The minister said that the whole administrative structure of the police, starting from the National Police Board, had been considered as part of the reforms.
"If savings are to focus on administration and not operational capacity, then these savings cannot be found anywhere else," warned Räsänen. "The 6.4 million euros saving from closing down the National Traffic Police is significant. Nobody has proposed equivalent savings to replace them."
Räsänen emphasised that the intention of the reform is to make savings on administrative costs, support roles and the number of senior managers, rather than operational activities. Police operations on a local level and, among other things, traffic surveillance units, are to be protected.
"All in all we have an organisation that is too heavy," said Räsänen. "Local police have their own managers, their own support roles, their own premises and their own equipment. Alongside that we have the traffic police managers, support staff, premises and equipment. They have joint operations, however."
Räsänen claimed that merging support and administration for the local and traffic police would save around 240 administrative roles.
"The working group has reached the kind of proposal under which solely administrative savings could save around 30 million euros by 2016 without affecting the number of operational police," noted the minister. "A unified leadership could even improve the level of traffic surveillance."
Differences between government parties
Government parties have differed on what should be targeted for savings. Their intention is to find a common line on the police reform this month.
Räsänen says that unanimity has nevertheless eluded participants in the discussions.
"This is no easy task," cautioned the Christian Democratic minister. "In a way, we have come to a kind of feeling that clings to the old structures and bureaucracy. Attempts to trim the administration are difficult and challenging."
"When we know that next year we will take on seven billion euros of new debt, one may wonder why we shouldn't take it from places where the administration is heavy, if operational activities can be guaranteed," she added.