Police union leader warns Justice Minister about new PST head appointment
Verdens Gang (VG) reports that police union leader, Lasse Roen, who represents the Police Security Service (PST) staff, issued a stark warning to Justice Minister, Grete Faremo (Labor), not to recruit the new head of PST in the same manner as her predecessor, Knut Storberget, hired Janne Kristiansen.
Storberget (Labor), who was controversial because of his attempts to make blasphemy illegal and to introduce the use of the hijab to the Norwegian police force, and who recently stepped down after receiving death threats, had hand picked Kristiansen for the job. The appointment was by many regarded as a political one.
Arne Johannessen, national head of the Norwegian Police Union (Politiets Fellesforbund), which represents more than 10,000 Norwegian police officers, recently strongly criticized how the previous head of the PST was hired, stating that Storberget steered around several good applicants with strong professsional integrity and relevant police experience, when he picked Janne Kristiansen. In an interview with VG, Johannesen said that to hire a new PST chief with little leader experience and no police-professional background is like risk-sport.
Now the union leader representing PST employees made it clear that PST workers do not want Justice Minister Faremo to recruit a new boss by calling around. “In the last round, many sat and waited for a phone call. Now we want potential applicants to actually apply [for the job] and not [just] wait for a call from the Justice Minister to be encouraged to apply,” Roen said to VG.
Roen also said to VG that the police officers at the PST see a need for several changes in the application process, but that they have not been heard. He said the most important thing is that the application process is made better. “If the applicants openly stand forward on [the] application list, they also contribute to a more fair and open process now. The last time a new PST-chief was to be hired, uncertainty was created as to whether the process was open and genuine,” said Roen to VG.
Roen has also previously stated to VG that the PST staff do not want another political appointement.
Janne Kristiansen has been investigated by the Special Unit of the Police Force (Internal Affairs) after her apparent slip of the tongue during a parliamentary hearing in which she accidentally revealed that Norway’s Military Intelligence Service has operative agents in Pakistan, but the case has now been closed.
Google translation [edited for clarity]:
Thursday Minister of Justice Grete Faremo announced the position as head of the Police Security Service. Faremo places more demands to the new pst boss, among other things, that he should be able to handle the media in a confident manner and that the person must have completed a law degree or other relevant education.
Do not need to have a legal degree
Earlier Thursday Progress Party leader of the Justice Committee [Per Sandberg] made critical remarks regarding Faremo not to a greater extent encourages people with practical law enforcement or military backgrounds to apply for the prestigious job. He has the support of the PST staff.
- To name a specific law degree in the announcement text can provide signals that it is what is desired. We had wanted a broader announcement, where the Ministry also took more consideration to potential applicants with other backgrounds.
- I think there are people other than lawyers who can fill that position, says Lasse Roen….
Original article: PST-ansatte advarer Faremo mot telefon-rekruttering