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EUROPE - LAW ENFORCEMENT BRANCH & RANK INSIGNIA

no ranks for police

Police, Security

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no ranks for police

Unread postby milos » Sat Nov 05, 2005 10:38 am

A legislative has been introduced in the Parliament of the Republic of Serbia, proposing for many changes regarding the structure and organization of the serbian police, and while many of them are very good indeed, and will bring our police force more in line with most of the modern european law enforcement agencies, one particular feature has astounded me. If the legislative in question is passed (and judging by the current state of affairs it will be), the rank system will completly be abolished! That is, some hierachy will of course still continue to exist, but it will be more like some business company's pay-grade/experience-point system, and there will be no rank insignia (unless I have completly misundersood the legislative, which is a possibility that cannot be completly excuded). Funnily enough, it also caters for one final change, namely, the former rank of police general will be given a new name "police director"!!! :roll:

any other country you know of running the same (or similar) sytem?
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Unread postby Chuck Anderson » Sat Nov 05, 2005 6:39 pm

Hi Milos!
Chuck Anderson here!!

This situation of no police ranks reminds me of the Costa Rican Fuerza Publica, which also apparently uses no ranks, or more specifically, they use some rank titles but no rank insignia, (a situation which I'd still like to investigate further!!)

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Unread postby Lt. » Mon Nov 07, 2005 9:07 am

No more police ranks! :o
I am out of date with the developments in Serbian police, yet this comes as a huge surprise.
However, the first thing that crossed my mind when I read the post was that they may be thinking of reinstating the old police structure from the time of SFRY or creating something like the new police structure in BiH.
http://www.uniforminsignia.org/show.php ... na&id=2183
These are not military-like rank insignias but those denoting the position that a person holds within the police force. For example, a police station commander wears a three-star insignia, whereas at the time of military rank structure, station commander was a Major, or a Captain First Class in some instances. As young as Milos is, he may not remember that SFRY police was organised in the same way, and the rank insignia was not military-like but denoted the position one held (funkcionalna oznaka).
How appropriate would this change be, it is hard to tell, yet going from 18+ existing ranks to just few, I'd really like to see them pull that off.
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Information on the RS Ministry of Interior web site

Unread postby Guest » Mon Nov 07, 2005 9:25 am

This post got me very interested in this subject and while I was still writing my reply, I checked Republic of Serbia Ministry of Interior web site and found a draft of the newly proposed law.
The following text is for Milos as it is in Serbian and right now I just do not have enough time to translate it.
I promisse I will do it tomorrow so all interested could have a look.

Otidji na sajt www.mup.sr.gov.yu i tu ces pod stavkom Zakonska regulativa, naci i postojeci zakon i nacrt novog zakona. :)

nacrt zakona o policiji 7. juni 2005

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Unread postby Lt. » Mon Nov 07, 2005 9:31 am

Sorry. :oops: It is Lt. again.

Network connection died on me again. How can I paste the text and have it shown in original script. Should I put it is an attachment?

Sorry once again, but as I said I'll have a translated version for you tomorrow.
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Unread postby milos » Mon Nov 07, 2005 11:11 am

The first idea that came to my mind was that you should've perhaps used a transliteration tool of some sort to convert the text from cyrillic script to roman one, and then do a copy/paste routine, but that is not all that important now, because I have checked the site out, and found the draft in question. However, since it is rather long (as all legal stuff tend to be), and since I have a rather busy work schedule these days, I haven't found time to read it yet... :oops:

Thank you for all of the input with which you have contributed to this topic, and I do apologize if it all turns out to be a "false alarm". You are quite right, my age does prevent me from having any clear recollection of the SFRY-era police structure, even more so given the fact that I was rather ignorant of all govermental agencies and their operations/structure/internal organization until the point I began my studies at the Military Academy back in 1997, but even after that date, my interests remained almost entirely focused on the the military side of affairs.

This post, however, was not concieved (at the very least not by me) as one where I would be expected to provide any expert opinion. I just read something of the proposed legislative in the press, and regardless of wheter my understanding of it turns out to be right or wrong, I simply wondered, was there any other country in the world whose police force operates on any such similar principle.

Kind regards, Milos
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Translation

Unread postby Lt. » Tue Nov 08, 2005 9:33 am

The proposed police structure:

The word 'rank' is changed to a word 'grade', therefore police officers will no longer hold a rank but a grade.

Authorized personnel (uniformed police officers) and Fire/Rescue officers would have following grades:

For those with high school education (In current structure those holding ranks of junior sergeant to senior sergeant 1. class)
- Junior policeman
- Junior policeman 1. class
- Policeman
- Policeman 1. class
- Senior policeman
- Independent policemen (as it is very hard to find appropriate word in english, independent could also be replaced by Autonomous, as this grade would be of more autonomy and authority over other grades in this group)

For those with college education (High school education plus two-year specialist course)
- Junior police sergeant
- Junior police sergeant 1. class
- Police sergeant
- Police sergeant 1. class
- Senior police sergeant
- Independent police sergeant (as it is very hard to find appropriate word in english, independent could also be replaced by Autonomous, as this grade would be of more autonomy and authority over other grades in this group)

For those with university degree
- Police Inspector
- Senior Police Inspector
- Independent police inspector (as it is very hard to find appropriate word in english, independent could also be replaced by Autonomous, as this grade would be of more autonomy and authority than the previous two grades)
- Chief police inspector
- Police adviser
- Chief Police adviser

The final paragraph of this article states:
"Pursuant to article 4, paragraph 4, of this Law, the Minister can establish ranks or grades with different titles to the ones from paragraph 1. of this article, for certain categories of uniformed police officers, if those ranks/grades are more suitable to the nature of their job. "

As Milos said, this law may go through the parliament and it may not. However, the draft of this Law does exist, it is an official document, yet it may suffer certain changes before it is gets its final shape.

Hope this was helpfull.
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Unread postby milos » Tue Nov 08, 2005 10:27 am

Great translation Lt., thank you.

Now, what interests me most is whether the police officers (at least the ones wearing uniform at all times) will continue to wear rank insignia (or, should I say, grade insignia)? If so, I suppose at least some modifications will have to be made to the insignias currently in use, especially for the senior "grades".

I have a gut-feeling that in the end, only the rank names will be changed, without introducing any real change to the structure and organization of our police force. They will wear more-or-less same insignia, have same authorities, while being addressed by their new grade names.

Wouldn't be the first time we go only half-way throught reforms of various kind...
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Unread postby Miklós Lovász » Tue Nov 08, 2005 11:40 am

Pretty much the same that happened in Romania, changing the ranks to "professional grades". But over here they still have "professional grade" insignia, albeit worn on the chest rather that on the shoulders as the military does. I wonder, are there any plans to have insignia associated with these grades and if so, where could we see them?
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Unread postby ChrisWI » Tue Nov 08, 2005 7:41 pm

Miklós Lovász wrote:Pretty much the same that happened in Romania, changing the ranks to "professional grades". But over here they still have "professional grade" insignia, albeit worn on the chest rather that on the shoulders as the military does. I wonder, are there any plans to have insignia associated with these grades and if so, where could we see them?

There are some uniformed US law enforcement agencies with ranks but no insignia. One example is the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office in Louisiana.
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no police ranks

Unread postby Uli from Germany » Wed Nov 09, 2005 3:52 pm

Hallo Milos, hallo everybody !

To abolish police - ranks isn´t a new feature.

In the year 1972 ( untill 2002 !) the police of German state ( = republic of ) Hesse (Hessen / Hassia) in Central Germany abolished all ranks of her police. Before that times police - ranks ware worn only as bars and stars on only one arm.

The reason was to "demilitarise" police and to show a more "civil style" police.

Just in the late 1960 - ties left - wing professor of law Axel Azzola demanded a "more democratic police" without the insignia of the past.

Until that time German police was looking very "militaristically" in the opinion of left wing politicians and trade unionists.

As well as the police forces Hesse abolished also all rank insignia of correction service , forest personnel and fire brigade.

Time by time rank insignia were reintruduced : at first fire brigade, police and this year correction service.

Many officials weren´t pleased.

Just to our days German custom - officers don´t wear rank insignia as well !
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Unread postby milos » Wed Nov 09, 2005 10:36 pm

Hi Uli,

I do believe the exact same political reasoning is behind the proposed legislative in question, namely the response to the often-heard public complaints to the "overtly militaristic appearance" of the police, whatever that may actually mean.

It would also seem that all such attempts are almost inevitably doomed to failure from the word go, and will prove fruitless in the long run. Law enforcement agencies are, of course, first and foremost a civil service, and therefore should not be "militaristic" in nature (again, a rather vague description), but as for the appearance, that's a different matter altogether. Police forces still, by their very nature, require a clearly set-out hierarchy in their internal structure, and I really know of no better way of making it transparent and clear to everyone than the rank insignia, at least when it comes to personnel wearing uniforms.

Even if they do abolish them, I strongly believe that, similarily to the example from one of the German states you have mentioned, the mistake will be realised, and sooner or later, some form of rank insignia will have to be reintroduced.
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Unread postby DML » Thu Nov 10, 2005 5:26 pm

High Uli from Germany,
the Bundesland Hessen didn't abolish their police ranks in 1972; only the rank insignia were abolished.
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no police rank insignia

Unread postby Uli from Germany » Thu Nov 10, 2005 7:22 pm

Hallo DML,

You´re absolutely right ; Hesse didn´t abolish police - ranks but only police rank insignia. It was a mistake of mine ; I´ve forgotten the word "insignia" (that´s all)

Thank You very much for Your advise !

Uli

Hallo Milos,

I think Serbia this days is undergoing the same "procedure" as Germany has done after WW II.

Of course the regime of Milosevic can´t be compared with that of Hitler ;
but there are some things in common :

A new regime wants to show its new "character" by changing "symbols of power" (new( police ) uniforms for instance !)

There is another parallelity to Germany after WWII :

ranks of police were demilitarized !

So in Germany police officers aren ´t sergeants, but "masters" (Polizeimeister could be translated as "master of police"), "commissioners" are lieutenants and captains (now there are five classes of commissioners in some republics (countries or lands (Bundesländer) , "councillors" are majors and colonels while inspectors and presidents are the highest officials (generals)

In some other European countries was made a similar attempt to "demilitarize" police - forces.

1 . Some Swiss cantons (Kantone) introduced a non militaristic system of ranks and rank insignia .

Uniforms were created in some strange design sometimes hardly to identify as police uniforms.

2 . Another example is Romania : Here are similar reasons for introducing new uniforms like in Serbia .

3 .The police of Netherlands wasn´t only reorganized but system of ranks was simplified.

4 . Last but not least Croatia made an attempt to create a new system of ranks to show rank as well as task of the wearer of the rank.

Another reason was to eliminate every reminiscent of former Yugoslavia.

Greetings from Germany

Uli

(Mnogo je bio zanimljivo !)
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