BELGRADE – Chiefs of departments at the Serbian police will be dismissed, more precisely five chiefs at five departments, and their duties will be temporarily performed by their deputies, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic told a news conference after a meeting of the Security Service Coordination Bureau on Friday.
The state delivered the decision so as to ensure full security for all citizens, and put an end to intrigues within the police grabbing the headlines.
“We have made the decision today, which has been preceded by lengthy discussions. The decision has been taken in line with the initiative by the interior minister, with the consent of the general police director, and all chiefs of police departments will be changed, and their deputies will temporarily take on their duties,” Vucic said.
“That is the only way,” Vucic said, adding that “this does not mean that heads will roll in the police”, and that the officers will continue working in the police.
For moral reasons, General Police Director Milorad Veljovic would have also been relieved of his duties today, if he had not been selected after a call for job applications, but he will remain in his office, and big tasks lie ahead of him, the prime minister said.
The dismissal of chiefs of police departments is a consequence of the situation in which police services became preoccupied with some infighting and started meddling in politics and influencing the media, caught in the web of persons from criminal circles, Vucic said.
A strong campaign against drug gangs was called for, but the results were police actions against small-time criminals dealing drugs in the clubs and streets of Belgrade, the prime minister said, stressing that he wants a massive campaign against drug dealers.
Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic was right when he warned that dealers were tipped off every time the police were planning an action against them, the prime minister said.
Vucic added that he believes such tip-offs were happening in the past twenty years too.
“However, we did not launch a major campaign against them either, so who is to blame for that”, Vucic asked.
The police were requested to specifically name all persons kept under special measures and known top-tier drug dealers, and have them placed under surveillance and brought to justice, said Vucic, adding that this did not happen.
Those who had their hands in crime and corruption will not breathe freely in Serbia, Vucic said in his message to the citizens, stressing that the police will do a better job to make them feel safe.