The vice-chair of Germany’s Union of Police, Jörg Radek, has stated that due to the refugee crisis, many officers have turned towards the right-wing Alternative for Germany party, which advocates stricter migration control.
He blamed the German government for failing to explain why police officers were ordered not to prevent migrants from illegally entering the country in 2015 in spite of their dedicated efforts policing the nation’s borders.
"This has garnered sympathy for the AfD within the German police. The political aftermath is that today police officers become AfD candidates in the regional elections," Radek told the German outlet Rheinische Post.
The police chief inspector, who has been the deputy leader of the police union since 2010, complained that the forces have not felt the "appreciation of the German government for their work" for many years. He noted that this stance has been reconsidered within Angela Merkel-led coalition only over the last three years, but stated: “It's too late for the loss of confidence”.
The 59-year-old union leader called on the ruling cabinet to “urgently strengthen constitutional patriotism within the forces”.
Another union leader, Ernst G. Walter, head of the German Federal Police Union (DPolG), told the German business daily Handelsblatt that as long as the AFD remains the only party attending to issues that the police have to deal with on a daily basis, one should not be surprised with the right-wing swing.
"For example, if you catch the same pickpocket, drug dealer or other criminal every day as a police officer at a train station but courts release the perpetrators immediately over alleged good social predictions, this can be very frustrating in the long run," the top union rep explained, extending the analogy to apply to the government’s failure to repatriate rejected asylum seekers.
Thus, they have confirmed earlier statements by one of CDU’s leading figures, former party leadership hopeful Friedrich Merz. The politician, who lost to the current CDU leader, Merkel’s alleged protégé Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, earlier prompted criticism within the government and his own party as he warned about the German police and military becoming more receptive of the AfD in an interview with Bild am Sonntag. The prophetic warning prompted a rebuke from Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, who accused Merz of “trying to use the police as a stepping stone for his political career”.