So far, Wagdy, despite criticism from the opposition, has retained the
senior staff at the Interior Ministry. On Feb. 14, Wagdy approved the
reappointment of deputy minister Maj. Gen. Mohammed Talabah, who also serves
as security chief in the Cairo province. Other appointments included Maj.
Gen. Farouk Lashin as security chief for Giza and deputy minister Maj. Gen.
The interior minister has also pledged to restore morale within the
police and security forces. Officials said this included a significant
increase in salary as well as the doubling of promotions. Patrolmen were
said to earn about $110 per month and often serve shifts that last 24 hours.
Wagdy, a major general, said officers would be trained in the proper
treatment of civilians as well as detainees, Middle East Newsline reported. At a briefing on Feb. 13, the
said police would also be provided basic tools to enable them to perform
effectively, including mandatory sleep periods as well as improved wages.
Officials said the security forces underwent massive defections during
the opposition campaign against President Hosni Mubarak. They said the
security forces only reached 40 percent of their manpower requirements until
Jan. 25, when massive protests struck Egypt.
Wagdy said manpower was one of four basic elements in the modernization
program. Other requirements were identified as retraining, the upgrading of
the Interior Ministry and support equipment, including police and other
security vehicles. The ministry employs more than one million people.
"Within 48 hours, the police will be restored and will be felt by the
citizens," Wagdy said.
Other new measures included the end of prosecution of officers in
military courts, access by regular patrolmen to police hospitals and the
officers fired for administrative violations. Officials said the measures
were meant to reverse penalties on the police instituted by Wagdy's
successor, Habib Adli, who served for 13 years.
The security forces were employed in the crackdown on protesters by the
Mubarak regime in late January and early February. Officers of the feared
State Security Service were also accused of looting stores and homes during
"This is perhaps the first time that the security services can be
rebuilt," Safwat El Zayat, a military analyst said.