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February 9, 2022, 10:04 am


Almost 200 tourist police officers are ready to help foreign and domestic tourists daily on the central streets of the city.

Moscow is rightfully considered one of the world’s tourist capitals and, despite the coronavirus pandemic, is becoming an increasingly attractive destination for foreign and Russian tourists.

To help guests of the capital in difficult situations, a unique unit operates in Moscow – the tourist police.

“All tourist police officers undergo the necessary training, including foreign language courses and training in the rules of communication with tourists,” said the commander of the specialized battalion of the 1st special police regiment of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia for Moscow, on the basis of which the tourist police work, police major Ilya Letunov.

Tourist police are guides, translators, and law enforcement officers all rolled into one. They are easily identified by the special Tourist Police armband.

“Moscow is a hospitable city, and our tourist police officers are the most hospitable. They have all the necessary information about city objects, they can help guests of Moscow find the closest and most beautiful route to any attraction, hotel or restaurant,” said Alina Arutyunova, Deputy Chairman

Moscow Tourism Committee.

At the end of last year, Mosturism conducted 90 training excursions for the tourist police. Specialists of the Association of Guides-Translators, Tour Guides and Tour Managers and Digital Tourism ServiceRusspass told the police about the most famous city locations, the most frequent questions from tourists and how they should be answered. The tours were compiled around the main patrol sites (which are 21 routes), which include the famous metropolitan streets.

Aerosmith and the search for Chinese wives

In 2014, Ilya Krasnov worked as a district commissioner. At one of the morning briefings, he learned about the recruitment into the emerging unit and thus ended up in the tourist police.

“Our service mainly consists of daily patrolling of pedestrian areas in the city center. The tourist police are first and foremost the police, and the duties of a patrol officer have not disappeared anywhere. At the same time, each of us must speak at least one foreign language, have excellent physical, fire and psychological training, ”says Ilya.

Due to the specifics of the work, Ilya and his colleagues have a lot of interesting stories related to the service. Once, on the Arbat, a tourist police patrol accompanied Steven Tyler, the leader of the Aerosmith group, who arrived at a concert in Moscow.

“We walked along the Arbat, told him about this old street, about Moscow in general, because, in addition to foreign languages, we are improving in Moscow studies. At some point, Tyler saw a young musician singing along with a guitar to a crowd of people who had hit Aerosmith. For some time he listened to the singing without attracting attention, but this did not last long – the public recognized him. As a result, Mr. Tyler approached the musician and finished singing his own song with him in two voices. An excerpt from this performance has become very popular on YouTube, ”recalls Ilya.

As a rule, tourists turn to the tourist police with a request to show the way. However, there are other situations as well.

“Two citizens of China turned to our patrol on Nikolskaya Street. They could not get through to their wives, with whom they walked around GUM. The Chinese showed us photos of the girls, we passed the information on to neighboring detachments, after which the missing ones were quickly found,” says police officer Ekaterina Iletskaya, who has been serving in the battalion for seven years.

And her colleague Anastasia Medvedeva once helped a foreign citizen find a mobile phone.

“It turned out that he had left his cell phone in the taxi. Thanks to quick interaction with the nearest police department, we were able to contact the taxi driver and return the phone in just an hour,” she said.

To date, the Moscow tourist police has 191 employees. Citizens of Russia between the ages of 18 and 35, inclusive, with at least a full secondary education and knowledge of a foreign language (for example, for English, the level must be at least Intermediate) can enter the battalion.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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