MIA personnel policy in the regions
The MIA staffing policy resulted in the Belarusian police personnel’s degradation. At the grassroots level, there is a lack of the law enforcement officers. Simultaneously, Belarusian police staff is increasing.
There is no reliable information about the actual number of MIA employers. At the same time, based on indirect evidence, we would safely assume that over the past five years, the staff of the Belarusian police had almost three-folded.
In 2006, Vladimir Naumov, Minister of the Interior at that time, said that MIA employed 50 thousand people. For comparison, currently the Belarusian armed forces’ military staff counts 62 thousand people. According to indirect estimates, the overall number of MIA employees today is circa 145 thousand (the population of Belarus is about 9.5 million people). This figure does not take into account MIA retirees, undercover employees and other agents, as well as civil experts working in the police departments, and uncertified employees. These figures have been calculated based on UN data about police officers per capita. According to the latest UN ranking, Belarus is the first in the world by the number of policemen per capita (1442 police officers per 100 thousand inhabitants).
Police reform was announced by the President yet in the mid-2012. Currently we can say that the MIA reform has stalled. The main outcome from the police reform would be the reduced number of police staff. The reform has been paused because the Interior Ministry leadership believes there is no one to be laid off. MIA staff is inflated both at the top and middle managerial levels and the senior management is not interested in dismissal of neither. A key challenge for the managers is the lack and high turnover of the low level personnel, including the lack of local policemen, particularly in the rural areas.
Another important trend is the reduced economic attractiveness of the police service. As a countermeasure to solve this problem, there were pay-rises for the Interior Ministry staff. Regular policemen make circa BYR 2 - 3.5 million a month, lower-level officers from public security and traffic police make about BYR 5 million, and higher ranking and superior MIA staff make times more than that.
Also, to our knowledge, the ongoing police reform will not concern the MIA internal troops. Their number, range and training were not designed to enforce law, but rather to guarantee the absence of population’s mass demonstrations against the authorities.