In Lower Saxony, police chiefs should no longer be political officials in the future. This is the goal set by the new Minister of the Interior, Daniela Behrens (SPD). In the future, the heads of authorities are to be career civil servants.
It would then no longer be possible to transfer them to temporary retirement at any time without giving reasons. At the same time, they are therefore to be reduced by one grade. Minister Behrens explained: “The police chiefs are to be strengthened in their professional and personal position by the planned change, which will ultimately benefit the police as a whole.” At the same time, the offices would be made more attractive and the circle of potential applicants would be expanded. “Up to now, younger officers in particular, who were nevertheless outstandingly qualified in terms of their expertise, refrained from taking on the posts because of the personal risk involved,” the department head said.
Several provisional appointments
Behrens has also decided on provisional appointments to several top police posts in Lower Saxony. For example, Gwendolin von der Osten, who is currently still in charge of the Göttingen Police Directorate, will be assigned to take over the management of the Hanover Police Directorate. The previous incumbent in the state capital, Volker Kluwe, is retiring at the end of this month.
Von der Ostens’ interim successor in Göttingen will be Senior Police Director Tanja Wulff-Bruhn. She is currently still head of the Operations Department at the state police headquarters. The new acting president of the Central Police Directorate of Lower Saxony as of April 1 will be Uwe Lange. He is currently still vice president of the agency. The current head of the agency, Christiana Berg, will soon retire for health reasons and with her consent.
The new acting Göttingen Police Vice President will be the former head of the Nienburg/Schaumburg Police Inspectorate, Senior Police Director Mathias Schröder. The new Vice President of the Hanover Police Directorate will be Senior Police Director Thorsten Massinger. He is currently still head of the budget and technology department at the state police headquarters. Finally, the new Vice President of the Central Police Directorate of Lower Saxony will be Senior Kathleen Arnhold. The 50-year-old currently still acts as head of the department responsible for personnel, legal affairs, budget and the medical and social science service at the agency.
Praise for the decisions came from the trade unions. For example, the Lower Saxony state chairman of the police union (GdP), Kevin Komolka, said: “It is gratifying that there are finally personnel decisions on backfilling and that the new agency heads also still have some handover time.” The GdP expressly welcomes the fact that the leadership of the police headquarters will no longer be filled with political officials in the future. Because these offices should not be shaped by party-political considerations. And Patrick Seeger, state chairman of the German Police Union (DPolG), emphasized: “Police leadership should also be just that: Leadership from the police for the police according to career law and, above all, according to performance, suitability and ability.” Both the GdP and DPolG also welcomed the fact that inspectorate heads in the state police force are to be raised to grade A 16 by 2024. All of these changes will require amendments to the state civil service law and the state salary law.