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The reserve police officers would undergo training to assist in extreme situations. Picture: Rezsox

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On September 20, the government submitted a proposal to the parliament for legislation on reserve police and certain related acts.

In the future, the reserve police could be deployed during a state of emergency as well as during disorder in a normal situation. This will allow for a more effective response to changed security conditions and new threats and strengthen the operational capability of the Finnish police in extensive and wide-reaching incidents and security tasks.

“The role of the reserve police is to support the police in temporary situations when something unforeseen occurs. In a changing security situation, a disorder in normal circumstances may rapidly escalate into a situation that is challenging to control and even turn into an emergency,” said Minister of the Interior Kai Mykkänen in a bulletin.

The current law on supplemental police will be replaced by legislation on reserve police. The new legislation will include emergency and defense situations as well as disruptions during normal status quo.

An example of such a disruption could be an exceptionally heavy influx of immigrants, when the police will need additional resources, or if the threat level has been temporarily raised to a level that means police resources will be overwhelmed.

Reserve police support the professional police

The purpose of the reserve police is to free up professional police resources to manage their core functions. Reserve police would never operate independently and would only support the professional police under their direct command. The government would always decide on the deployment of the reserve police.

The reserve police operatives must complete compulsory basic training and maintain their skills while in reserve. The reserve police are planning to recruit 1,000 operatives, who could be, for example, persons over 35 years of age with military police training, security guards and other persons interested in supporting the police. The recruits would be voluntary and committed to their duties, and they would be subject to security clearance.

During disruptions in normal circumstances, the reserve police would support the police by maintaining public order and manage the security at public meetings and events as well as traffic policing.

Guarding closed areas and the transport and guarding of persons in detention could also be among the duties of the reserve police. In emergency and defense situations, the reserve police could be authorized to carry out all police duties.

The reserve police would have the right to carry guns in emergency and defense situations.

The right would not apply when managing disruptions during normal circumstances.

The estimated initial investment for the establishment of the reserve police force is 2.1 million euros, while the running costs will be in the region of 250,000 euros annually. The cost of 100 deployed reserve police operatives would be 400,000–450,000 euros per month.