Towns in Mallorca are considering the possibility of using Military Police to cover 20% of Police vacancies, which would allow them to deploy Civilian Police to towns with no Officers.
The problem is that salaries are higher and working conditions are better in Palma, so as soon as Officers finish their training in small towns they start applying for jobs in the capital.
The Montoro Act prevents the hiring of extra staff in Municipalities and because of the Government's refusal to create a temporary opening and the new surveillance demands caused by the pandemic, a bill has been sent to city councils, particularly in the Part Forana.
Banyalbufar Mayor, Mateu Ferrà, has written to the Government Delegation warning that he won’t be held responsible for monitoring compliance with health restrictions due to the pandemic.
"We have been without any Local Police for months and Plaza Convocada is deserted, but if it is necessary to be vigilant, the Government Delegation must send means,” says Mayor Ferrà.
"We have been without police for about four years and in the summer we were given cover, but within two weeks they went to another town,” explains Estellencs Mayor Bartomeu Jover. “Police from Esporles or Banyalbufar used to lend us a hand sometimes, but now the situation is bad there too. The Government cannot keep refusing to fill vacancies and allowing Palma to steal Officers from us,” he added.
“The situation is desperate, I’ve already thrown in the towel,” confessed Mayor Ferrà.
In Costitx the Police Officer post has been vacant for nearly two months and Mayor Toni Salas, who’s also the President of the Federation of Municipalities of the Balearic Islands, or FELIB has been demanding that the Government resolve the crisis for months.
FELIB is conducting an exhaustive study of Local Police, town by town, to find out how many posts each location has been allocated and how many are vacant. He has also appealed to the Interior to follow the so-called ‘Valencian road’ by training temporary workers that could be deployed to villages and towns in need. The idea was tabled by Andratx Mayor, Joan Manera.
"Following a ruling in November 2019 that enables an interim official to act as an agent of authority, the Valencian Government retrained Police Officers and convened an interim group," explains Mayor Salas. "The towns would commit ourselves by hiring an interim to take the position to the opposition in 'x' years," he added.
While waiting for the Interior to offer a definitive solution, the Mayors are considering accepting an agreement signed with the Ministry of Defence years ago under which 20% of the vacant positions in Municipalities could be reserved for Military Police to relieve the situation.