What are auxiliary cops

Auxiliary policemen: Are you at risk?

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What is he doing now, such an auxiliary policeman? An appointment at Dresden's police headquarters. This is an old building in the center, defiant and awe inspiring, with wide hallways and wanted pictures on the walls. Nadine Donke has been working between the homicide squad and the drug offenses department for a few weeks. Police officer Donke.

The 23-year-old is not shy, but reserved; she carefully weighs what she says. She has no illusions about her position: "As police officers, we are initially the smallest light in the police. But that's the way it is. Everyone starts small." If you ask her about her most delicate missions so far, she has to think twice, then it occurs to her: Once, while on patrol in an initial reception center, she got into an argument. A little tussle between asylum seekers that could be resolved quickly.

So this is the first impression of a new unity that polarizes. Above all, critics see the 550 police officers that Saxony trains in three-month high-speed courses - including shooting training - as a security risk. Deputy sheriffs to relieve the regular police, who are taught only the bare essentials and are sent armed to hot spots. For FDP federal vice-president Wolfgang Kubicki, the whole thing is "a headless push-button action". And Thomas Oppermann, SPD parliamentary group leader in the Bundestag, criticized: "We don't want a cheap police force." Something similar can be heard from the Greens and the Left.

The daily work of the auxiliary police in Saxony has begun. One asks oneself: is that going well?

You used to work in other professions, such as a baker or mechanic

Nadine Donke is one of the first police officers to complete their training. She was interviewed once before in February: at the police college, on the first day of her training. The former restaurant specialist was of the opinion that she had finally found her dream job, but was also unsure of what to expect.

In the Dresden Revier she is currently working in the custody department, for example accompanying inmates from their cells to court appointments. She hears a lot about accidents or robberies, in the corridors or by radio in the patrol car; but police on duty are not permitted on such operations. Your job is far less spectacular than many imagine. That is also why Donke was annoyed by the security guard critics. Just like Martin Fabian and Max Kessinger, who were in the same class with her. Now the three work in the same department. Max Kessinger says that he constantly encountered the same concerns: Are auxiliary police officers suitable for such responsible tasks? Can that even be determined in three months? "Is there a better way to check human maturity after two and a half years?" Asks Kessinger. "You can behave well in the classroom the whole time and still be a cattle outside on duty."

Like most police officers, Kessinger, Fabian and Donke are in their early twenties and have previously worked in other professions, such as bakers or mechanics. They have also tried to hire the police, but failed the recruitment test for regular service. They took their second chance. They mastered the test, in which the sports exams and the job interview are less stringent. The final tests with shooting and weapon tests as well. The practical part of the training was easy to manage, but the theory was pretty tight, says Nadine Donke. She would have liked to have had more time with some of the lessons, like those in law. "The focus was on what rights we have to intervene in the event of escalations, but I would have liked to have had more insight into criminal law or traffic law. We do not apply that directly to our service, but it would be interesting to know more about it . "

Police officers may only be used to protect the property of initial reception facilities and to guard people. "The training time was sufficient for the authorizations that we now have," says Martin Fabian. "We are aware of our current tasks. We fulfill them." He points to the shoulder piece of his uniform, there are no stars, only the letters "Guard Police" embroidered on it. "I would still have liked to have added two more months and had more powers," says Fabian. "So that we could also do normal patrol duty."