Gov’t proposes 25% expansion to Judiciary Police staff

The government has proposed expanding the number of Judiciary Police (PJ) staff to about 1,600 through the introduction of new departments and divisions, it was revealed yesterday.

The PJ currently has a team of 1,266 employees. The government hopes to carry out approximate 25% expansion over the next seven years.

The expansion was proposed as part of the proposal to review Law No. 5/2006, a foundational law for the PJ. The proposal was announced and discussed by the Executive Council yesterday as one of three agenda items.

It is proposed that crimes related to information, the internet or national security be formally included under the authority of the PJ. In addition, in the hopes of improving efficiency, the government proposed that new means be added to allow the PJ to obtain the civil and criminal data of a person.

Currently, the PJ can only access this data through a written application to the related authority. The new means proposed include, but are not limited to, the mutual electronic accessibility of such data.

The proposal raised a lot of concern at the press conference, as it may lay down a path to personal data violations. A PJ official clarified that requests for data only occur during criminal investigations. In the meantime, official applications must be made and approval be issued.

Gun possession for retired PJ investigators hired under the “contract system,” if supervisory legal requirements are met, was also proposed.

The government would also like to formalize the career system for forensic professionals in the PJ. These professionals do not have a career ladder under the current civil servant system.

The PJ considers building a professional team of forensic personnel to be crucial, considering the manner in which crimes are carried out now. Cybercrime is a prominent challenge, the PJ advanced.

Additionally, the change is expected to help the PJ maintain a sufficient standard of forensics. It is also expected to attract more graduates holding forensics degrees or related degrees, such as pharmacy and law.

New and revamped positions will also be introduced, once the law is put into place. Amendments to the respective salary mechanisms will also be enacted.

The review of Law No. 5/2006 will come into effect on the next day of publication of the Official Gazette.

As for the special job descriptions for the PJ, this is an entirely new law. If approved by the legislature, they will come into effect 30 days after the public announcement in the Official Gazette.

The Executive Council also discussed a proposed Executive Decree that supplements the Internet Security Law No. 13/2019. The law will come into effect on December 22.

As the law has stipulations for an Internet Security Council, the Chief Executive will hence formalize its formation. It will include top officials, such as the Chief Executive and the head of the Personal Data Protection Office, among other entities.

The government’s security branch will take on a significant role in internet security. The Decree will also go into effect on December 22.

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