Not many countries can boast about having such a long history of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, as our country can. In January 2011., MoI celebrates the two 200th year since the formation of Serbian Council of Justice and the appointment of the first Serbian Minister of Internal Affairs.
During the reign of Nemanjić Dynasty, in the 14th century, law enforcement authorities were, also, administrative bodies of internal government. Anencephaly - the magistrate and the governor of the parish, was also in charge of public safety, especially road safety. He had, at his disposal, people dressed in black suits, who patrolled the roads and guarded travelers from bandits.
In Serbian, the word police appeared in the first half of 19th century when the establishing of the police service began.
The roots of public safety in renewed Serbia came up during the revolution 1804 -1813. Police powers in counties were entrusted to the dukes and men who were heads of several villages.
In 1807, a regular and constant police was established in Belgrade. It consisted of a head of city police, heads of districts, assistant heads in charge of different sectors and uniformed cops.
At the General Meeting that was held in January 1811, the government was re-established, and the Council of Justice was divided into six ministries. The first appointed minister of Internal Affairs, was Jakov Nenadović.
In 1815, prince Miloš Obrenović decided to organize cops, general state police in charge of public work and security of customs roads. The renewed Serbian Council became the Supreme police body in 1825, and in 1827/1828, the appurtenances of the Council were transferred to the Great People’s Court, which established a title, an oppidan cop.
Based on Sretenjska Assembly on 15th February 1835, the Constitution project was made and it included the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Military Affairs. Based on the Turkish Constitution from 1838, the Ministry of Internal Affairs was officially established and it was confirmed that the minister takes over the prerogative of the Minister of Military Affairs.
After establishing administrative directorate of the town of Belgrade, in 1860, the management was under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the first unique uniformed and armed gendarmerie squad in the town was formed. It consisted of 120 pedestrians and 15 horsemen.
By the law on establishing the Central State Government from 22nd March 1862, the Ministry of Military Affairs was separated from the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
From 15th to 17th June 1862 Serbian gendarmerie played a crucial role in conflicts around Čukur-tap and the bombing of Belgrade. About 100 gendarmes confronted several hundred times stronger Turkish forces, and, practically, saved Belgrade and Serbia. As the first conflict took place on Pentecost, 15th June, this holiday was adopted as the holiday of the Serbian gendarmerie.
The gendarmerie was responsible only for public order and peace in Belgrade. Therefore the decision was made on the establishment of unique uniformed and armed general night guards - Security Authority in all towns in Serbia.
By the Decree in July 1880, in order of recognition in the service, gendarmes received a numbered bib note in the shape of Crescent moon - the first official badge with a number.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs was established on 7th December 1918, as the first supreme administrative and supervisory authority over all administrative - police directorates in the newly formed Kingdom of Serbs.
Gendarmerie NCO (non-commissioned officers) school was formed on 1st February 1920 in Sremska Kamenica for the purpose of educating gendarmerie personnel.
The first police school, which was organized by Dr. Archibald Rice, opened in Belgrade on 8th February 1921.
By the law on internal administration from 1929, the Ministry of Internal Affairs was organized as the supreme authority of internal government. It was divided into: state protection department, public safety department, administrative and self - government department.
The Law on National militia was adopted in 1946.
Federal and Republic Secretaries were formed in 1953, for the Interior Affairs in 1946, and later that year the National militia got new official uniform.
By the basic Law on Internal Affairs from 1966, internal affairs were concentrated in the Public Security Service (militia, crime prevention, traffic safety and border affairs) and the State Security Service. The name of national militia was changed to - militia.
Guidelines on determining the identification number, issuing, recording and carrying official ID and official badges were issued in 1994. A year later, the Law on ranks of the MOI was passed. Regulation on the uniform and insignia of uniformed police passed in 1996.
By the Law on Amending the Law on Internal Affairs, on 26th December 1996, the word militia was replaced with the word police.
Author: Angelina Tepavčević,
Published in "Young police officer" (Mladi policajac), no. 50