Now open
German Police liaison office on Ramstein to help Airmen

Petra Lessoing
Kaiserslautern American

***image1***The German Police liaison office officially opened here Sept. 19.
During his speech, Wolfgang Erfurt, president of Westpfalz Police
Headquarters, emphasized that the common work between German and
American police forces has a long tradition.

“The idea to establish an office on base was in our heads for a long
time already,” said Mr. Erfurt. “After Sept. 11 tragedies, connections
became even closer and finally the idea became reality.”

Col. Kurt Lohide, 435th Air Base Wing commander praised the presence of German police on base during the opening ceremony.

“I agree this is an historic event on several levels,” said Colonel
Lohide. “It is another example where two free nations cooperate
together and with a growing population on base, the future will bring
many opportunities for both security forces to cooperate.”

Three police officers already started work in the liaison office on
base earlier this year. Their reporting office is the Landstuhl Police

“For the Kaiserslautern, Landstuhl and Ramstein areas, we are the point
of contact for the U.S. military police,” said Polizeikommissar Bernd
Riffel. He, together with Polizeioberkomissar Alfred Klein and POK
Peter Stein, works the various cases with German involvement.

“The 569th Security Forces Squadron is forwarding us the military
reports about things happening off base such as vehicle break-ins,
fights, hit and runs and other traffic incidents,” said Mr. Riffel. The
German police officers start investigations and if necessary, they call
offenders in.

“If for example, a U.S. military member or civilian receives a speeding
ticket, we first investigate the offenders’ names, contact them and ask
them to come to our office. Here they get to look at the photo, if
available, and have to make and sign a statement,” said Mr. Riffel.

In cases where a driver’s license will have to be revoked, the German
Police liaison office also has to inform supervisors and ask them to
come along.

“We also got involved when items were stolen from German construction
companies recently here on base and when larcenies occurred on the
Wurstmarkt in Bad Dürkheim,” said Mr. Riffle.

The former German police liaison office in Vogelweh’s military police
station reported an average number of 400 cases per year pertaining to
German law.

Another main focus of the liaison office is the maintenance of human relations with U.S. and NATO forces here on base.

After a one-year probation period, police headquarters officials will review the program for its effectiveness.