Hug The Police

You’ve surely seen what happened last week in Hamburg, as some of its streets transformed into a war zone.
I will not bother you with any thoughts on politics and violent protestors. What I want to write about is the police.
Watching and reading about what was going on 8 km away from my home, I was thinking about poor policemen. As I was working on Friday from home (like most of my colleagues), I was already starting to get into the relaxed weekend mood and I felt sorry for the police, thinking what kind of weekend is awaiting them. But this is their work I thought.
Then I thought how difficult is to ensure safety in front of tens of thousands of excited protestors and try not to provoke them . But this is their work, I though, they’ve been trained for this.
And then rocks are thrown at the police. It is being announced that more and more officers are being injured. Are they being trained for this too? Most probably…
But there were violent protest in Moldova too not that long ago. I’ve already seen this. I can still vividly see the image from the news as one police officer is bleeding from his head after a rock hit it.
What knocked me dead, though, was the twitter account of the Hamburg police. Yes, they have a twitter account and, it seems, they have a whole social media team.
First of all, you could get the official updates from the police, straight facts, not distorted by anyone. And it weren’t simply periodic press releases, these were perfect and frequent short twits, as they are meant to be in this social platform. They twitted about what’s going on in which street, they denied rumours circulating on the Internet and, most importantly, they went in full contact with the population. I was so amazed to see the police answering direct questions, giving advices, reacting on information given from users, constantly being nice (even when being accused that setting cars on fire and looting shops by protestants is police’s fault) and generally maintaining very informal discussions (in German limits, surely). This is what I, as a Moldovan, am absolutely not used to. And this, for me, is a great indicator how developed Hamburg police is and how well it tries to serve the people.

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