*not exactly police, here we speak about the "gendarmerie", which is a military body of 105,000 gendarmes ("men-at-arms") dedicated to protection missions, in France mainland, in the overseas areas, and also abroad.
With agreement from the original author, Xavier Guimard, Lieutenant Colonel in this army, I translated into English the presentation he gave in Utrecht, Netherlands, about this shift in policy and its results.
The original presentation, in French, can be found here.
Please read the document itself, but to make it short, the change was deep, it was motivated by cost reduction, and it produced outstanding results. The document also quotes logging, good integration with a SSO and open standards as factors for the overall excellent security.