Georgian Police Before and After Reform

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

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.

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

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.

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

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.

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

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

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

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.

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

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.

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

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.

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

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

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

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

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

Everything is recorded on a computer.

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

The registration of a vehicle.

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

If a person wants to register or deregister his car, he addresses himself to one of the girls at the desk and she fills all the required documents. The entire procedure, including customs clearance, takes no more than 15 minutes.

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

The client chooses any license plate number represented on all the shelves except for the first one (the numbers on the first shelf are not free).

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

The registration price is $40. It includes services, a registration certificate and a license plate number itself.

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

If you don’t like the number, you can choose any other if you wish. The price is fixed and depends on the number of identical letters and digits. A standard number consists of three letters and three digits. Depending on the combination, the service will cost from $ 70 to 450.

But if you have money, you can depart from these rules. In Georgia, there is an opportunity to make absolutely any license plate. This service costs $ 6.500. For example, the plate with the name “ILYA” is still available. Over all the time only 65 short license plate numbers were sold. If you have no money at the moment, you can book the one you like. This service costs 70 cents per day.

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

The equipment for printing numbers.

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

The master dials the signs and place the plate under the press.

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

While the client pays the fee, the license plate number is already done.

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

It takes only 5 minutes to make a license plate number. As for the whole procedure of the registration of a vehicle, it takes approximately 10 minutes. Everything is automated.

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

The requirements for those who want to become a patrol officer:
▪ Georgian citizenship
▪ The age of 23-37 years old
▪ The knowledge of a Georgian (state) language
▪ Higher or incomplete higher education
▪ The knowledge of the Georgian Constitution (basic clauses)
▪ A driving License

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

The representatives of the Ministry of the Interior, tax authorities and customs are all in the building and all problems can be solved immediately.

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

The agency operates 365 days a year without holidays and weekends.

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

All fees are paid in the same hall at the bank department. Pay attention to the number of windows.

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

Near the parking lot you can see a booth where registration certificates are printed. So while a visitor fastens a new license plate number, his registration certificate is already done.

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

Two employees engaged here.

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

All new police stations are made as transparent as possible so that any passer-by could see what was happening inside.

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

A patrol policeman: “Previously, those who informed against bribetakers were considered bastards. And now – those who cover them and who themselves take bribes.”

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

The dining room in the building of the Georgian Ministry of the Interior.

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

The arms of patrol officers include Israeli-made pistols “Jericho-941”, rubber batons and electric shockers.

Georgian Police Before and After Reform

In conclusion, it should be noted that such remarkable changes took place not everywhere. As one police officer said: “Yes, the traffic police is now absolutely different but investigators and detectives are still the same that’s why it’s a mistake to think that rudeness and corruption has disappeared entirely from this sphere.” But still it’s a considerable step towards success, don’t you think so?

via zyalt

45 thoughts on “Georgian Police Before and After Reform”

  1. 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. 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.

    • 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!!!

      • 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.

      • 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.

  3. 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…

    • 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 🙁

    • 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.

    • 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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.”

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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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