Internal Affairs Minister Hanno Pevkur said around 2 percent of the present police force will be let go in the latest downsizing of the department, allowing the salaries of the remaining officers to increase.
“But we no longer have much room to decrease police numbers further,” Pevkur told Eesti Päevaleht, adding that a few decades ago 8,500 people worked for the police or board guard, while that figure is 4,500 today.
He said a satisfactory salary is a priority as few are interested in border guard or police jobs with a starting monthly gross salary of 770 euros.
The latest round of cuts will see 200 to 270 people let go this year, although the number of boots on the ground will not be affected, saving the force 4.8 million euros annually. That sum will be used to increase the minimum salary of patrol police officers and border guards to 900 euros per month, before tax.