Serbian Local Government Minister Branko Ruzic told MPs on Thursday that municipal authorities will be allowed to form their own communal police forces, including plain clothes officers, under the draft law on the communal militia.
The law changes the name of the current Communal Police to Communal Militia because the law on internal affairs reserves the name police for forces under the Internal Affairs Ministry (MUP). The draft law has drawn criticism because it allows the forming of police-like formations in every local community.
The minister was answering questions during a parliament debate on the draft law which was submitted by the Ministry of State Administration and Local Government.
Ruzic said the communal militia is being introduced following assessments that municipal administrations were having significant difficulties in maintaining communal order and ensuring the efficient implementation of laws within the jurisdiction of municipalities.
This will allow the municipal authorities to work with the police and take responsibility for commual order and secure a safe, orderly environment for their residents, the minister said, adding that the communal militia will assist inspectors and will be allowed to stop vehicles.