Countless teams faithfully represent all types of military units and attain new levels of realism. However, not many have gone as far as to play a police unit, even though they do exist and you don’t have to travel far to find them. One example is the GSG-9, one of only two police simulation groups (polsims) in the Canary Islands (Spain) and bringing to life their German namesake with their counter-terrorism and special intervention duties.
It is common to find teams that recreate military units, but few that play as police units. Why do you think that is?
It is a combination between following the general trend and fear of innovation and not being accepted by the public. But there are many reasons and we do not know them, nor is it our intention to answer for other teams. It is also true that there are already milsim teams trying to diversify and join the polsims.
Why did you choose to play a German unit?
It was a very emphatic and unanimous decision; although, when making it, we did veer between the Austrian Cobra Eko anti-terrorism squad and the Brazilian BOPE military police unit. However, in the end we opted for the GSG-9 because most of us come from, within the airsoft world, teams representing the German army. In addition, we like and appreciate their work and value their exploits in the duties they perform, particularly in counter-terrorism.
Didn’t you ever think of imitating the popular and well-known SWAT team?
With all due respect to those who represent SWAT units, and although they are clearly a reference, they are still a body of assault police completely identified with the US and the main merchandising product in the police world. Instead, the GSG-9 not only perates as a Special Intervention Group, but also as a counter-terrorism unit within Germany. Also it works with government bodies internationally, including European embassies and consulates, secret services and, of course, special police and military units.
You are playing a fairly new unit. In fact, it was created barely 35 years ago. How does GSG9 compare with older units like SWAT?
The differences can be seen in what they do. GSG-9 is a tactical unit specializing in anti-terrorist actions while SWAT is for police tactical assaults. Likewise, we also admired the discretion (if not invisibility) of this unit, while everyone now has heard of SWAT teams.
Do you consider that the word ‘polsim’ represents a reality or isn’t it an accepted part of the airsoft scene yet?
We are the reality. However, after some research on the net, we can see that is an activity practiced since the world of airsoft began. You can also see on the internet that the first government defense organizations to introduce replicas for training were police units, and not military units, particularly in the Far East.
What’s the difference between a Polsim player’s kit and a milsim’s?
The truth is not much. You have to realize that nowadays it’s normal to have Special Intervention Group and conventional police forces in any war situation for counterterrorism duties, negotiations, training, guarding, custody and VIP protection.
Is it more difficult to find police kits than military kits?
It may seem so, but it all depends on where you want to go. To be honest, sometimes we have had difficulty choosing or finding kits that look as good as real. Also, in certain cases, we’ve gone to Deep China to get some accessories like our battering ram.
Do you go for original or replica police equipment?
It depends on what kit you’re talking about. For accessories, I think the ratio is equal, but unfortunately, the most important material is not original. The reason is simple: on the one hand, domestic police equipment is strictly controlled; and on the other, foreign stuff is very scarce and very expensive. For example, a second-hand tactical vest costs about €750; and Zenturion and AM95 helmets, also second-hand, are between €1500 and €5000.
What is the main problem with your kit?
Some say the beret; others, the patched vest. For some, it’s the "Delta" helmet ... I’d say that just the idea of creating an unusual Special Intervention Group and everyone going out with the same gear, patches, badges, replicas and accessories is the main problem. But it’s also true that the main uniform of an assault unit, in black, with the accessories, is very cool.
In your videos we can see you carrying a police ballistic shield or even a battering ram. Are these functional in the games or just ornamental?
We have practiced with almost every police "tool"; but the truth is that we do not use them much, mostly because we still don’t have a place for them in the games. Their main use is when we do promotional events for police simulation. But it’s also true we have them when we practice because they come with the territory.
Do other players look on you as "freaks"?
At first they did, but we are getting to be known in this world. Anecdotally, wearing this outfit day to day, along with the police vest, patches and the tactical belt with all the accessories has raised a few eyebrows. In fact, in some places where we were not known, some players have immediately noticed the kit and come over to ask if it’s possible to play there because they thought we really were ... real police!! So, as we say when we say goodbye: “Hoch Polizei!”