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Police Organization and Police Reform in Germany - The Case of North Rhine-Westphalia

GPS, Vol. 5 No. 2, (2009)

The police in Germany is mainly a matter of the federal states, called
„Länder”, and only the Federal Police (Bundespolizei) and Germany's Federal
Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt) have nationwide, though
limited powers and are the responsibility of the German Federal Ministry of
the Interior. Because of the important role of the Länder the focus in this
article is on one state. North Rhine-Westphalia was chosen as it is the state
with the largest number of habitants and of police officers.
In the article three main topics are described and analyzed. The first part
focuses on the police system and its reform in recent years. The second part
shows some more aspects of the modernisation of the police since the
1980s, like the integration of women and ethnic minorities in the police, the
different activities to enhance the status of police officers for example by
better payment and better training. Also the shifts in the police programme,
especially including community policing and crime prevention, are discussed.
In the third, the steering of the police will be looked at. In the early
1990s the New Public Management was implemented – but was confronted
with great difficulties. The reform in 2007 changed the concept of steering
and now favours measuring inputs and outputs instead of outcomes, and
benchmarking between the 47 police authorities.
Over all it will be shown that the police in North Rhine-Westphalia proceeded
with modernisation, civilisation, pluralisation and professionalization.
But the challenges for further reforms can be seen already, for example
because of changes in the security situation or the future new security architecture.

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