The police officers, who will take part in the military and civil parade on July 21, want to have access to service weapons and ammunition. The unions are demanding a revision of the protocol in this matter, reported Het Nieuwsblad on Friday.
At present, police officers and emergency service personnel participating in the parade on National Day are expected to carry service weapons. But unlike their motorised colleagues, agents parading on foot must leave their ammunition at the police station.
“Imagine that something happens during the parade. The 120 or so agents present on foot would be powerless at a time when the whole country would be looking at them and the image of the police would be seriously damaged”, says the permanent secretary of the CSC police group, Stéphane Deldicque.
“The rules governing the parade were enacted in times of peace, and the situation has changed drastically since then.” The degree of terrorist threat that is present in the country is still estimated as being at level 3 (on a scale of 4, editor’s note)”, he continues. “Every police officer must be able to act at all times to protect the population”, he added.