If you’re in charge of policing one of the safest cities in the world, pressure and pride go hand in hand.
The emergency services in Zürich are among the fastest and most well equipped in the world. When we meet Zürich’s chief of police Daniel Blumer and his team, they arrive on bicycles, motorbikes, patrol cars and riot-control vehicles, among them a water-cannon truck. Nothing is done by halves at the Stadtpolizei Zürich.
“I decided to become a police officer because I was sure that I’d always be on the right side of justice, serving society,” says Blumer, who joined the city’s police force in 1985 and worked across Switzerland, before returning to his home turf six years ago. “I’ve always had an emotional connection to Zürich; it’s where I grew up and started my career. Some of the people I met here 30 years ago are part of my team today.”
Co-operation is vital for the 2,200 members of the Stadtpolizei, who are all trained at the city’s police school. “You’re in action with your team on a daily basis and you see how important it is to be able to trust each other in order to operate successfully,” says Blumer. He also notes that the city’s recent uptick in violence can, to his mind, only be solved through good teamwork.
Few places can compete with Zürich in terms of security. “I think the city’s very safe, which explains our high quality of life,” says Blumer. “We have the densest police presence in all of Switzerland and are one of the fastest forces around.” As our interview concludes, Blumer is keen to wrap up quickly: duty calls.
Blumer studied law before joining the Stadtpolizei as a lieutenant in 1985. He worked his way up the ranks, serving in St Gallen, Bern and Basel-Landschaft, before returning to Zürich in 2013 to replace Philipp Hotzenköcherle as chief of police.
Andreas Moschin Deputy chief of police & head of the operations division. “He’s commander of special-response unit Skorpion.”
Rolf Urech Second deputy chief of police & head of the patrol division. “He supervises all patrol officers.”
Enrico Quattrini Head of administrative division.
Markus Wohlhauser Chief of staff. “He’s responsible for projects, finances and non-strategic operations.”
Markus Villiger Head of human resources.
Felix Lengweiler Head of criminal-investigation division. “His police unit goes about its business in civilian clothes.”
Peter Keller Head of logistics and technology. “In charge of employees at the Zürich Forensic Science Institute.”
Thomas Aegerter Head of traffic-control division. “He’s boss of speed control in Zürich.”
Marco Cortesi Head of media relations. “If the press have questions, he has the answers.”
David Baumgartner Head of special-response unit & deputy head of operations. “Specialists in tactical missions report to him.”
Andre Graf Head of marine patrol. “He’s basically our Neptune.”
Thomas Wenk Head of digital investigations. “Digitisation has opened new doors for criminals.”
Jörg Arnold Deputy head of forensics. “Evaluates traces left behind at crime scenes.”
Markus Hollenstein Head of tactical support unit & public order. “Directs the Stadtpolizei’s quick-response unit.”
Alexandra Rychen Head of legal services.
Jörg Balzer Acting head of operational support services. “His subordinates are in action with service dogs in hand.”
Daniel Bircher Head of K-9 unit. “Responsible for the handlers and their four-legged helpers.”
Kimo K-9 unit member.