Change at the top of the Hamburg Police: Falk Schnabel becomes new police chief

July 5, 2023

After 44 years of service and almost ten years at the helm of the Hamburg Police, Ralf Martin Meyer (63) will retire this autumn. His successor will be the former Police Commissioner of the City of Cologne, Falk Schnabel. The 54-year-old lawyer and former senior public prosecutor was chief of police of the Münster Police from December 2020 to April 2022 and since then chief of police in Cologne (see below). He is scheduled to take office in October of this year.

Senator of the Interior Andy Grote: “Ralf Martin Meyer has shaped the Hamburg Police over four decades, almost ten of them at the top, like hardly any other police chief in the history of our city. With his comprehensive competence, he not only enjoys respect and a high standing among the force, but also in city society, politics and security circles nationwide. He has led the Hamburg Police reliably and with a steady hand through a time of crisis, while at the same time orienting it as a modern and future-oriented metropolitan police force. Hamburg owes a lot to Ralf Martin Meyer and his tireless commitment to the security of our city, and I would also like to thank him personally for his great achievements and the very close and friendly cooperation.
With Falk Schnabel, we are gaining a police chief who already has experience in office, who knows the tasks and challenges in a large city and is very familiar with the leadership of a large police organisation. His recent work has focused on presence concepts for police hotspots, networked work in the field of drugs and addiction, and combating child pornography. He brings everything with him to build on the successful work of Ralf Martin Meyer and keep Hamburg in safe waters.”

Personal details:
Falk Schnabel, born on 30 April 1969 in Tübingen. Mr Schnabel is married and has two children.


  • Since April 2022: Chief of Police in the City of Cologne.
  • 2020 to 2022: Chief of Police in the City of Münster
  • 2017 to 2020: Senior Public Prosecutor/Head of the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Düsseldorf
  • 2016 to 2017: Senior Chief Public Prosecutor of the Hamm General Public Prosecutor’s Office
  • 2012 to 2015: Senior Ministerial Councillor in the Ministry of Health, Emancipation, Care and Old Age (NRW)
  • 2011 to 2012: Assistant Secretary at the Ministry of Justice (NRW)
  • 2009 to 2011: Senior Public Prosecutor at the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Hamm
  • 2001 to 2009: Public Prosecutor at the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Bielefeld

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