September 19, 2021

In Paris, the creation of a municipal police force voted with the votes of the opposition

The project of a Parisian municipal police, promise of Mayor Anne Hidalgo (Socialist Party) in the municipal elections of 2020, was adopted on Wednesday, June 2, by 114 votes to 30, thanks to the votes of the opposition but without those of the allies environmentalists and communists.

Mme Hidalgo, who had rallied to the idea in 2019 – a year before being reelected – hailed a “Historic decision” while the municipal police are “Everywhere else in France a daily evidence”. In a capital which could not choose its mayor by universal suffrage until 1977, “This decision marks a new step in the evolution of the statute of our city towards the common law of the communes”, she further underlined, while the councilor could declare himself a candidate for the presidential election of 2022.

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The promulgation at the end of May of the so-called comprehensive security law, even partially censored, made it possible to put an end to this historic exception. The first municipal police officers, equipped with a bulletproof vest, a gas, a baton, handcuffs and a camera but no lethal weapon, will be operational from the start of September, in waves of 200 having completed the training sessions.

Distributed in 17 arrondissement divisions, the Parisian police officers will be able to issue illegal deposits, urine effusions, cigarette butt throwing, noise pollution, canine droppings, annoying parking lots or even overhanging terraces. The town hall’s objective is to increase from 3,300 agents, currently active within the Prevention, Security and Protection Department (DPSP), to 5,000 for the 2024 Olympic Games.

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Supporters on the right, critics on the left

Right-wing elected officials, who demanded this municipal police ” since many years “, voted for the project while highlighting its many flaws. “A policeman without a weapon is a target”, thus estimated the deputy Brigitte Kuster (Republicans, LR). In the absence of “Additional prerogatives” compared to the DPSP, it “Will only have the name”, meanwhile lamented Nicolas Jeanneté (Les Centristes).

For the mayor of 15e arrondissement Philippe Goujon (LR), this municipal police “Will not have 5,000 police officers” As announced “But only 3,400, the remainder being composed of mediators and simple surveillance agents”. “All of these 5,000 agents contribute to public tranquility”, replied Nicolas Nordman, deputy to Mme Hidalgo to security and defender of the project, citing the example of brawls during which mediators intervene upstream.

Fearing a disengagement of the national police, environmentalists and communists voted against. Municipal police “Will not respond to public safety concerns”, said Fatoumata Koné (Europe Ecology-The Greens), who denounces the “Transfer of powers from the State to the local authorities” without “The financial means or tax bases”. “All Communist Mayors” who have set up a municipal police “Confirmed to me that these creations led to a withdrawal of the State from its security missions”, also assured Nicolas Bonnet-Oulaldj (French Communist Party).

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The World with AFP