Dereliction of Duty or Mutiny, which one is it?
my thought is that the reason why the police in Amsterdam never command any respect is because of statements like the one from Welten. When laws are passed (for better or worse) it is the sole job of the police to enforce them. It is not up to the chief to overrule what the government has voted (and the people who voted for them). It only opens up endless chances to ignore, disrespect, and argue over what the Police ought to be doing. The police on the street now have to face the ridicule on yet another issue.
Amsterdam police chief Bernard Welten will not order his officers to arrest women wearing a burqa when the government introduces a ban, he told a tv show.
Police officers should always be sensible, Welten said. “I do not always consider myself an instrument of the government who should immediately do what I am told”, he is quoted as saying. It is “a very complicated dilemma”, he said, adding that the role of the police is to protect freedom, equality and justice.
Hero Brinkman, a former policeman and MP for the anti-Islam PVV told the Telegraaf Welten’s comments are unacceptable. The police should be subject to the government’s will, he said, “otherwise we live in a banana republic”.
Update: See “Coalition furious at police chief’s burqa comments”,Dutch News, 5 January 2011