Eindhoven is lagging behind in the number of boas (special investigative officers). Many more are needed, so the municipality is pulling out all the stops to recruit more.
Mayor Jeroen Dijsselbloem explained Friday morning during a press release which steps the municipality is taking to attract more boas*. Bodycams and new equipment had been on the cards for some time, but they just never came. Why that is, the mayor could not explain. But now action is finally being taken. Besides the new equipment, boas will also be paid more. “It’s also really about that appreciation”, says Björn Hamers, head of the enforcement department..
Million euro recruitment
Compared to other big cities, Eindhoven has far fewer boas. A while back they had 48, a number that should be heading towards 80. “There was not enough effort,” Mayor Dijsselbloem says. “The priorities were elsewhere.” To get the number up, the municipality made an extra half a million available twice in recent years to recruit boas.
Appeal to other municipalities
Although the work is becoming increasingly attractive, there is still a shortage of internships. At the municipality, 25 places have now been created, but that is not enough. Therefore, it is also looking at what can be done by neighbouring municipalities. “I make an appeal to all neighbouring municipalities and other employers in the security sector: create internships for these MBO students,” Dijsselbloem says.
More cooperation, more fun
Besides a higher salary and better equipment, the deployment of boas will also increase. For instance, they now also work at night on weekends, in cooperation with the police. And that is a win-win. “It also makes the work more satisfying. You notice that our boas really enjoy it,” says Hamers. “They can do something meaningful, and especially that cooperation between police and the boas is perceived as pleasant.” And that extra effort is also needed. “A city like Eindhoven like this really needs that extra security,” says Dijsselbloem.
Unburden police capacity
That cooperation is needed because the police also lack capacity. That is a problem to be solved in cooperation with the state. More boas can relieve the police and give them more time to focus on investigations. In addition to more boas, the mayor also deployed more public health service workers and stewards in the hospitality industry. Boas and stewards can be deployed at football matches and events, where now police often have to be deployed.
Currently, the city has 56 boas. By 2025, there should be 66 and eventually the number should reach 80.
*Boas are investigative officers with specific investigative powers. They may investigate whether certain criminal offenses have been committed. Boas may also arrest suspects, check identity, draw up official reports and issue fines. They work to provide a safe environment here in Eindhoven for both residents and visitors. (source: Eindhoven News, Shanti Ramani)