Personnel is everything! - Interview of the Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia in the journal Public Law Today

Alexander Ivanovich, in modern conditions, what personnel shortage does the Investigative Committee of Russia feel most acutely?

- Every agency and organization is always interested in professional personnel. Today, in the context of the constant development of new information technologies, and, consequently, the improvement of criminal schemes, of course, the high professional competence of our investigators, criminologists and experts is important to us. To train and educate our future investigators, the Investigative Committee has created a whole system of departmental continuous education, which, by the way, will celebrate its 10 years anniversary in 2020.

What other qualities should candidates have when applying for service in the Investigative Committee?

- In the work of an investigator, it is important not only knowledge of the law and strict observance of it, but also moral principles. The main feature of the investigator is adherence to principles - the presence of firm convictions and an active desire to realize them, to implement them, regardless of obstacles and threats to personal well-being. It is this quality that helps to resist undesirable influences from the outside and successfully resolve internal conflicts inherent in everyone, disputes between the necessary and the desired, public and personal.

It is impossible to perform the tasks assigned to an investigator without these qualities. Therefore, during the training of investigators and the selection of personnel, we take into account not only their knowledge of the specifics of investigative activity, but also their moral and volitional qualities.

Can law graduates be hired by the Investigative Committee of Russia? What requirements must they meet?

-Certainly, probably the majority of our staff over the age of 30 are graduates of classical law schools. We have the same requirements for them as for our graduates - legal literacy, integrity and a desire to serve the Fatherland and the Law. In that, in the near future the young people graduating from our departmental educational institutions will be able to compete successfully and cover at least 90% of the staffing needs of the Committee.

Is there currently a shortage of personnel in the Investigative Committee?

- No, there is no shortage of personnel in the Investigative Committee. Today, the Investigative Committee of Russia is one of the youngest state structures, and increasingly larger number of young people join the Committee as our profession gains social prestige. Many graduates of law schools and institutes of higher education of the Investigative Committee of Russia aspire to join the Committee. But not every candidate will be accepted - we have high requirements for future investigators, the agency has organized a complex multi-stage system of checks.

-What innovations should be made in the educational process in order to get the most qualified personnel?

You know what they say: the new is the well forgotten old. There is no need to reinvent the wheel: for any specialist it is important to have good basic knowledge in their field. For the lawyer - theory and history of the state of law, the main branches - constitutional, civil, criminal, administrative and procedural aspects. And it is wrong to think that a modern investigator should know perfectly only the criminal law and procedure: an investigator today is multifunctional, he must understand the other areas, know which regulations govern certain social relations in order to correctly and clearly delimit the competence of the Investigative Committee and other state bodies. In universities, it is important to teach the future lawyer to respect the spirit of the law by applying the law intelligently. This is the key to our success.

What do you think law schools need to do to better prepare investigators? What does the Investigative Committee emphasize when hiring young professionals?

-The investigator, first and foremost, is a lawyer, and he is subject to the same principles of legal education - breadth of vision, good knowledge of the law, the ability to navigate the regulatory framework. Classical lawyers, as a rule, even if they choose to specialize in criminal law, are not taught the basics that are useful in the profession of an investigator - how to correctly take fingerprints, competently write a report, interrogate a witness or examine the scene of an incident. Classical law schools often lack the practical component, which is the cornerstone of young people's choice of specialization.

This is the specifics of departmental education. Service in law enforcement agencies requires exceptional professionalism, and the tasks facing the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation oblige us to care about the quality of education of our future employees.

The main emphasis in the Academies of the Investigative Committee is on specialized training for investigative activities. In the Academies, future investigators start their complicated paths of mastering the profession. It is important for us to train a specialist able to rapidly adapt to the system and work efficiently. We have strong teaching staff with extensive experience of the work, a good base, forensics equipment, and a training site. That is why education in the Academies of the Committee is most effective for training and requalification of investigative unit officers. We have created all conditions for ensuring a high level of staff capacity of the Committee. Our institutions of higher education produce ready-to-work professionals, because there is virtually no time to "get involved" in the profession. Here the fate of people depends on the competent and skillful actions of the investigator.

I would like to point out that 153 cadets from the cadet corps of the Investigative Committee of Russia and 151 students of the academies in Moscow and St. Petersburg will graduate this year, and it will be the first graduation in the Northern Capital. All graduates of the academies have already been assigned for further service in the territorial investigative divisions of the Investigative Committee of Russia.

-What do you mean by "education" within the departmental education system? How does it work?

As noted by the eminent Soviet educator Anton Semenovich Makarenko, education is that the older generation transmits its experience, its passion, its beliefs to the younger generation. The Council of Heroes of the Investigative Committee, as well as the National Association of Veterans of Investigative Agencies "Union of Veterans of Investigation", contribute greatly to the education and training of our young investigators, as well as their growing replacements - cadets. Today over 2,000 people work in these organizations. It's hard to overestimate their work. Speaking at festive events, at meetings of the boards and scientific advisory councils of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, veterans of the investigation give practical advice on how to improve the effectiveness of the investigation, to successfully solve the challenges facing the Investigative Committee's fight against crime.

I can say without exaggeration that veterans "charge" our youth with their energy, which passes the traditions of the difficult profession of an investigator, approving by their work the best human qualities.

For several years already, we have been developing the cadet movement and we see that young people are highly interested in it. Cadet corps in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Volgograd, a branch of the St. Petersburg corps in Sevastopol, 38 cadet classes across the country are functioning. On the initiative of the Investigative Committee, the Club of Heroes of the Russian Federation and veterans of investigation, we created the Inter-regional public organization Young Investigator Youth Union. Children are actively involved not only in investigative work as part of their studies, but also in patriotic work. We instill in children the right values - love for the Fatherland, respect for Russian history and culture, our veterans. Now it is especially important to distract the younger generation from what is happening on television and on the Internet - cruelty, propaganda of concepts alien to our world view, blatant falsification of historical truth.

We must always remember that children and the younger generation of Russians are our future, and all the emphasis in our educational institutions is to ensure that young people are brought up in a spirit of respect and love for our common homeland. After all, even if they decide to choose non-investigative work for themselves, they will remain true to their values and beliefs, become principled and responsible citizens.

- What new areas of work are planned to develop in the Investigative Committee of Russia?

The need to develop new directions is largely dictated by the complication of criminal schemes and structures, the intellectualization of crime. We are constantly transforming and improving our system based on the objectives set by the leadership of the country for the successful fight against crime.

In the context of globalization, cybercrime poses a serious threat to society, and today's challenges require constant improvement of knowledge and development of new approaches to response. In this regard, at the end of 2019, the Investigative Committee of Russia created a department for the investigation of cybercrime and high-tech crimes.  This category of crime is particularly difficult due to organizational difficulties, the non-obviousness of cybercrime, and its inherent cross-regional and international nature.

A forensic expert institution has been created in the Committee  to carry out examinations of all types and any complexity, a scientific and technical council on innovation activities has been established. Specialist positions for sociological research have been introduced. Training faculties for criminal investigators have been created.

Specialized divisions created in the Main Investigative Department for the investigation of crimes against minors, for the investigation of crimes in the medical sphere, gangsterism, crimes of past years, international and federal search for persons are already working.

The newly created units made it possible to centrally strengthen the priority areas of investigative activity, to strengthen the methodological and analytical components.

What advice would you give to applicants preparing to become investigators?

- The most important advice is to make up your mind and try to understand, even at the initial stage, that an investigator is not a romance, but a serious job. You have to be prepared for daily, often very monotonous work. Therefore, if guys want to serve in the Investigative Committee, it would be useful to go through our "school" in its entirety - from a cadet to a young investigator - a graduate of the Academy of the Investigative Committee of Russia. I want to emphasize that it is on the investigators in the future that order in the state, safety and lives of our citizens depend on. The choice of this profession should be taken responsibly. And to those who have decided to tie their lives to the investigation, I can only advise to learn, learn and learn again to master all the subtleties of investigative science. Acquire knowledge, listen to the advice of experienced colleagues, and develop the qualities necessary for this profession. Investigators are the guardians of the rights of citizens: the requirements for the work of investigators, especially for their moral and ethical character, have always been very high. We need to meet these criteria to the fullest extent. The investigative work is not for everyone. But if you yourself have chosen this path - you have determined for yourself a life path of service to the Fatherland.

Dear Alexander Ivanovich! Let me thank you for such an interesting and informative interview with our magazine. The most enormous crimes are solved only thanks to your highest professionalism. The profession of an investigator is constantly in demand and highly appreciated by society. It couldn't be otherwise. After all, members of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation protect the civilian population from intruders at all hours of the day and night, despite the fact that they are constantly busy working. Today we would like to express once again gratitude from our readers for your courage, vigilance, and bravery. We would like to wish you strength for further deeds, wisdom in solving the upcoming crimes.