Warning from the Police Union: “We’ve run out of bullets.”
Bruno Santopaolo, of COISP, raises the alarm. “We can’t practice anymore, and no one can say for how long.” The director of the airport police says, ”This can happen; it’s nothing new.”
We have received, and are publishing, a statement made on behalf of the Police Union COISP by Bruno Santopaolo, in Malpensa.
Thanks to your newspaper, we can speak to you and to all of the people of Varese and Varese Province, who will probably find it hard to believe what we are about to say. Italy is taking part in a UN mission with arms, airplanes and bombs. In effect, it is a war. In collaboration with other forces of law and order, the Italian police force must ensure public order and safety within its borders, even facing possible terrorist threats. At times like this, the police must be trained, in order to be ready to respond to possible threats, effectively, and in accordance with the law.
Well, when we thought we had seen everything, what seemed impossible, happened: there are no more bullets for practicing, and so, for some months now, members of Polaria Malpensa (the policemen responsible of airport security), have been unable to practice on the firing range, and no one knows with any certainty when firing practice can resume, some say, in July, some say, in September, some do not say. This is because it would appear that the bullets, and even the money, has run out.
With this uncertainty, we appeal to the people of Varese to give us blowguns, or slings, something that will enable us to respond to the threat, if the episode some time ago should be repeated, when a colleague had to shoot to stop a madman with a knife, who had crashed through the airport doors in his SUV. Of course, given the shortage of paper, the “bullets” for the blowguns might run out, so slings would be better, as the world is full of stones. Maybe, we could use the ones they throw at us in the stadiums. While there are those who are thinking on a large scale, of equipping an army, we would not want anyone to take advantage to delegitimise us, by not considering us at all; imagine a surgeon without a scalpel, who cannot operate, a teacher without books, who cannot teach, an electrician without electricity, who cannot get the light to work. Well, now imagine a policeman without any training; this should make you laugh less, and reflect more.
The excuse is always the same: there is no money. For state flights, state celebrations, state parades, MPs pay rises, the money is always found, but for the police force, only crumbs; in fact, in order to guarantee policemen’s salaries, the money allocated for reorganising careers has been cut. We might quote the actor Massimo Troisi, “All that’s left to do is cry”, but it is time to stop crying, time to unite under one flag, that of the State Police, the “last bastion” as the Police chief would say, time to come out from behind the shields of trade-union, political language, to turn to the people we should protect, and be heard and understood by them, we must get help to help other people, to protect you in the way you deserve, risking our lives.
People of Varese Province, we ask you to invite us to speak during your committee meetings, and recognised association meetings, to highlight our complaint, to help us to make our voice heard, after all, it is for your good, and, above all, to help us to have bullets again.
After the complaint by COISP, VareseNews spoke to the director of the airport police, Polaria, in Malpensa, Giovanni Pepe, who confirmed the news, but he added, “Practice hasn’t been suspended, it continues in different ways, without the use of bullets. It’s nothing new that one police department runs out of training bullets before the others, and is left without ammunition for some time. I can assure you that firing practice will soon start again, without any problems.”