45 Georgian Police Before and After Reform

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

Posted on August 20, 2011 by team

Speaking about Georgia, the thing that everybody usually remembers the first is the police reform. And indeed, the most notable changes took place in this field. Before Saakashvili’s accession to power the Georgian Interior Ministry was considered synonymous with corruption, lawlessness and thieves in law, but now this opinion has changed to opposite. The Georgian police hasn’t been taking bribes for already several years and, according to surveys, 87% of Georgian people have trust in this organization (only the Orthodox Church has the greater authority). Ordinary citizens say that getting rid of the traffic police was a great relief for the people… Now a Georgian police officer receives a salary of $ 500-700 (which is higher than the national average), doesn’t take bribes, polite and punctual.

In 2004, right after Saakashvili’s victory in elections and the fire of the heads of all the law enforcement agencies of Georgia, the road inspection became the main target of the reformers. Misha (this is not the display of familiarity, the president is called in this way even on official sites) set an ultimatum: if extortions on roads don’t stop during a week, he will fire all the policemen.

The first months after the reform turned out very hard for traffic police officers. They were photographed with a candid camera by intelligence agents and those who were caught taking bribes (more than $50) were sent to prison for 10 years.

In this way, the first day resulted in 15 thousand fired police officers. A little bit later – the same number. Georgia lived without the traffic police for 3 months. During this time, all efforts were made to train new young employees. As a result, 85% of the staff was replaced by new people. Just imagine, before Saakashvili there were 5.000 prisoners in Georgia’s prisons and after a year of reforms – 25.000!

The employees of the so-called new “patrols” were provided with such cars as Volkswagen, Passat, Opel and Skoda, which gave them a better opportunity to chase criminals on the streets of Georgian cities.

Simultaneously with these changes, the authorities launched a campaign promoting the police. The billboards depicting smiling “patrols” of both sexes were hung on many streets. Police officers started going to schools and give lessons to children.

The Georgian police doesn’t hide in the bushes. At night their cars must always have the emergency lights activated.

This is the service agency of the Ministry of the Interior, where you can take exams, get a driving license or register your weapons. Up to 2.000 people are served here every day.

You must be at least 18 years old to get a driving license. To pass an exam you have to pay a $35 fee. Examinations are similar to the Russian ones. At first, you go through theory, then – practice.

In Georgia, you don’t have to spend the whole day in a hospital in order to get a health certificate for getting a driving license. Now there is a single database where the Georgian police can find all the information about your problems with drugs or state of mind. In case of such problems, the system will refuse to give you the driving license and nothing/nobody will be able to help. In Russia, everything is different. Virtually all drivers buy health certificates. In Moscow, they cost from 1.000 to 1.500 rubles (about $ 35-50) and can be easily bought near every department of the traffic police.

A theory exam can be taken in 8 languages, including Russian. 30 questions, the maximum number of errors – 3.

A practice exam is taken in Skodas with the manual transmission.


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45 Responses to “Georgian Police Before and After Reform”

  1. testicules says:

    I think this may be a repost. however, it is good to see one of the former soviet states moving away from graft and corruption and towards the rule of law and order.

  2. Juhani says:

    Georgia has two faces.
    Policemen speak to their loudspeakers. All the time. Also past 23.
    Fortunately they did not take much insult when we did not understand them. The word is dominating. They are showing off.

    Georgia shows new exam cars with computers, I see a poor man wasting his money on computers and chairs. Exam must be taken with a car in perfect working condition and those cars get very high mileage, but computers? If your working people make less than a computer, why should you go the more expensive way? Why all the IT mumbojumbo, just a simple camera, even a small digital one will probably be enough.

    • j pigden says:

      Can we get some of those managers into North America?
      Vehicle registration in 15 min!
      Open 365 days/year!
      Licence plates printed while you wait!
      All services under 1 roof!
      This sounds like driver heaven!!!

      • blzw says:

        Wow were do u live I’m in California and i have to wait 15mins in line just to get a number. Then i wait 1-2 hours so my number gets called and then after 10-15mins with the clerk then i get my car registered.

      • Jim-Bob says:

        Actually, where I live in Florida the DMV is much the same as this. The only real difference being that it is only open 5 days a week and that the same building not only services driver’s licenses and automotive registrations but boats and county tax collections and vehicle titles as well. Usually a trip to the DMV here means about a 5 minute wait to be served during slow times and maybe 20 minutes if it is very busy. There are 25 windows to choose from so you get called very quickly. Unfortunately though the fees are not as low as they are in Georgia. The last time I bought a car and registered it the title, tax and registration fees nearly doubled the cost of the car! I wound up paying $180 to the state for a car I bought for $250.

        • testicules says:

          I live in Florida too. It wasn’t always so efficient. However, no a trip to the DMV is in and out in 10 minutes.

  3. Uncledoh says:

    looks very good. Georgia managed to make a much more better and effective reform (because Saakashvili studied and lived in the US),

    unfortunately Russia just changed the name of “militia” to “police” and still have it’s police forces managed the soviet-style, corrupted and dumb way…

    • Cheburator says:

      These “better and effective” reforms were made possible by Uncle Sam’s money. Those shiny police buildings, computers and new cars were all paid by the american taxpayers ;)))
      Also, soviet-style militia was the opposite of corrupt. Corruption came as a result of Yeltsin’s “democratic” reforms :(

  4. George Bush says:

    Did you know Stalin was from Georgia?

    • ayaa says:

      Lets hope you don’t conveniently forget that the next time you mention Stalin and some nonsense about Stalin wiping out his own people (Russians dont exactly count as his people), or when you claim that all Russians worship Stalin.

    • testicules says:

      Verto is Russian for Duche Bag or something?

  5. Ostyak-Vogul says:

    Choosing Europe is choosing progress. Georgia has chosen Europe over CIS… So Georgia = progress.

  6. Unknown says:

    Traitors of the motherland!

    • Archy Bunka says:

      Georgia’s just another on a long list of traitors to the motherland..
      I have read some here blame the US for Cuba’s condition. Castro’s entire regime is built on anti-Americanism, if it were not for the hate he would have been gone a long time ago. ANd just think, today you wouldn’t have all those wonderful old American cars, so beautifully restored in Cuba.

  7. Patrick TH says:

    Wow that look great improvement

  8. EngrishBob says:

    Small steps make a huge difference but the rest of the system needs clearing out or the rot will only set in and spread again.

  9. YJ says:

    They are sure prepared for the NWO.

  10. Wow bunch of american noobs commenting here. I was born in georgia. Its probably the most backwards country in europe along with Albania. Its good seeing they’re making progress, however reality is far FAR from what you see here.

    • Archy Bunka says:

      I have been told many times, by Russians, that Georgia was the place to live in the USSR. Georgia is small, it is not a superpower like Russia or Germany or America. It must find its own place in the modern political landscape.
      I hope and pray Russia and Georgia will find reconciliation. Saakashvili, like Castro, has built his foundation upon an “anti-north” platform. Today, any American politician who proposes opening up to Cuba risks condemnation from America’s Cuban population. The same can not be said for Russia. I wish, Russia would step back, instead of throwing fuel on Saakashvili’s fire, someone, has to be the adult here.

      • testicules says:

        I just hope Putin is unable to rope Georgia back in to the soviet fold. I am sure they were ready to invade and take over the whole country a few years ago.

  11. Russian Fan says:

    Joseph Stalin like Georgian wine over vodka.

  12. George Johnson says:

    What is the point of driving around at night with their emergency lights on?

    • j pigden says:

      Deterrent to crime

    • SMERSH says:

      In the US there is a trend toward low profile lights on the roof and inconspicuous cars painted all white rather than the traditional and distinctive black and white. The purpose being to make the cars less noticeable on the street and thus less of a deterrent —> thus generating more revenue from citations. By running with their lights on the Georgian police are saying “Here we are”. Remember the song Pancho and Lefty? “He wore his gun outside his pants- for all the honest world to feel.”

  13. Yves St. Cyr says:

    I am starting to notice that EnglishRussia is starting to recycle former articles-several of them.

  14. Archy Bunka says:

    A. Bunka here. Things are much better in Georgia now then they were after the civil war. Cherburator (see above) is correct when he says it’s all done on Uncle Sam’s dime.

  15. opticalsound says:

    “Georgia on My Mind?” Close. “Georgian Policewomen on My Mind.”

  16. OldTimer says:

    In Georgia women have moustaches.

  17. kbr says:

    It is getting better, but what about people who life outside the maincity?

  18. Scrat says:

    This was supposed to be about the police. I don’t want to see the freaking bureaucracy created with US tax dollars, I want to see the cops on the streets. All these new buildings and stuff in Georgia make me think of George Orwells 1984. Let’s see the buildings of Minitrue and the Ministry of Plenty now that we have seen Miniluv ‘eh? Take a look around that country people, the vast majority of people are scrabbling to survive day to day and a very few are living high on the hog.

  19. James says:

    The pictures are nice. This looks like a good way to spend taxes. The new buildings had to be constructed and I’m assuming it was all local labor. This is just part of the governmental infrastructure that is necessary for a well run Department of Motor Vehicles in any American state, I assume the monies collected are used to build and repair roads. That’s a good thing and it creates jobs not just in the government but with companies that build the roads and good roads improve commerce. The nation needs an effective police force but the police need to be as free of corruption as possible but we all know how difficult that is. This effort appears to be serious and that’s a good thing for everyone but the criminals. It takes a long time to build a nation that has been hindered by poor leadership. It takes time to educate the people so that they can be responsible citizens. There is always going to be an economic disparity between the rich and the poor. The hope is that the government can and will be the buffer so that no one is unfairly treated and that there is a social safety net for people in need who cannot provide for themselves. Business interests cannot be allowed to pursue unreasonable profit to the detriment of the society. Good government can protect the interests of the consumer and still foster economic growth. Hopefully Georgia can achieve those goals.

  20. Tom says:

    Nevermind where the money comes from, I wouldn’t rush to put it on American taxpayers or anyone else. Georgian progress is amazing, it’s sad they reside in such a bad neighborhood of the world.. 2008 was only 3 years from now. I wish them good luck and to continue bringing their nation forward.

  21. Boritz says:

    Did anyone notice the stains on the examiner’s seat of the Skoda car? It must have gone through some frightening maneuvers!

  22. anonim says:

    Come to Romania to see the car registration hell. You have to wait for hours in line and make tons of paperwork to request a license plate.

  23. John says:

    And you wonder why they want to be part of the EU/NATO instead of Mother Russia? Their license office looks like one in Germany.

  24. Bob greene says:

    Nice building looks very u.s.,so do the cops..but those cars,oh no…..

  25. Irakli says:

    Saakashvili transformed Georgia and deserves huge credit for that. A beautiful country with wonderful people, a place that deserves to be free of associations with Russia, who is still aggressively taking Georgian territory.

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