Interior minister seeks fresh winds in police headquarters

Risto Berendson
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Photo: A.Peegel

At Police and Border Guard Board headquarters management meetings, folks argue about who is important enough to park next to director general – a clear sign of stale air.

In quarrels about PBGB’s new director general, there is an important yet unnoticed argument why the new chief ought to come from outside the system. Indeed, interior minister Ken-Marti Vaher seems hard pressed to adequately evaluate the turmoil around candidates, but his zeal for fresh winds is – alas! – quite welcome.

The reason being pragmatically simple: headquarters are teeming with too many highly paid officials, whose tasks and usefulness is a mystery even to insiders. Therefore, letting some winds in seems vital.

Sadly, this is a task the minister can’t trust the current PBGB leadership to support. For they are tied in knots by long-time service and human relations. The best example of which was former PBGB chief Raivo Küüt himself – a friendly type of a boss who had trouble telling former comrades-in arms that, in all honesty, their input into the work is impossible to explain.

Headquarters are adorned with many highly paid former top policemen, who – after losing their lofty posts – turned into big salaried advisers or other kinds of experts. This old guard is, amongst more straightforward colleagues, ironically called Oak Alley.

Referring to the oak leaves adorning uniforms of high officials. In Oak Alley, to-the-point criticism is a rare guest. To give up benefits, gained by long years of service, few are willing. And, as we may well understand, it’s quite a collegial bunch.

To say nothing of bootlicking the director general – leaving an impression of operetta-policemen. Like? A fight is on, who sits on the director generals right and who at the left hand, at meetings.

There are even heated arguments around who, based on position, may park official car next to director general – i.e. closest to HQ doors.