Extension of mandatory certification - "We cannot simply send unvaccinated police officers home"

Extension of mandatory certification - "We cannot simply send unvaccinated police officers home"

With the expansion of the certificate requirement, the police will have more to do from Monday. Together with other authorities, it will have to check whether the obligation is being complied with. The conference of cantonal police commanders has announced spot checks. Mark Burkhard, President of the Conference of Cantonal Police Directors, knows what will change with the requirement for police officers to obtain certificates. Ausweitung Zertifikatspflicht - «Wir können ungeimpfte Polizisten nicht einfach heimschicken»

Mark Burkhard

KKPKS President

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Mark Burkhard has been President of the Conference of Swiss Cantonal Police Commanders (KKPKS) since the end of 2020. He has also been the commander of the Basel-Landschaft police force since 2013.

SRF News: Do police officers also need a certificate when on duty?

Mark Burkhard: No. We lack the legal basis for this. It is therefore now up to the cantons to consider whether they require certain measures from their staff. But they first have to create the legal basis for this. I don't think that will be possible until Monday.

So it could happen that a policewoman who doesn't have a certificate herself checks someone's certificate to see if it's in order?

That is possible. Nevertheless, we must fulfill our task. We can't just send the unvaccinated home, we need the entire corps inventory. At the moment, this can only be implemented in such a way that those who carry out control tasks wear a mask. This ensures the protection of everyone involved.

But that would affect everyone in the corps, including those who had been vaccinated. Isn't that a punishment for everyone?

This isn't punishment. We have to make sure that the police can do their job. We cannot control all staff. We have no basis for that.

Nor can we force staff to be vaccinated. With the masks, however, we can ensure the operational capability of the police. Would you wish for as many people as possible to be vaccinated?

Yes, I personally would like that. We are in a major crisis, in Switzerland and worldwide. There are corona deaths, there are many seriously ill people who also suffer longer-lasting damage. We have to think about how to overcome this crisis. Vaccination is a proven method that I support very much.

Police officers have a certain responsibility. Should they be held more accountable?

You have to appeal to the whole population. Police officers are part of the population, like other sectors, we represent the entire cross-section. The whole population is responsible. Also police officers.

How many people aren't vaccinated in the police force?

I can't judge that for the whole of Switzerland because it certainly differs from corps to corps. In my corps we assume a vaccinated proportion of about two thirds.

So a third is probably not vaccinated. However, we cannot do without a third of our inventory. Otherwise we are no longer operational.

The conversation was conducted by Marielle Gygax.


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