What is the way the police work

Chief Police Officer Ingo S.

What were the reasons for choosing a career as a police officer?

At the time of my career choice, I was stationed as a conscript in the Navy in Kiel in 1988. I've always had an affinity for Berlin and was of the opinion that my home town Schleswig-Holstein is too small for me. The desire to go to the police resulted, among other things. from a childhood experience in which my father was stopped by a traffic cop because he was driving too fast. If a policeman can have such power over my father, who was the center of the world for me as a child, then it must be a great job, according to my childhood considerations. As a young man, it was clear to me that, due to a lack of interest, I would neither cut a good figure as a classic student nor as an office jobber. At that time, the Bundeswehr was also not a sensible option, so that the police profession turned out to be the exclusionary principle, and then the criminal investigation department. In 1988 there was not yet the media diversity we see today, so a portion of naivety also played a role, but the enthusiasm carried me through the selection process.

Did you regret this choice? Would you apply again?

Choosing a career was one of my best decisions in life, I would choose it again today.

Where are you currently deployed? What are your tasks?

At the moment I am employed as "Head of the HR department" in the Deployment Directorate. This staff area is responsible for the administrative support of the approx. 5500 members of the Deployment Directorate. The spectrum ranges from recording sick days of the service staff, implementation of changes of post within the Deployment Directorate, elaboration of personnel development concepts tailored to the respective target groups of the Deployment Directorate, preparation and initiation of promotions to the initiation of disciplinary measures against service employees of the Deployment Directorate. As the head of this area, I am responsible for the smooth running, management and control of the various tasks. As a permanent contact, I advise the head of the Deployment Directorate on all questions relating to personnel. My work has an internal effect on the police and is only partially perceptible to the population. The external contacts of my department are unfortunately only given when we have to answer complaints from the population that concern the staff of the Deployment Directorate. Unfortunately there is more rebuke than praise, although I cannot imagine the police doing badly. I think that it is generally easier to turn to the police if you feel you have been treated incorrectly than perhaps to thank them for the professional work that my colleagues do every day. As the Berliner says: "There's nothing to complain about."

How has your career been so far? In which departments have you been deployed so far?

My vita is divided into two parts. After completing my three-year studies at the FHVR (University of Applied Sciences for Administration and Justice), I was employed for 2 years in the local criminal investigation department of Directorate 2. In addition to my work at VB I (the permanent criminal police service), I was also employed in a police station that dealt with the broad field of thefts. In 1994 I switched to the LKA Berlin and worked in the field of combating organized crime until 2001. Here in the areas of international motor vehicle displacement and ethnic groups of offenders with a focus on groups of offenders from the former Yugoslavia (as it was called back then).
As part of my promotion to the higher police force, I changed career direction in 2001 and became a police officer. After completing my two-year degree in the higher service, I was deployed from 2003 to 2013 as head of command service in various police sections in Berlin. This was followed in 2013 as a speaker for criminal police specialist topics in the Senate Department for Internal Affairs and Sport, which ended after two years.

Describe your most interesting experience in your professional life.

There was definitely not just one interesting experience, but several interesting ones:
In the LKA in the mid-1990s, I had to deal with a group of perpetrators in the field of international vehicle relocation, which resulted in at least 150 high-quality vehicles (Mercedes S-Class, 7-series BMW, Porsche) being relocated. This group was so aggressive that one fine day (a Friday) the responsible public prosecutor was threatened by phone from gang members who were still at liberty. Since these threats had become very serious, my then head of the commissariat decided, together with the responsible department of the public prosecutor at the Berlin district court, to carry out an immediate large-scale operation against the gang members who were still at liberty. We as a department then, with the support of three public prosecutors and special forces (SEK) arrested a total of -5- other gang members, all of whom were taken into custody by the judge. The measures started on Friday evening and continued until Sunday afternoon, so that, roughly speaking, we worked through more than 48 hours in the truest sense of the word. As a result of this action, however, it has been proven that the number of car relocations for Berlin decreased significantly that year.

In the higher service, an interesting experience was certainly the transfer of section 64 (my current department) from the old organizational form to the “Berlin model”, in which the neighborhood-relatedness of the police is clearly emphasized on the basis of 5 service groups. The basic structural and personnel considerations to accompany and help shape were activities that were far removed from any police work, but were important in order to be able to perform modern police work and thus to move closer to the population.

As a third experience, I would like to mention the time at the Senate Department for Internal Affairs and Sport. Here I was able to experience "live", so to speak, how politics works, what constraints exist for politics and how politics evaluates police events and reacts to them. Looking at the Berlin police “from the outside” opened up new perspectives for me and made it clear to me once again what special perception the Berlin police are subject to by politicians and the population.

What tips do you have for young professionals?

Tips or advice are based on personal experience. But since everyone is different, I find it difficult to give special tips. I am of the opinion that the police profession can only be practiced meaningfully if you feel a "burning in your heart". This job is not a “nine-to-five office job” that you take off at the end of the day and devote yourself to your private life. This profession shapes and changes every police officer in their own way. As a young professional I have to be aware that the profession makes extraordinary demands on my physical and mental resilience and flexibility.
One point is important for the young professionals: there are no stupid questions, only the one who doesn't ask is stupid. I mean: the police profession is an experience job. Theoretical and practical tools are imparted in the training, but the practical implementation only takes place in everyday working life. A newcomer cannot yet know all the processes within the police organization and the constant contradiction between theoretical considerations of how a work process should take place and how it is actually worked in practice is a challenge. As we are regularly confronted with events that arise not developing according to textbooks, the work processes have to be dynamically adapted regularly on the basis of the existing legal basis. The expert speaks of a constant assessment of the situation, which may require a different way of working. Police officers must therefore remain flexible in their thinking and not walk on the well-trodden paths. The will to innovate and critical questioning should be written into the logbook of every young professional.