Police reject new “1950s sounding” anthem
The Czech police are to get a new anthem which would symbolize the successful transformation of the force over that last 25 years. But the demo version of the anthem, leaked to the media, has provoked many critical reactions, prompting the police president to put the project on hold.
The police presidium says this is a draft version of the anthem that has only been performed twice in public. But the song has come under fire from many in the police corps and beyond. Some argue it is too pompous for a police anthem; others believe it sounds too much like a communist propaganda march from the 1950s.
Since a recording of the new anthem appeared on the internet last week, hundreds of plice officers have voiced complaints that the song would make them a laughingstock. The largely negative reactions have prompted Police President Tomáš Tuhý to ask for the anthem to be reworked, a move welcomed by the interior minister among others.
Indeed, the Czech police have undergone a major transformation since the fall of communism 25 years ago, and retain relatively high levels of public trust. That is quite unusual in the post-communist countries of central and eastern Europe, says sociologist Klára Plecitá from the Czech Academy of Sciences.
“I would say that people are proud to have a police force like ours. When we look at people’s attitudes towards the Czech police, we can say that Czech police are able to apprehend and deter offenders, that they work relatively well, and that people are relatively satisfied with the contacts they have with the police.”
Is that something unusual in the post-communist countries in the region?
Are there any areas where the public perceives the police worse than in other countries?
“Yes but it’s difficult to explain. We found that people don’t believe that the police share the same values as the majority of the society. It’s difficult to interpret what people mean but for them, the police are still a little obscure like they were in the communist times.
“They are not sure whether the change that has occurred is only external or whether it has also taken place on the inside.”