Russia completes major police reform

MOSCOW, August 1 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia completed a major police reform on Monday which did not only renamed militia back into police like it was before the 1917 Bolshevik revolution, but also radically reshuffled the force and reduced it by almost a fourth. A large-scale attestation of a million policemen was completed on August 1 cutting the force by over 200 thousand officers and men.
Experts generally praise the results of the reform campaign.
President Dmitry Medvedev initiated the reform and signed the law on police which cut the force by 22 percent by 2012 when it is to comprise 1 million 106 thousand and 472 officers and men.
On Friday Medvedev summed up the results of the reform and said 183 thousand people had been dismissed from police and another 48 thousand would be cut in the near future.
Kremlin chief-of-staff Sergei Naryshkin who chaired the commission in charge of the attestation of senior police officers said 143 out of 340 generals or 42% were cut in the interior ministry. Twenty one failed to pass the attestation while others retired because of age or resigned themselves.
The generals failed to pass the attestation either because of incorrect income statements or for other discrediting reasons, Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev said.
A week ago Nurgaliyev publicly admitted the dismissed generals were corrupt, owned major property abroad, and ran a business of their own.
“It is astonishing how contemporary officers can have big property also abroad, deal with business while occupying responsible positions, and be co-founders or leaseholders. I saw an eyeful of that in the commission,” he said.
Commission member and lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said materials against discredited generals were handed over to the Russian Investigative Committee.
Top police brass were radically reshuffled during the reform. Nurgaliyev got three new deputies and two of them came from the Kremlin administration in February 2010 to supervise the reform of the ministry.
Police chiefs were replaced in 38 regions, as well as police heads and transport police chiefs in three federal districts. Top-tier policemen were also replaced in the headquarters of the ministry. Some units that featured in various scandals, including the death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsy in an investigation jail, were fully reshuffled in the investigative committee at the Interior Ministry, the economic security department, and the K department investigating high-tech crimes.
“The number of generals was reduced and the most odious figures were dismissed. Therefore we can speak about positive trends,” Director General of the Political Information Center Alexei Mukhin told RBC daily. “Policemen hoped to get off with nothing more than a fright, but it did not happen which is a merit of the president and his chief-of-staff Sergei Naryshkin.”
President of the Association for Humanizing Law Enforcing Bodies Valery Gabisov told Liberty radio the police reform was one of the most successful law enforcement initiatives of the authorities. “The initiation by the national leadership of the law on police is the most progressive development in the crime fight. Corruption is a grave disease of our society. The way it developed in the interior ministry left no hopes for efficient crime fight,” he said.
Naryshkin’s ad hoc commission will continue to work although the attestation is over. Medvedev decreed to transform it into a permanent body dealing with human resources in law enforcement agencies. The president said the commission will supervise eight law enforcement agencies – Interior Ministry, Justice Ministry, Emergencies Ministry, the anti-drug agency, the office of the prosecutor general,  the Federal Security Service, the Federal Protective Service, and the Russian Investigative Committee.

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