Why not just call them Police?
On the first day of spring the long-debated police law comes into effect in Russia.
However, apart from a change of name, not much will change for the public.
Policemen, on the other hand, will face two months of uncertainty as not all of them will remain in the force, as it has been announced that number of police officers will be cut.
No immediate changes
For the public the only immediate effect of the law signed by President Dmitry Medvedev on Feb. 7 will be to come up with a new way to address policemen.
Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev had earlier suggested that “Sir Policeman” (Gospodin Politeisky) was used, but the public did not like the idea, and the minister encouraged them to come up with their own ways, RIA Novosti reported.
Meanwhile it has been suggested that the popular derogatory term for cops, “menty”, could be replaced with the German word “polizei”. Although this is a neutral expression in German, in Russia it has overtone of the occupying authorities following the Nazi invasion in 1941.
However they are popularly known, policemen will introduce themselves in the same manner as usual, by saying their rank and surname.
However, the old title, militsia, will still be seen on IDs, cars and badges until the end of the year.
The new uniform is yet to be unveiled, but it has been announced that police badges will have the officer’s name, rank, and name of department on them.
From March, 1 only the look of metro policemen will change – they had to remove a sign on their back that says “Militsia”. For now it will not be replaced with anything new.
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