaries will rise by 10 percent. It is also planned to abolish 150 obligatory overtime hours annually and to introduce a recruitment bonus.

The planned police reinforcement is estimated to cost 8.3 billion crowns.

($1=23.501 crowns)

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