Why are Serbian police officers quitting their jobs in such high numbers?

Milan Dumanović, vice president of the New Police Union Alliance, said that, according to the union’s data, 9,000 people have quit their jobs at the Ministry of Interior (which includes police officers and firemen) over the past ten years.

Presenting this information, Dumanović accused former Minister of Internal Affairs Nebojša Stefanović, saying that such a significant exodus occurred because of him, and that his successors, Aleksandar Vulin and Bratislav Gašić, merely continued in the same manner as Stefanović.

Vidojevic added that tension and pressure are the main reasons why police officers have been leaving the force.

“We got data from the Ministry of Interior (MUP) which showed that some 3,800 people, mainly police officers, quit between 2022 and 2024 when Bratislav Gasic was minister and that more than 13,000 quit between 2016 and 2022 which is alarming when we know that the MUP has some 43,000 employees. The problem isn’t retirement but quitting or being pushed out of the MUP, like I was,” he said, expressing concern over the fact that young police officers are thinking of quitting too.

He went on to say that he is in contact with police officers in his new job as a truck driver and added that some of them told that the situation is unbearable.

According to him, the two dozen or more unions in the police are not dealing with the problem.

Serbian Polic Union leader Veljko Mijailovic disagreed with Vidojevic saying that the claim of 9,000 police officers quitting over the past 10 years is not correct.

He noted his union does not have the figures showing how many officers quit the police but added that he sees no problem with staff numbers in the MUP. His words were echoed by Independent Police Union leader Dejan Stoiljkovic who said the correct figure is 1,400 officers retiring every year and some 300 quitting.

Jelena Radić is a former police officer from Novi Sad, who worked as an inspector in the Ministry of Interior for eight years in Novi Sad, after which she mutually agreed for the police to terminate her employment.

“I wanted to work in law enforcement since I was a child; however, when I started working, I quickly realized that it was not how I had imagined the police would be. I spent eight years in the service, in an operational role, but I couldn’t continue any longer because the job began to negatively affect my physical and mental health. There is great injustice within the MUP, where those who deserve to advance based on their results do not, but those who are subservient and comply advance quickly”, says Radić.

“My operational group was made up of people who did not succumb to political pressures, and we did our job the way it should be done, but we suffered because of it. Since we were all united and somewhat rebellious, there was a lot of effort invested in break us up, which eventually happened. Today, two years later, none of us are in that group anymore. Some resigned, some were transferred, and some requested transfers themselves. But while we existed, we did the job the way it should be done,” she adds.

(Danas, 03.07.2024)


This post is also available in: Italiano

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