Resignations of police executives

Comment of our researcher Dina Bajramspahic for daily newspaper ‘’Dan’’, on the reasons for the resignations of the former Director of the Police and Chief of the Center of Security in Podgorica, as well as other issues regarding the personnel policy of the Police:

I do not know if the resignations of the Director of the Police and the Chief of the Center of Security were really a moral act due to the sense of personal responsibility, or they were extorted. However, when it comes to the chief of the Center of Security, it is formally and legally impossible to resign this position at all, because the chiefs of the centers are not public officials, but civil servants. Although we are used to chiefs submitting ‘’resignations’’ because they work at important positions in the iPolice – they can only quit their job, not resign.

Public officials in the Police are only the Director and the four Deputy Directors. All police officers, including the chiefs, are civil servants. According to the current legislation, the Director of the Police can temporarily and/or permanently reassign the chiefs to another position when dissatisfied with their work. This leaves a huge space for discretionary decision making, so we have a practice that a group of executives is ‘’moving’’ from one managerial position in Police to another, for years. However, this is no longer easy as it was, because there is a growing number of former executives who do not have anywhere to be ‘’transfered’’ and so they remain unassigned.

For example, the former Chief of the Security Center in Podgorica and the former Director of the Police, now have nowhere to be assigned because all jobs with their rank, which is the highest one (chief police inspector), are already filled. This is happening because there is higher number of high titles than the high job positions.

The bad thing is that there is no practice of explaining decisions that are very important for the overall functioning in the Police, so we do not know which are the reasons for choosing someone and for replacing others. In the long run, this creates dissatisfaction and the lack of conviction that they have chosen the best ones, based on their merit. Therefore, in the Working Group for the preparation of the Law of Internal Affairs, we advocated that the leaders in the Police are selected through an internal vacancy, and not by the free will of the Director who can assign (and replace) them at any time. The essence of this proposal is that all candidates who fulfill the requirements and think that they can perform this job responsibly, get the chance to apply and ‘’be compared’’ to other candidates. In the end, of course, the decisions will continue to be made by the director, because he is responsible for the overall work of the Service. However, he will have to choose from the ranking list to which all interested candidates, with the results of work, will be represented. Another very important issue is the issue of the mandate. The director was protected by a mandate and could not be dismissed as easily as other executives in the Police. Therefore, if the decision of the internal vacancy is adopted, managers elected in this manner should also a receive a mandate by amending the Law on Civil Servants and State Employees. This does not mean that they will not be responsible if their work results are unsatisfactory, but it means that this must be prescribed by the law as the reasons for the dismissal and that they should be dismissed only according to that. All these issues have been inadequately regulated for years and have led to a very chaotic human resource management in the Police, which has an impact on its overall performance. Every day, some officials are praised, and then the next day we see them dismissed. Because of all of the shifts in the Police, I do not have great expectations, usually everything remains is as it was before.

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