Only 1200 traffic policemen are currently servicing the entire country, according to Interior Minister Mihail Mihov. Due to the severe deficiency of personnel, he has released an order for 4000-5000 police officers from other branches to be relocated into the traffic police department to help boost the force, in a bid to reduce the rampant traffic violations "and help save life in the process," he said in a statement, quoted by Gradski.bg
"The current force of 1200 officers is grossly deficient in resources to cope with the situation. The reinforcement is not a new police action, it's a new measure," he said.
Since the turn of 2009, 323 people have lost their lives in the undeclared war on the Bulgarian roads. According to Mihov, the relocation will be conducted from other police branches, but he failed to disclose which departments will be allocating boots on the ground, or rather, on the streets.
The minister has reminded that this is by no means a new concept - last year a similar measure was thwarted because of increasing cases of corruption in the police force.
"Because we want to reduce corruption, it doesn't necessarily mean that we also have to reduce the number of personnel," he said.
Currently there are 63 000 staff employed by the Interior Ministry, of which 47 000 are police officers, 8000 are firefighters, 5000 are in administration, and 3000 in research and development. Accordingly, there is one traffic policeman for every 6200 Bulgarian citizens, and 39 policemen.