* 1 History
* 2 Organization
* 2.1 Territorial * 2.2 Operational
* 3 Training * 4 Sidearm
* 5 Appearance
* 5.1 Post WWII * 5.2 Green uniforms * 5.3 Blue uniforms
* 6 Exceptions * 7 See also * 8 References * 9 External links
World War II
In all three Western zones, the emphasis was to decentralise,
demilitarise and democratise the police. Some restrictions were lifted
as Cold War tensions grew and certain police functions necessitated
central rather than local direction. The
The uniform patch of the Bavarian
All state police forces are subordinate to the Land Minister of the Interior. The internal structures of these police forces differ somewhat (which makes generalizations subject to local variation), but usually immediately subordinate to the interior ministries are the regional police headquarters (called Präsidium in most states, Landespolizeidirektion in Baden-Württemberg). These direct operations over a wide area or in a big city and have administrative and supervisory functions.
The Präsidium often has direct control of the force’s specialist units such as highway patrols , mounted police detachments and canine units. Under the regional headquarters, there are several district police headquarters (Direktionen) serving communities of from 200,000 to 600,000 citizens. Subordinate to each Direktion, there are several local stations (Inspektion) or precincts (Revier) that are manned on a 24-hour basis, conduct day-to-day policing and serve as points of contact for local citizens. Below this level, the Polizeiposten is a small police office manned by one or two officers, normally only during office hours.
Pocket badge of the Munich police force
Once skilled, officers of the state police can be moved theoretically nationwide. In practice, such requests are made by the officers themselves. They usually swap workplaces with an exchange partner from another federal state ('Stellentausch', job rotation). Such an exchange is thus possible nationwide and is not dependent on the state.
State police forces are divided into the following branches:
* Schutzpolizei ("Schupo") - the uniformed police officers who patrol the streets and respond to emergency calls etc.
Since the mid-late seventies the following police departments are sub branches of the Schupo:
* Bereitschaftspolizei (BePo) - Uniformed units of the LaPo that provide additional manpower for the Schupo, natural disasters, sporting events, traffic control or demonstrations.
In 1950 the Bepo was founded as a paramilitary organized, armed and trained police force; today their main task is riot/crowd control. In some states the police academy is still part of the Bepo. It is common that after the police academy the younger officers had to serve three to five years with the Bepo.
* Verkehrspolizei - The traffic police in Germany. * Autobahnpolizei - The highway patrol in Germany. In some states the Autobahnpolizei is a sub division of the Verkehrspolizei department. * Wasserschutzpolizei (WSP) - The river police for patrolling rivers, lakes and harbours. For practical reasons the WSP of one state may be in charge for territory of another state (e.g., in Hamburg, the WSP is in charge for the Elbe River in the states of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg.)
It is common that all of the branches listed above serves in uniform and in plain clothes too. A lot of states have plain cloth units to fight the so-called street crimes (e.g. burglary, car theft, drug dealing) build up 100% with Schupo officers.
* Wachpolizei ("Wapo") - Today called Angestellte im Objektschutz/Gefangenenwesen (employees guarding buildings, embassies or watch over and transport convicts), are non-sworn officers in, e.g., Berlin and Baden-Würtemberg. * Kriminalpolizei ("Kripo") - the detective branch, responsible for investigations. For instance, if a car is broken into, the Schupo will respond, secure the car, notify the owner etc., and then hand the case over to Kripo for investigation. This is called "Erster Angriff", literally "first advance". * Landeskriminalamt (LKA) - State Investigation Bureau supervises police operations aimed at preventing and investigating criminal offences, and coordinates investigations involving more than one Präsidium. Some crimes are exclusive tasks of the LKA like crimes against the constitution, organized crime, youth gangs or political motivated crime.
Dedicated to the LKA:
Spezialeinsatzkommando (SEK) - The
SWAT teams of the German state
The individual Länder and the Federal
German citizenship is not required to be a police officer in Germany.
The Land police have had women members since the forces were reconstituted after World War II. Initially, female officers were only assigned to cases involving juveniles and women but in the mid-1970s they were allowed to become patrol officers. The proportion of women on patrol duty is set to rise as 40-50 percent of police school inductees are currently female.
Most police recruits are taken on directly after leaving school and spend about two and a half years at police school in combined classroom tuition and on-the-job training with police departments and the Bereitschaftspolizei . These people qualify as regular police officers and wear green (or light blue on the new blue uniforms) stars on their shoulder straps, denoting rank in the first echelon of the police service.
After duty as a patrol officer, someone with an outstanding record or
wealth of experience can go on to two or three years at a higher
police school or college of public administration to qualify for the
upper echelon which starts with Polizeikommissar (one silver star) and
ascends to Erster Polizeihauptkommissar (four or five silver stars).
Direct entry candidates with the
The very few candidates who qualify for the police service’s
executive ranks study for one year at a state police academy and then
for another at the German
Heckler & Koch USP - P10 variant was adopted by
From 1945 till 1976, the various Länder had a wide array of insignia
and rank. Additionally, uniforms colours varied from green to blue,
and various shades thereof. For example, the City State of Hamburg
police NCOs wore blue uniforms with inverted British style chevrons
and the Schleswig Holstein police wore Green uniforms with Third Reich
style rank. Bavaria maintained a State
Older style green uniform jacket of the Hesse State Police
From 1945 all German police forces wore different colored uniforms
but since the mid seventies the police of all West German Länder and
West Berlin wore the same uniform, that
Heinz Oestergaard designed
most parts of in the early seventies. The standard uniform consisted
of tunic, parka, pullover without shroud, coat, visor cap and neck tie
in moss-green, trouser, pullover and cardigan in brown-beige, shirt
(long and short sleeve) in bamboo-yellow. Shoes, boots, holsters,
leather jackets and other leather gear were black. Leather gloves were
olive-drab. Exceptions were the visor caps with a white top worn by
the Verkehrspolizei, or traffic police. The Verkehrspolizei wore white
gloves, tunics and coats were during traffic regulation and ceremonial
duties (like white holsters and leather gear). In some Länder all
officers worn visor caps with white tops in general. The
Wasserschutzpolizei wore uniforms of a slightly different design. They
had dark or navy-blue jackets, the shirt was white and the visor cap
had a white top. The BGS wore a forest green uniform with
bamboo-yellow shirt. After German reunification, the
broken up into
However, because most European countries have blue or black police uniforms, most German states as well as the federal police introduced new blue uniforms to conform with the common blue image of the police in Europe. At present (August 2012) only the police forces in Bavaria and the Saarland are not intending to alter the Oestergaard design, whereas the other states have already begun or completed the shift from green to blue.
Vehicle markings were also redesigned to conform to a white and green
livery with the legend “Polizei” in bold lettering. However,
around 2000, another change occurred in the vehicles. They went from
the green/white scheme to green/silver. However, during both changes
BGS vehicles remained all green.
Starting in 2005 a slow process of change began, moving away from the green uniforms to an internationally recognized blue uniform. The first state to convert to a blue uniform was Hamburg. One by one, other states followed suit. Cap badges, patches and rank remained the same as before, just in blue. Vehicle liveries also changed to a silver/blue design. The Bavarian State Police was the only one still wearing the old uniform. Bavarian authorities have announced to switch over to blue uniforms modeled after the current Austrian police uniform by the end of 2016.
The Bundeskriminalamt (BKA - the German Federal Investigation Bureau)
and the Bundespolizei (BPOL - Federal Police, formerly known as the
Bundesgrenzschutz/BGS) are federal institutions that are not part of
the Landespolizei. Another police is the Polizei beim Deutschen
* Crime in
* ^ OSCE entry
* ^ 'Deutsche Einigungskriege' (Wars of German Unification),
Bibliographisches Institut & F. A. Brockhaus AG, Mannheim
retrieved April 9, 2015
* ^ § 10 II 17, ALR ('Allgemeines Landesrecht für die
preußischen Staaten', General state laws for the Prussian states),
* ^ Article 'Die Ordnungspolizei' (The Order Police) from 'Lexikon
der Wehrmacht' (Lexicon of Wehrmacht)
retrieved April 9, 2015
* ^ § 15, Beamtenstatusgesetz (Civil Servants Status Act) of
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