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Warsaw. A silent protest in the Warsaw traffic road

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Police officers from the Warsaw highway are conducting a silent protest going on sick leave – the tvn24.pl portal has learned. Officially, the police respond that there is no problem with handling accidents and collisions in the capital.

According to our information, the cause of the grassroots protest, which started last Wednesday, is the change in the organization of work.

The dispute over the “twelve”

– From moment to moment, without talking, they change our twelve-hour service to eight-hour service. In addition, endless special actions to attract people from free – say the policemen on tvn24.pl, asking for anonymity.

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At the very beginning, only a few officers decided to go on sick leave. On Monday, 71 people were on sick leave, out of a staff of 550. However, according to the official replies of the Warsaw Police Headquarters, only a slight increase was recorded, compared to the natural level of sick leave.

– The number of layoffs does not have a negative impact on the speed of intervention and the level of implementation of the tasks entrusted to the road traffic. As we checked recently, the response time to urgent events was shorter than the average for the whole of last year, the spokesman of the Warsaw Police Commander, Commissioner Sylwester Marczak, told us.

According to the police, “urgent” interventions are accidents, reactions to information about a drunk driver, and “ordinary” interventions most often mean a trip to a collision. The policemen themselves say that each day the number of sick leaves will increase. But why is it so important for them to change the system of work?

Warsaw policemen from outside Warsaw

Many officers who do not live here work in the Warsaw road traffic – they even travel beyond Kielce or Gostynin. Thanks to the “twelve” they have the next day off. And when duty falls off at night, they only return to headquarters after two days of rest.

– There is a difference whether 300 kilometers to duty are made three times a week or five. We often rent flats together to share beds in shifts, police say.

Police commanders view the problem differently. The easier it is to organize the services in an eight-hour rhythm. The additional profit is statistical; when there are three shifts, each day they have more crews on the streets.

Endless dispute

Gaining more crews is so attractive to police management that they have been trying to make it a permanent rule for decades. Each time, however, it meets with resistance from the police “pits” that patrol the streets.

At the end of 2017, then on the initiative of the police headquarters, attempts were made to introduce it in a roadway throughout the country. Already at the beginning of 2018, these attempts were withdrawn because of the resistance of the policemen themselves.

– Young policemen think less of our profession as a service, rather as ordinary work that can be changed at any time. I started driving in a leaky Nysa, a young policeman will not get into a police car, where the air conditioning is out of order – says an officer with 30 years of experience.

Temporary change?

According to the interviewees of tvn24.pl from the Warsaw police headquarters, the change from “twelve” to “eight” is to be only temporary.

– It’s just the Police Day, it’s also a period when we have a lot of foreign visits, a lot is happening. The traffic chief had no choice but to introduce such a solution for a while – we heard from one of the officers.

Traffic police say: We heard that the change of organization were the ideas of the Police Headquarters when we started to protest. If the protest does not work, I will most likely quit the service, because I cannot afford extra work.

Author:Robert Zieliński, Artur Molęda

Main photo source: KSP

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