New leadership for Berlin’s Police Department following a string of scandals, and a potential ban on diesel vehicles in Berlin

 

This week, Berlin Police Chief Klaus Kandt was forced to step down from his position. In the wake of numerous scandals, including what some say was the mishandled investigation of the 2016 Breitscheidplatz terror attack, many are asking what this shake-up means for Berlin’s police force.

Ronja Ringelstein, a journalist for Der Tagesspiegel, says many of Berlin’s police officers support the change in leadership, but were surprised by the sudden nature of the announcement. The incoming police chief, says Ringelstein, does not have an easy task ahead. “There is an urgent need for more and younger staff, better pay, better equipment and improved infrastructure. So there is a lot of work to do.”

Ringelstein also offered some insight into one of the biggest changes that could be facing Berlin in the coming years: a proposed driving ban on diesel vehicles. A federal court in Leipzig recently ruled that cities are allowed to ban diesel-powered vehicles in order to fight air pollution. If implemented in Berlin, Ringelstein notes that the first bans could come as soon as the beginning of 2019 and would likely generate “considerable resistance.”

Photo by Christian Lendl.