Out of Russia’s famously corrupt and inefficient bureaucracy, the police department holds a certain revered status – last year the public prosecutor even opened a probe into the regular bribing of drivers by the traffic police, and there’s a plethora of horror stories and anecdotes. President Dmitry Medvedev is certainly aware of the problem, and may be taking some steps to remove these corrupt elements from the police force. From today’s Moscow Times:
Moscow city police chief Vladimir Pronin, meanwhile, said in an interview published Monday in Komsomolskaya Pravda that the city police force would cut its staff by 15 percent. Pronin said the biggest cuts would be made in the city traffic police in a move that he said could help alleviate Moscow’s traffic woes. “Fewer traffic officers means fewer traffic jams,” Pronin told KP.
Oh great! So we’ll finally get these thugs in uniform off the street, and make them accountable for these corrupt practices? That would really represent a long awaited breath of fresh air for this government. Oh, wait a minute…
Those officers made redundant would most likely be moved to other state agencies, the spokesman said. “We have vacancies in other agencies where they could be used,” he said.