The murder of Amra Kahrimanović, who was brutally killed by a policeman with an official pistol, shocked Bosnia and Herzegovina. public, but also revealed a number of problems in the functioning of the police sector. The public is particularly disturbed by the fact that police officers who perform an extremely responsible and stressful job did not perform regular medical examinations and that they keep their weapons with them outside of working hours. In the meantime, the Federal Police Administration took over the investigation of this murder, and the MUP of Tuzla Canton was excluded from the process.
Unfortunately, only tragic events, such as the latest case of femicide in Tuzla, reveal how dysfunctional the system is in many of its segments. Citizens were shocked to learn that police officers, despite the daily stress they are exposed to, have not been subjected to medical examinations and assessment of their ability to carry weapons for years.
“The government of TK must provide funds for the review so that we, first of all, feel safe in our city, in our canton, and then the people who accepted those positions finally accept the responsibility that comes with that position,” points out Lejla Bašić from the Association of citizens “Cardboard revolution” Tuzla.
The minister of the cantonal MUP says that the government has provided funds for mandatory systematic examinations of police officers and that a part of the police officers completed those examinations last year. The minister admits that police officers are working under great pressure, as there is currently a shortage of about 300 police officers in the cantonal MUP.
“The government will very soon, after adopting the budget, announce a new public competition and receive new police officers. A big mistake was made in the period from 2018 to 2022 when not a single competition was announced. A very large number of police officers fulfilled the requirements, left the service and left into retirement. We now have to fill that gap at an accelerated pace,” says Interior Minister TK Hajrudin Mehanović.
The problem, of course, will not be solved just by hiring the required number of police officers, because changes and procedures within the MUP itself are necessary, and here it is of particular importance to control which police officers can carry weapons when they are not on duty. Experts warn that this segment must be approached extremely seriously.
“People change in conditions of violence and you can see now, we have done research, and scientifically, wider research in the world shows, globally, that the problem is with the police, armed forces, security guards, meaning people who carry weapons, that they are constantly exposed to violence in their work and that they need psychological support, let alone examinations, that is really nonsense,” believes Nurka Pranjić, specialist in occupational medicine.
The government of Tuzla Canton will discuss the current security situation in the canton at an extraordinary session this week and analyze the circumstances that led to the brutal murder of Amra Kahrimanović. One of the proposed measures will be the formation of a special team of psychological experts within the Police Administration, which will monitor the psychological state of police officers.