Puma (Police Unit)
Origin and history
The unit was set up in 2018 by Federal Minister Herbert Kickl for border protection. Kickl emphasized the need for a corresponding unit in order to be able to quickly secure the federal border in emergencies, in order to prevent situations such as in autumn 2015 , when the Austrian border was illegally crossed by several thousand people in a few hours.
In June 2018, a first public exercise of the new unit at the Spielfeld border crossing in Styria was held under the name Pro Borders together with soldiers and equipment (especially helicopters) of the armed forces, which was also noticed internationally (e.g. in Germany and Slovenia ) . The exercise was attended by Interior Minister Kickl, Defense Minister Mario Kunasek and the Styrian Governor Hermann Schützenhöfer .
When it was set up, around 400 officials were assigned to the unit; this number is to be increased to 600 over time.
The main task of the unit is to control the Austrian national borders. Furthermore, the unit should be able to mobilize and move together up to 600 officers for border protection within 24 hours if necessary. In Vorarlberg, officials are also said to be patrolling Lake Constance . Another task is the action against cross-border crime. If it appears necessary, the EU's internal borders should be continuously checked again.
The unit has received media and political criticism since it was founded. It was described as "curious" that there was a dress rehearsal in Spielfeld before the exercise in order to make the exercise successful in the media. The FPÖ- related Signs Werbeagentur GmbH was commissioned by the Ministry of the Interior to create a logo , although a public tender was dispensed with.
- Reinhard Leprich: Question: What happens with a migration stream like 2015 at Austria's borders? In: bmi.gv.at. Federal Ministry of the Interior, June 26, 2018, accessed on August 22, 2018 .
- Kickl puts 'Puma' to the limit. In: oe24.at. Retrieved June 26, 2018 .
- "Grenzsturm": Kickl practices in the field of an emergency. In: krone.at. Retrieved June 26, 2018 .
- Austria is holding border protection exercise in Germany due to the asylum dispute. In: welt.de. June 26, 2018. Retrieved August 22, 2018 .
- “Pro Borders” in Spielfeld: Kickl's controversial message. In: tt.com. June 26, 2018, accessed March 9, 2020 .
- Invitation to the media event as part of the border protection exercise "ProBorders". Media event on June 26, 2018, 8:00 a.m., with Interior Minister Kickl and Defense Minister Kunasek. In: Press release Federal Ministry of the Interior. Retrieved June 26, 2018 .
- New border police "Puma". The police in Vorarlberg want to take action against illegal refugees with a new border protection force. Puma - the name of the new unit, stands for dynamism. In: SWR.de. June 19, 2018. Retrieved June 26, 2018 .
- PUMA: New border police under construction. The Vorarlberg police are setting up a new department to deal with illegal migration and cross-border crime. Like the predator, the new PUMA troop should be very agile and powerful. In: ORF.at. June 18, 2018, accessed June 26, 2018 .
- Dominik Schreiber, Kid Möchel: Secret dress rehearsal of Kickl's border guards. "Puma" has to practice dearly first, which makes for biting comments within the police in advance. In: Kurier.at. June 12, 2018. Retrieved June 26, 2018 .
- Fabian Schmid, Daniel Koller: Logos for border guards were designed by an agency close to the FPÖ. The Ministry of the Interior did not want to reveal the originator of the logos to STANDARD, now a work permit is available. In: The Standard. August 3, 2018, accessed August 4, 2018 .