Vienna police boss shamed by hasty study revelation

Vienna police chief Karl Mahrer is in hot water after it emerged he earned an academic title after sitting just eight weeks of lectures.Political magazine profil reports in its new edition that Mahrer is eligible to call himself Bachelor of Arts after a drastically shortened “Police Leadership” Bachelor course offered to police officials by Wiener Neustadt’s Fachhochschule (FH) college.The weekly also claims at least one dozen high-ranking policemen have so far taken the opportunity to sit the special eight-week course – while it takes other students at least six semesters to reach the same degree.Students’ Union (ÖH) boss Thomas Wallerberger said he was outraged to hear of police offers’ privileges. He fumed: “This just confirms how mad Austrians are for academic titles.”The report by profil suggests some police generals even had to sit just eight weekend seminars to win the Bachelor degree which boosted their earning potential within the force.The magazine also revealed police graduates of the course were asked to compile two degree dissertations of 40 pages each – not more than “regular” students need to hand in several times every semester.Mahrer wrote about how police can increase the feeling of safety among citizens with preventive measures, according to profil. Vienna police have been criticised for months for allegedly failing to act over soaring crime rates in the city.Mahrer declined to comment on the report, but told a police-internal magazine: “I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to challenge myself with new questions and benefit from it in a practical way.”