STA, 1 July 2020 - Representatives of police officers are very critical of Interior Minister Aleš Hojs for claiming that the police force was being run by the deep state as he resigned on Tuesday. They have dismissed the claims as inappropriate and insulting and called on the outgoing minister to apologise.
While accepting the resignation of Police Commissioner Anton Travner and resigning himself after an investigation had been launched into ventilator procurement, Hojs said that the police were serving the deep state.
"It will be hard to convince me that this is not a political police force," said the minister, whose resignation letter also speaks of structures that are allegedly still linked to the Communist secret service UDBA and the Communist Party.
In its response, the Association of Criminal Police Officers called on Hojs yesterday to apologise for the uttered "insults and accusations" and "completely unproven constructs".
"As professionals, we are not interested in political developments and politicking, and we will not let ourselves be turned into a playground for political games," the association added.
Its president Slavko Koroš said that certain politicians had been attacking the police for a while, in particular criminal police and specific criminal police officers.
"The attacks, insults and accusations have gained new proportions with the statements by Minister Hojs as he listed the reasons for his resignation," he added.
According to Koroš, criminal police officers have never bothered dealing with the question who will be the interior minister and which party they will come from.
"The only wish is that we are able to investigate criminal acts lawfully and without political intrigue, regardless of the status of the suspects," he said in reference to Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek being temporarily detained yesterday.
The association also dismissed the claim about the structures linked to UDBA, saying that in 30 years of independent Slovenia, the police had been completely overhauled staff-wise.
The Police Trade Union (SPS), one of the two police trade unions, labelled on Wednesday Hojs's statements as inappropriate and insulting to all police employees.
"Police officers are not guided in their work by any obscure forces, but only out objectivity and search for material truth under the principles of the profession," it added.
Regardless of whether certain groups or individuals like it or not, police officers perform their duties without bias and fairly, and enjoy an exceptionally high reputation among citizens, the SPS added.
The Police Trade Union of Slovenia (PSS) already said yesterday that the statements were completely unfounded, and detrimental for all police employees. It expects that the outgoing minister will apologise.
This was echoed by the Association of Police Chiefs, which also noted that at the recent ceremony marking Police Day, Hojs had commended the work and sacrifice made by police officers, including criminal police.
The association added that it strongly condemned Hojs's statements and that it was deeply disappointed, asking the minister to apologise for the "unfounded allegations which are detrimental for all employees in the Slovenian police."
It said that the police had made much progress in recent years in professionalising employees, raising ethical standards and strengthening personal and organisational integrity.
Speaking of this are also public opinion polls, which suggest a high level of reputation. "Public opinion therefore does not confirm the subjective and, to a certain measure, insulting statements by the outgoing minister," the statement concludes.