Interior Minister Unveils Criminal Police Reform Plan
Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia said today that functions of the criminal police will be divided into investigative, operative and community police units. According to Gakharia, the units will work “in synergy,” and ensure “effective and high quality investigation.”
“Nothing has changed in the criminal police in terms of reforms in last 15-20 years, which has seriously affected the quality of police performance,” Gakharia said on September 18, adding that reforms of the Ministry’s investigative functions “are critically important.”
He also noted that to ensure improved quality, the Interior Ministry has already changed the selection criteria for new recruits.
Gakharia stressed that the Interior Ministry should not be “a routine job” for young professionals, but rather an attractive job opportunity offering continuous professional growth. “We will not sack anyone with relevant qualification, but through internal evaluation, the best [employees] will be appointed to the best positions,” the Minister explained.
The Minister also focused on “the qualifications gap” in the investigative component. Here, Gakharia said in recent years, Interior Ministry’s investigators depended on prosecutors entirely, and stressed the need of achieving “synergy” between the two.
He further noted that the investigative unit should consist of highly-skilled professionals. “It should be the intellectual core ensuring high performance, of course, in coordination with operative and community police divisions,” Minister Gakharia said.
According to the Interior Ministry, the criminal police reform will first be piloted in the Police Department of Tbilisi, the country’s capital. As a result of the reform, investigators in Tbilisi will be in charge of investigative functions only, while detectives and community police officers will do the operative and preventive works, respectively.
A separate unit will be established dealing with cases of juvenile delinquency and crimes committed against adolescents.
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