The head of the Empire Police has admitted that members of his force are using ‘black flu’ to evade participation in operations against the country’s powerful organised crime syndicates.
Commissioner of Police Carl Forde claimed that feigning illness to avoid undertaking orders was now a serious problem his district commanders were encountering and the issue was now reaching a “crisis point”.
He described the actions of such officers as “illegal” and “nefarious” and threatened dismissal and potential criminal charges for those found guilty of engaging in the practice.
The absence of members of the force he said had led to a reduction in the success of recent operations and, in a growing number of cases, the complete abandonment of planned operations. This “cowardice” he said left “criminal groups immune to State persecution.”
The Council of the Empire recently identified organised crime and corruption as the single biggest threat to the stability and integrity of central government and announced its intention to intensify the State’s long-waged and apparently fruitless war on drugs. That escalation has yet to start and the inaction is unsurprisingly mounting pressure on Commissioner Forde.
Whilst admitting a report on the problem is being prepared for the Council, the Commissioner rubbished suggestions in the media that the issue might be best solved by deploying the army in lieu of the police.
“The army are not equipped nor trained to handle policing duties and so using them for this purpose doesn’t make any sense at all. We have the resources to deal with these criminals no matter how big.”
It is however exactly the matter of resources that has been put forward by representatives of the rank and file as the reason for the reluctance of officers to partake in activity against major criminal groups.
Just last month, a group representing policefigs called on the state to immediately allocate financial resources to fund a replacement programme for the force’s Legoda police cars. The call was followed up with the tabling of additional demands described as “essential to meet acceptable work standards”.
These include new firearms, protective armour for officers, the provision of a dedicated air support unit and the establishment of a police protection programme to safeguard members and the families of members from the risk of retribution through relocation and identity management.
Whether Commissioner Forde will agree to seek the demands of members remains to be seen.