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Murniece reinstates police chief Kuzis

  • 2011-01-31
  • TBT Staff

The Latvian police will undergo a major overhaul as a result of last week's deadly shoot out.

RIGA - Latvian Interior Minister Linda Murniece has announced that she will reinstate Ints Kuzis as State Police Riga Region Administration Chief.

Kuzis had been suspended from his post following a high-profile casino robbery and deadly shoot-out in which members of the elite "Alfa" police unit took part. Two former Tukums-region police officers with records of malpractice and suspension also took part in the robbery and ensuing gun battle, which left one police officer dead and one critically wounded.

Murniece has said that there would be widespread reforms to the state police as a result of the incident.

These would include daily "sudden unplanned inspections" of police,  wage hikes of as much as 50% "to people who deserve it", and changes to the system that allows police to be reinstated following wrongdoing. 

Moreover, the "Alfa" police unit itself will cease to exist, to be replaced by another unit with similar duties. The name of the new unit has not yet been determined.

Alfa has accumulated 41 disciplinary citations over the past four years.

Five people were arrested in Jekabpils last week after a botched robbery at a "Fenikss" gaming hall ended with a police shoot-out in which one officer was killed and numerous people were injured. All five criminals who took part in the robbery were apprehended.