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Sunday 23.09.2018 | Name days: Vanda, Veneranda, Venija

Alfa: situation in special unit has stabilized

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

Currently, the situation in the special task unit (STU) Alfa has returned to normal, the special unit deputy commander Juris Grabovskis recognizes in an interview to Latvijas Televīzija broadcast De facto.

After it was found that two special unit workers Arvo Žagars and Leonīds Koņuhovs had participated in the robbery in Jekabpils, the whole unit was shocked. After the events in Jekabpils, Grabovskis who is the commander of anti-terrorist group Omega, is fulfilling the dismissed Alfa commander’s duties since late January.

After these events, Alfa has carried out numerous inspections, including psychological tests, reviewed the work results, analysed health condition and fitness. However, 12 people will most likely have to leave Alfa.

Presently, this is not a lay-off. Yes, the work is being reviewed. The team wants to work and they are ready for it. If there is some hindrance, it must be disposed of. But this is not a lay-off, Grabovskis comments, when assessing the situation.

He reveals that currently there are no specific criteria for hiring people to work at STU Alfa. The only factor is the physical strength requirements. At the time when Grabovskis was appointed as Alfa’s commander, the unit  already was short of 20 people; yet there were no line-ups for the vacant positions. Alfa officers’ salaries are around 300-350 lats after tax, so some of the unit’s workers have other part-time jobs.

During the five years, since the establishment of the unit Alfa, which deals with both policing in various mass events and patrolling, more than 80 000 people were interrogated, 28 000 – were detained, of whom 2 000 were announced as wanted, but 82 – were armed criminals.

However, the two workers’ participation in the robbery in Jekabpils casts a shadow over the special unit’s achievements. Moreover, two weeks ago, an intoxicated employee of Alfa caused several accidents in Riga and this week the Prosecutor General’s Office has pursued charges on three employees of Alfa, who had severely beaten a judge near Arena Riga.

Asked whether such problems could also occur in the unit Omega led by Grabovskis, the unit commander replies negatively, expressing hope that this will not take place. However, he also points out it is impossible to guarantee anything, because it should be thoroughly investigated why this as happened to these people. Looking from aside, it was not immediately apparent. There are contingents of people about whom it is possible to tell right away – he is such a person and might do such things. Yet these people worked on the side of the law for 18 years, they were always associated with discipline and order. It is impossible to hide for 18 years and then suddenly become such a person. So something had happened. Something that broke them. I do not know to which unit this may apply – to Omega or Alfa. This has to be dealt with.

The factors that currently have a negative influence on police officers are social issues – social guarantees and wages are being reduced, because the overall economic situation in Latvia is deteriorating.

Next week the new head of STU Alfa will be announced. At the moment, several candidates have been selected.

Leave a reply

  1. Ren says:

    Really if something is going wrong in a company or a team, than something has to be changed in its policy.

  2. Eric says:

    As long as policemen are not properly paid There will be problems

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