German cops often amaze me with the amount of professionalism and common practices.
What few Americans tend to realize is that there's a fair amount of effort to control the entry point to police academies in Germany. They test guys and gals for physical standards, intelligence requirements, and stress levels. Just because a guy wants to be a cop....means absolutely nothing. There just aren't that many losers in a German cop uniform.
So after they graduate....they end up with a city, state or federal police force. When they go out on patrol....it's typically a two-man team. If you walk around Frankfurt or Wiesbaden.....you tend to notice that's the standard when you talk about walking-patrols or car-patrols. There's a back-up and someone there to ensure situations don't escalate.
If you stand there and admire their vehicles....they have newer vehicles and all the latest in terms of technology or pistols.
Generally, the only big complaints that you ever hear about with cops center on two things. The first is anti-capitalist riots or demonstrations.
The first of May is typically of those period when such riots occur. You could looking at several major cities in Germany where riots will be planned, and large groups of cops are put on extra-duty. These riots usually end up with five to ten thousand rioters who show up.....use cobblestones to throw against the cops or structures.....and use Molotov-cocktails to set cars or buildings on fire. By the time you add up injuries and the stress involved.....cops have a general hatred of May riots.
Back in March of this year, we had the ECB building open up in Frankfurt which got a major riot and demonstration going by mid-morning. A number of cops were injured and it brought up some changes in local laws for future riots in the region.
The second big episode? Soccer games. As Bundesliga games occur.....cops get called in to wear riot gear and there's always a minimum of a hundred cops for most games. For teams with hooligan action in the past.....there could be a thousand cops called for duty on game day.
Injuries from past soccer riots? Yeah.....it's happened.
Over the past year, there's been talk by several political figures that cities and states should decline to offer such protection and force the clubs to escalate ticket prices and hire their own security folks for the arena grounds or within stadiums. Fans are hyper against this idea....knowing you'd have to pay another ten to twenty Euro for every single ticket if it ever occurs. The thing is.....as you injure some cop on fan duty and he's permanently retired.....the state ends up paying this poor guy's pension for the rest of his life, which all comes off federal or state tax collection.
As innovation has come to life....it's influenced a German cop's life to a great degree. You have video collection going on in all major German cities now....no matter where you turn, the cops have a video feed.
When you have a riot or have some soccer hooligan episode unfolds....there's video to show where it started, who was involved, what trains they rode across town to reach ground-zero, and how they left some parking lot on the end of town via their personal car. The possibility of maintaining some anonymous appearance? I'm almost of the mind that we are entering an age when anonymous participation in riots won't be possible within a decade.
If the Frankfurt cops wanted to know every car tag of vehicles that enters town each day.....the technology already exists....they'd simply ask for the money and fund it. Being anonymous in life? It's rapidly coming to an end.
This all brings me to what Germans get for their money in terms of police protection. If you asked a hundred Germans.....the vast majority....probably near ninety-percent....will say they are satisfied with the police protection that they have. The hooligans or anti-capitalists? If you lined up a hundred of them....virtually ninety-nine percent would be unhappy with the German cops.