Ramstein region celebrates Polizei’s 70th anniversary

Story and photos by Staff Sgt. Timothy Moore
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Members of the Rhineland-Palatinate Polizei display the various uniforms and jobs they hold during the RLP Polizei’s 70th year anniversary celebration May 20 in Koblenz. The celebration included the induction of 551 candidates into the Polizei, German police force.
The Polizei shield is displayed on the arm of a Rhineland-Palatinate Polizei’s dress uniform at the RLP Polizei’s 70th year anniversary celebration May 20. The RLP Polizei were created along with the state in 1947. In the first days of RLP, the Polizei were tasked with securing food and cash supplies needed for the reformation of the area after World War II.

KOBLENZ, Germany — Mem-bers of the Kaisers-lautern Mili-tary Community traveled to Ehren-breitstein Fortress in Koblenz, Germany, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Rhineland-Palatinate (RLP) police, or Polizei, May 20.

The state of Rhineland-Palatinate was formed in 1947, and along with it came the establishment of the RLP Polizei. In the first days of the state, the RLP Polizei was tasked with securing cash transports needed for reform after World War II. They were also tasked with combating post-war black markets, gang activity, and securing food supplies.

Today, the RLP Polizei has become partners of politics, economics, and most importantly, the people.

“I have the impression that the citizens of RLP don’t perceive the police as an executive body anymore,” said Joachim Laux, RLP State Undersecretary. “Instead, they see us as a ‘citizens’ police. On a daily basis, we don’t do anything else but perform our duties for and with our citizens.”

Protecting citizens is a driving force as the RLP Polizei work toward being able to battle threats to safety, to include terrorism, in both the physical and digital world. Officials hailed the partnership between the RLP Polizei and U.S. Military Police at the ceremony.

Col. Curtis G. Juell, right, 86th Mission Support Group commander, speaks with a German police officer at the Rhineland-Palatinate Polizei’s 70th year anniversary celebration May 20 in Koblenz.
Col. William S. Galbraith, center, 21st Theater Sustainment Command deputy commanding officer, speaks with a German police officer at the Rhineland-Palatinate Polizei’s 70th year anniversary celebration May 20 in Koblenz. Galbraith and other members of the Kaiserslautern Military Community were invited to the celebration as the Polizei often work alongside U.S. Air Force and Army security police.

“It was an honor and a pleasure to be here to celebrate with the Rhineland-Palatinate civic leaders and Polizei on this special occasion,” said Col. Curtis G. Juell, 86th Mission Support Group commander. “The strong partnership with community leaders and the local police force is critical as we face unexpected and unique situations presented in our overseas environment. Our defenders, and the Polizei teams they work with, are very dedicated and hardworking professionals.    I’m continuously impressed with the cooperation between us as we work together to protect the military installations and ensure the safety of our service members, families, and friends in the off-base communities.  It was great to see the 70-year history of the Polizei service in Rheinland-Pfalz. I truly look forward to a prosperous future and continued bond with our gracious hosts.”

The future of the RLP Polizei definitely appears bright as the night’s festivities included the swearing in of 178 female and 373 male candidates into the RLP Polizei by Roger Lewentz, RLP State Minister of the Interior and of Sports.

“I am delighted that a total of (551 students) have chosen the responsible profession of (police) officer,” Lewentz said.

These newest officers will go a long way in helping keep Germany safe for both Germans and Americans for many more years to come.