June 3, 2009
Policemen to Wear Name Badges
By Natalya Krainova
The names of police officers will be sewn on their uniforms, and police cars will be equipped with video cameras under new anti-corruption measures being implemented by the Interior Ministry.
Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev said Tuesday that police officers would start wearing badges with their names on them by the end of the year to give people the opportunity "to report the actions of a certain police officer," RIA-Novosti reported.
Patrol cars and traffic police cars will be equipped with video cameras that will record what happens inside and outside the car on a device that is inaccessible to the vehicle occupants, Interior Ministry official Stanislav Trushin said late last week, Interfax reported.
In the United States and many European countries, police wear badges with their names and patrol cars are equipped with video cameras.
In Russia, rank-and-file police officers are widely seen as the country's most corrupt public servants.
Efforts to root out corruption took on a new urgency after Moscow police Major Denis Yevsyukov opened fire at a Moscow supermarket in late April, killing three people and wounding six others. In the aftermath of the shooting, President Dmitry Medvedev fired Moscow police chief Vladimir Pronin, and Nurgaliyev announced that all police officers would be required to present their tax declarations to their superiors starting next year.
Kirill Kabanov, head of the National Anti-Corruption Committee, an NGO, said the latest initiatives would have "some positive effect" in the fight against corruption but much more had to be done. He said a large number of the existing force needed to be replaced and senior police officials should be singled out in the anti-graft campaign.
Nurgaliyev also said on Tuesday that police officers will be required to pass computer literacy exams to operate new computer systems that are scheduled to be introduced into the police force by the end of the year.