Minister of the Interior Päivi Räsänen (Christ. Dem.) does not feel that criticism from within the ranks of the six-party government aimed at proposed reforms in the structure of Finland’s police is justified.
Both the Social Democratic Party and Minister of Transport Merja Kyllönen (Left Alliance) had called for more cuts at the administrative level, while putting more officers in the field to do actual police work.
Räsänen notes that the working group that has put forward the proposed abolition of the Traffic Police as a separate unit has also called for a 20 per cent reduction in the highest-level administration of the police.
The Social Democrats announced on Thursday that the party would still think about the content of the proposed police reforms.
Minister of Finance Jutta Urpilainen (SDP) said that the status of the National Police Board should also be included in the debate.
Kyllönen said in a television interview on Friday that she wants to examine the possibility of cutbacks at the administrative level.
Räsänen said that there are plans to cut back 29 of the 147 person work years in the top leadership of the National Police Board.
There are also plans to trim away duplicated work at the Police Department of the Ministry of the Interior.
"The government has agreed jointly that we will find ways to cut EUR 35 million in costs. That has been the mission. If the government partners do not approve, then we need to find money from external sources", she says.
Räsänen cited last summer’s mass killing in Norway as an example of what can happen if administrative aspects are neglected.
According to a report into the shooting, for which Anders Breivik was convicted last week and sentenced to at least 21 years behind bars, weaknesses in the organisation of the police leadership hindered the actions of the police as the operation was going on.