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Day of Policemen celebrated in Georgia

By Salome Modebadze
Monday, May 20
Paying respect to fallen police officers, Irakli Gharibashvili, the Minster of Internal Affairs (MIA), said on the Day of Policemen in Karaleti on May 19, that it is possible to deal with the conflict only through a wise, professional and peaceful approach to restore our friendship with “our brothers.”

After paying tribute to the police officers fallen in August of 2008, Gharibahsvili awarded the most exemplary officers.

Gharibahsvili said the Georgian police deserve the love and trust of the Georgian people for their humanity, fairness and the supremacy of law. He said today that the MIA is facing the task to create and develop a public-oriented and depoliticized police, which would ensure public order and safety by protecting ethics and morals not oppression.

“A police officer is a friend of each citizen, not their opponent,” said the Minister.

New patrol cars and motorcycles, uniforms and badges with video equipment were presented to the public at the MIA as the part of the reforms carried out in the ministry. According to the MIA, these cameras will serve as unbiased witnesses for defining the truth in case of any clash between police and citizens. The guests were familiarized with the strategy of development of the MIA, the ethics code of the Georgian police and the new law on police.

Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili and other representatives of the executive and legislative body, as well as the diplomatic corps and representatives of foreign law enforcement bodies attended the special events dedicated to the professional day of police.

Talking of a heavy but honourable mission of being a police officer, PM Ivanishvili said these people are often providing public order and state security at the expense of their own lives. Ivanishvili said the case that took place at Rustaveli Avenue on the Day Against Homophobia was a good example to show how the police managed to save the minority from the angry crowd.

PM said Minister Gharibashvili was able to prove that he has managed to deal with a difficult state structure in a short period of time. Ivanishvili said to ensure order in the country, the higher rank the law enforcer is, the more self-regulated they should be.

The former governing United National Movement (UNM) also congratulated the police. In a statement released on their official Facebook page the UNM members wished policemen success and promotion in their career and personal lives.

It was on May 6, 2010 when then Minister of Internal Affairs Vano Merabishvili declared May 6 as the Day of Police. However, this year’s celebration was postponed until May 19 as May 6 was Bright Monday, the day after Easter.