Police officers employed by individual emirates should be paid the same as their federal government counterparts so they are not tempted to become corrupt, an FNC member said today.
"Police forces in some emirates recruit nationals to work in the field with salaries that are paid by the local government of the emirate, but these do not enjoy the benefits that Interior Ministry personnel enjoy," said Ahmad Al Shamsi, a member for Ajman. "So why not shift such policemen under the ministry to enjoy the same benefits?"
The interior minister, Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, said that some emirates had seen it necessary to add to their police forces to keep up with the rapid development of the country and had done so without going through the ministry.
"But those (local government police officers) carry the logo of the interior ministry, drive their cars," argued Mr Al Shamsi. "We don't differentiate between them and the ministry's cops, yet you find one is paid a salary of Dh5,000 while his ministry counterpart is paid Dh20,000."
He added that officers who were paid less were more prone to security breaches. He said such officers had access to operation rooms, weapons and missiles, and could pose a threat to national security if they were tempted by bribes.
Mr Al Shamsi also said that police employed by local governments did not qualify for a pension. "What if he were driving his police motorbike and had an accident which left him paralysed? How will he live? On social support?"
He suggested that local governments continue to pay the salaries of these officers, but said the difference should be paid by the federal government.
Sheikh Saif replied that the officers were employed under a separate system because some local government projects might not be a part of the federal government's plan or budget.
However, he said the ministry planned to "improve" the situation.