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Police Rebranding Cost Budget $37M, Deputy Says

Changing the police force's name from the Soviet-sounding "militsia" to the more familiar "police" cost the budget 1.125 billion rubles ($37.5 million), deputy head of the State Duma Security Committee Alexander Khinshtein said Wednesday.

Khinstein said that the re-legalization of title documents cost another 770 million rubles, Interfax reported.

The money was spent on replacing personal identification documents for police officers, making new insignia for police uniforms, changing the layout of official documents and standard forms, and also revamping police vehicles.

The follow-up expenses included making changes in the legislation and normative acts regulating police work to bring them in line with the new legislation, Khinshtein said.

He did not provide a source for the figures cited, Interfax said.

Earlier sources gave conflicting estimates of the price tag for rebranding the country's police.

In September 2010, then-Deputy Interior Minister Sergei Bulavin, currently aide to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, rejected rumors at the time that the renaming would cost 1.3 billion rubles, citing a more moderate estimate of 500 million rubles.

Renaming the police was part of a broader reform at the Interior Ministry initiated by then-President Dmitry Medvedev. The reform drew public criticism from both the general public and law enforcement community, with many saying it was inefficient.

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