Should the Commissioner General of the Federal Police resign soon? “Breaked to the ground”

Commissioner General Marc De Mesmaeker has lost it with his guardian ministers, Annelies Verlinden at the Interior and Vincent Van Quickenborne at Justice. Both excellencies summoned the top man of the federal police this week for harsh criticism. “They want him gone. He will not get a second term,” sources say.

Dirk Coosemans

The meeting was a nasty confrontation for Commissioner General Marc De Mesmaeker. “He is by the ministers and the cabinards which had been hacked to the ground,” our sources say. “Nothing was good. Verlinden and Van Quickenborne had a laundry list of dysfunctions that they threw at him.”

De Mesmaeker received three major accusations. Firstly, the digitization of the police would still be completely substandard. Second, recruitment would still not go smoothly. Our newspaper published earlier this year that several classes had been abolished due to too few candidates.

The third point of criticism was the fight against the drug mafia in Antwerp. Police sources said earlier that our country is losing the fight against organized crime. The continuous explosions in Antwerp only underline this.

“The underlying message was clear. De Mesmaeker should no longer hope for an extension of his five-year term, which expires in June. He will remain in post for the time being, but politicians clearly want to maneuver him towards retirement,” the sources say.

And further: “The current crisis in the police, with the death of a Brussels police officer as a sad low point, puts politicians under great pressure to do ‘something’. It seems that they will victimize De Mesmaeker as a scapegoat. Certainly also because he has always been very independent and dared to contradict the politicians. This has not been well received by the government for some time. Perhaps the successor is already ready.”

The Cabinet of the Interior only wants to say the following: “The current mandate of the Commissioner General runs until June 2023. His evaluation committee will be formed soon.” Same message to the Cabinet of Justice: “The evaluation of the Commissioner General is ongoing.”

The federal police responds with a reference to the funeral of the murdered officer Thomas Monjoie. “Today is a day of mourning for all police officers of the Integrated Police. The Commissioner General therefore does not wish to respond to your question today,” the spokeswoman said in an email.

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