Federal Police chief to stand down

Federal Police chief to stand down
Marc De Mesmaeker. Credit: Belga

The Commissioner General of the Federal Police Marc de Mesmaeker won't extend his mandate (which expires in June) due to personal reasons, the Federal Police announced.

De Mesmaeker informed Minister of the Interior Annelies Verlinden (CD&V) and Minister of Justice Vincent Van Quickenborne (Open Vld) of his decision on Thursday.

Rumours have in recent weeks circulated that De MesMaeker was feeling the pressure from Verlinden and Van Quickenborne over a reportedly substandard digitalisation process at the police, recruitment issues and a fraught battle against the drug cartel in Antwerp.

These matters in combination mean that De Mesmaeker will not extend his term. Yet Verlinden the rumoured grounds for De Mesmaeker's departure and thanked him for his work over the years in a joint statement with Minister Van Quickenborne.

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"The ministers and the commissioner general shared the same ambition over the past two years: to make the police organisation better, stronger and more modern. And he has always done that with great dedication and commitment."

"As he himself points out, this cooperation is being done with mutual respect and on the best terms until the end of his mandate. There are many challenges for the police, which they will also face together in the coming months."

De Mesmaeker stressed that the population, authorities, staff and other security partners can rely on his full commitment until his term ends.

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