17:15 GMT +319 November 2019
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    Ukrainian traffic policemen

    Ukraine Swaps Traffic Police for US-Style Patrols

    © AFP 2019 / IGOR GOLOVNIOV
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    It seems that the time has come to bid farewell to Kiev's State Automobile Inspectorate, as a new breed of law enforcer is slated to hit the beat on the mean streets of the city.

    As of June 15, a new patrol service will replace the Ukrainian capital Kiev's State Automobile Inspectorate, known by its Russian acronym GAI; the new service is due to take over the functions of the traffic police, as well as a number of duties of law enforcement agencies, according to Ukrainian media outlets.

    "Traffic police and patrol-guard services will disappear in Kiev, 200 auto patrols and 100 foot patrols will emerge instead," Deputy Interior Minister Eka Zguladze was quoted by the Ukranews.com as saying on Saturday

    The new patrol service will be formed from about 2,000 people, with more than 70 percent of them having a higher education.

    According to Zguladze, the patrol cars were provided by Japan, while the new uniform was supplied by the United States.

     "The cars will be equipped with on-board computers to directly link each patrol team to the database data in order to receive orders," she explained.

    The salary of employees will stand at 8,000-10,000 thousand hryvnia (approximately $400). In comparison, the average salary in Ukraine amounts to 3,800 hryvnia (about $200), according to March 2015 data.

    After the new patrol service hits Kiev, it will be rolled out to other large Ukrainian cities, including Dnepropetrovsk, Lviv, Kharkov and Odessa.

    In mid-March, Washington signed an agreement with Kiev to provide financial assistance worth $26 million to reform Ukraine's law enforcement system. According to Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, the focus of the reforms should be placed on the new patrol service, which he said will act in line with the principle "to protect and to serve."

    The first attempt to disband Kiev's traffic police was made by then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko in July 2005. Two years later, he admitted that he had made a bad mistake when he ordered that the Ukrainian capital's traffic police should turned into state road traffic safety service.

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    uniform, traffic police, patrol service, salary, cars, Ukraine
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