The problem for Bratislava’s municipal police is a shortage of officers

New municipal officers will get €900 plus benefits monthly.

The municipal police force in Bratislava is looking for new officers.The municipal police force in Bratislava is looking for new officers. (Source: TASR)

A properly functioning municipal police force is one of basic preconditions for keeping Bratislava safe.

“We cannot continue to accept that in Bratislava, even at its very centre, there are no-go zones where it is better not to go at all or to just pass through,” said Mayor Matúš Vallo back in February 2019.

The main problem for the capital’s municipal police force is a lack of officers and powers.

“Absolutely the most serious and chronic problem for the municipal police in Bratislava is long-term under-staffing, which does not allow for optimal operation,” said Marek Gajdoš, chief of the Bratislava Municipal Police, as cited by the SITA newswire.

Deputy Bratislava mayor Juraj Káčer considers addressing the lack of municipal police officers as one of the biggest challenges within his agenda. He believes that ongoing recruitment actions will bring in new officers while the strengthening of the police’s powers is in hands of legislators.

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The municipal police launched a recruitment campaign last October to increase it’s 250-member staff by 50 officers at least. The monthly wage offered starts at €900 while the officers are entitled to other supplementary payments and benefits.

“To be able to operate at an optimal rate at a minimum acceptable threshold, we would need 400 officers, and ideally this figure would be 500,” said Gajdoš at that time, as cited by SITA.

The city council has also increased its budget by more than €1 million.

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In addition to the recruitment campaign last year, the city also set up a new municipal police station on Obchodná Street. Part of this is an intervention unit and contact centre. The number of cameras that monitor public spaces were also increased. Currently, the camera system consists of 263 cameras, of which as many as 70 are in the Old Town. The presence of the municipal police was also increased around the so-called Pentagon on Stavbárska Street, notorious for drug dealing, Obchodná Street and the narrower city centre on weekends.

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