Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic announced what he said would be a fierce strike against crime in the city of Novi Sad on Tuesday.
Speaking at a graduation ceremony for police and firefighters, Vucic said the operation in the northern Serbian city would show that the authorities can protect the population. “It is in this city that we will show the citizens that we can protect them from the ones who could jeopardize the future of our children,” he said.
He said the authorities would continue investing in the Internal Affairs Ministry, adding that the modernization and reinforcement of the police is not for repression but for the safety of the citizens. He also promised guarantees for the existential needs of the police and their families.
“Our police takes care of our citizens and we do not have the right to savings on our police,” the president said before a parade and exercise by the police and firefighters who are all under the command of the Internal Affairs Ministry (MUP). He recalled that 711 new police officers and firefighters would start their jobs after the ceremony and would be followed by another 700 in October.
He said that working conditions for them had been significantly improved with the purchase of new uniforms and protection gear, as well as new combat vehicles and seven Airbus H145M helicopters and three Super Puma helicopters.
The minister said that 130 family members of wounded or killed police personnel and firefighters had been given ministry jobs and added that some 140 more would be employed by the end of the year.