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Civilian staff could soon be manning Belgium’s border

© Belga
Credit: Belga
© Belga

Civilian police staff in Brussels Airport could soon be given border control responsibilities normally reserved for police in order to make up for a shortage of French- and Dutch-speaking staff.

Federal Police Commissioner General Marc De Mesmaeker told La Dernière Heure that he is considering entrusting certain border control tasks at the airport to CALOG personnel, the civilian branch of the police.

“You don’t necessarily have to be 100% police trained to check the identities of passengers,” explains De Mesmaeker. “We see this in other countries where these checks are carried out by people who wear a uniform but are not police officers.”

In order to work as a CALOG staff member, a number of conditions must be met,  including being the “holder of a diploma or study certificate which corresponds to the skills required to carry out the planned service.” As the idea is still up for consideration, it is unclear what would be required for the position, but De Mesmaeker indicated that he believed “recruiting people just to carry out these functions would not be a bad idea.”

This is not the first time such a proposal has come forward, with CALOG personnel not entrusted to check CCTV in Belgium, under certain conditions. “We could envisage the same thing for border controls at the airport”, explained De Mesmaeker.

The Brussels Times