Although in the State and Revolution Vladimir Ilyich Lenin expressed almost anarchist thoughts about the imminent death of the state, about the need for universal arming of the people, the Bolsheviks realized the need to create personnel law enforcement agencies almost immediately after the revolution. If at first the idea prevailed in their ranks that detachments of specially mobilized workers — militia workers — could cope with crime, then very soon this utopian idea was replaced by a more rational approach. The need to create a professional police dictated life itself. Following the revolution and the collapse of the royal law enforcement system was followed by a huge increase in crime. It is known that once Vladimir Ulyanov-Lenin himself became the “victim” of a criminal attack, whose car was stopped in 1919 by criminals from the gang of Yakov Koshelkov. All these circumstances forced the Soviet leadership to attend to the strengthening of the workers' militia and its transformation from amateurish to a professional structure. Literally over a decade, the Soviet police turned into a powerful and extensive law enforcement apparatus, which eventually surpassed its predecessor - the royal police.
By the way, the experience of the tsarist police was actively used subsequently in strengthening the Soviet internal affairs bodies. If formerly the tsarist policemen were perceived solely as “punishers”, “executioners” who served the exploitative regime, then, as crime increased, it became clear to Soviet policemen that it was impossible to do without the accumulated experience of predecessors in the difficult task of fighting crime. However, unlike the Red Army, where former royal officers served in large numbers and many of them made a dizzying career in Soviet times, everything was different in the law enforcement system. The Soviet police used the experience of the tsarist police, but the vast majority of the police themselves could not serve in the Soviet law enforcement agencies. The attitude to the former guardians of the tsarist order in 1920-1930-s was the coolest, many of them waited for the courts, prisons and even executions.
Nevertheless, Soviet Russia practically “from scratch” was able to staff the new law enforcement agencies - the Soviet police. It was not so easy to do it. There are many scientific studies and works of art dedicated to the first steps of the Soviet militia. In those years, the militia was indeed popular and was staffed predominantly by workers and poor peasants and middle peasants. After the end of the Civil War, many Red Army men began to serve in the militia. The Soviet militia was staffed only by people from the working population, first of all by active workers. It was almost impossible to get a service to the police as a representative of the "exploitative" layers, unless it was about people with pre-revolutionary experience of underground activities in the ranks of the RSDLP (b).
A separate and very difficult area was the training of national personnel for the regions of the North Caucasus, Transcaucasia, Central Asia, where it was also necessary to deploy police departments and departments, to establish effective work of the criminal investigation department and other police units. Under the Novocherkassk and Saratov militia schools, special departments were opened, where representatives of the national minorities of the Soviet Union were trained for service in the internal affairs bodies. The process of formation and development of the Soviet police training system stretched over two decades after the revolution. As the needs of the police for skilled personnel increased, the number of special educational institutions increased, the numbers of students enrolled. In 1936, the schools of the senior and middle commanding militia were transferred to a two-year training cycle, which was supposed to help improve the level of education and skills of the police personnel. Old cadres - revolutionaries with pre-October experience - were replaced by a new shift - the young generations of Soviet policemen, educated and trained in the Soviet Union.
A great blow to the Soviet police was the Great Patriotic War. A huge number of policemen were mobilized to the front, to the active army. In many localities, due to the lack of police officers, young men began to actively attract women to the service, as well as older men. In the west of the Soviet Union, the police took an active part in the struggle against the occupiers, even without being called up for military service — they participated in the defense of their cities, went into partisan detachments, created underground groups.
After World War II, a large number of front-line soldiers served in the internal affairs bodies. Many officers and soldiers of the victorious Red Army after the war wanted to continue their service, if not in the army, then at least in the police. It was they, the people who passed the front, broke the back of the crime that had gained strength in the war and post-war years.
It should be noted that the requirements for police officers grew with the growth of the general level of education of Soviet citizens. If at the beginning of 1920's. There were no special requirements for candidates for the militia service, then in the second half of the twentieth century an effective system of vocational education was already in place. Nevertheless, not only graduates of police schools, but also people “from the citizen” got to serve in the militia as middle and senior commanders. As a rule, these were university graduates who had a military department behind them and, therefore, the military rank of “lieutenant” or “senior lieutenant”. According to the Komsomol vouchers to the police, yesterday’s engineers, teachers, representatives of various humanitarian professions were drawn.
Even now, among the police chiefs of the older generation, there are not so few people who came to the police in 1980 for Komsomol trips. The junior commanding staff was similarly recruited, but here the emphasis was placed on yesterday's “demobels”. Especially prized were soldiers and sergeants who had served in the internal troops of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs, the border troops of the KGB of the USSR, units of the Airborne Forces, and marines. They were sent to the police on the recommendations of the command of units and subunits, or some time after demobilization on the recommendations of labor collectives, party committees of enterprises. It must be said that such a system of personnel selection for the Soviet police worked quite effectively.
The history of the Soviet police is full of heroic feats of its employees. The names of the policemen who fell in a fight with the criminals were forever remembered by the descendants. As is well known, the period of several post-war years was very tense for Soviet policemen, when cruel criminal gangs raged in Soviet cities ravaged by war, and a large number of homeless children appeared again. In the west of Ukraine, Belarus, in the Baltic republics, there were detachments of nationalists and just criminals hiding in the woods. Together with the fighters of the internal and frontier troops, the police took an active part in their destruction.
The Soviet police with honor managed to solve the tasks and cope with the high level of crime in the country by the beginning of the 1950-s. Then there was a couple of decades of relative lull. But even at this time, the Soviet police were always at the forefront - not only of fighting crime, but also, in general, of protecting citizens. 25 May 1973 of the year on the route "Novosibirsk - Pavlodar" followed by a column of 170 cyclists. At the head of the column was an escort car Moskvich-412. In it went the senior inspector of road supervision of the State traffic inspectorate Dmitry Baidug and the inspector Alexander Shabaldin. Towards the column was driving a car "Zaporozhets". Suddenly, a Kolkhida truck loaded with rubble appeared, which Zaporozhets tried to overtake. Understanding that the collision of a truck with a convoy could not be avoided, the police put a “Moskvich” under attack and thus saved the convoy of cyclists. Posthumously, Dmitry Baiduga and Alexander Shabaldin received orders of the Red Star.
Already in 1970-e - 1980-e. Soviet police faced such new and unprecedented types of crimes as, for example, hostage-taking. So, on November 2 1973, four students seized the Yak-40 aircraft. Alexander Ivanovich Popryadukhin, at that time senior police lieutenant, senior inspector-on-duty at 127 Moscow police station, who was included in the operational group thanks to his excellent sports training, received the heroism shown during his liberation (Alexander Ivanovich was a master of sports in sambo).
A new wave of crime swept the country at the turn of the 1980-1990-s, and the crime is unusual, with which the Soviet police had not previously encountered. There were powerful organized criminal groups, mafia structures that had strong connections at the very top of the same law enforcement agencies. It was very difficult to resist organized crime, especially since there were temptations for the police officers themselves. It was during this period that many negative stereotypes about employees of the internal affairs agencies, their wholesale corruption, were fixed in the public consciousness. Although in the 1990-s, many police officers not only honestly carried out their service, but died in clashes with criminals, defending the life and tranquility of ordinary citizens.
At the end of 1980's police special forces were also formed, first of all - the legendary Special Purpose Police Unit (OMON), then a Special Rapid Response Unit (SOBR), which would have to solve difficult and dangerous tasks of police and anti-terrorist operations. Today it is difficult to imagine a law enforcement system without police special forces (although not so long ago they were transferred from the system of the Ministry of Internal Affairs to the system of the Federal Service of National Guard troops).
In the period of the collapse of the Soviet Union, many “hot spots” appeared, in which a huge number of Russian police officers also passed through. It is impossible to underestimate the contribution of the Russian police / police in the fight against terrorism in the North Caucasus, and then in other regions of the country. Thousands of Russian police officers, both riot policemen and sobrovtsev, and representatives of more "peaceful" police professions, including district police officers and juvenile inspectors, passed through the "meat grinder" of two Chechen wars. 1990-e - 2000-e years gave the Russian police a lot of these heroes. Unfortunately, many of them received their well-deserved rewards posthumously.
Service in the internal affairs bodies is a hard and dangerous work. But citizens, due to a number of factors, the police, and then the police, are perceived ambiguously. Many judge according to their experience of conflicts with law enforcement officers at the “everyday level” - they cursed with a traffic cop, here the policeman does not respond to complaints. Others are impressed by the media publications, which, I must say, are very unfavorable towards the Russian police. Of course, there are many problems in the “system” and the police themselves know much more about them than outsiders. Personnel turnover, low qualifications, corruption and cronyism, an elementary unwillingness to work - all this, unfortunately, is present in the Russian law enforcement system, as well as in all other spheres of public life. However, when some problems arise, the first thing people do is flee to them - to the police.
On the Day of the Internal Affairs Officer, which for the people remains the “Police Day”, all former and current police officers and policemen “Military Observation” wishes all the best, and most importantly - health and success in the difficult, but so necessary, country and people service.