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State Police
Polizia di Stato
Common name Polizia
Abbreviation PdS
Stemma della Polizia di Stato.svg
Logo of the State Police.
Agency overview
Employees 110,000
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
National agency Italy
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Rome
Sworn members 104,000+
Civilians 6,000-
Child agencies
Website
http://www.poliziadistato.it

The Polizia di Stato (State Police or PdS) is one of the national police forces of Italy.

It is responsible for providing police duties in Italy; patrolling motorways (autostrada), railways, airports, customs (together with the Guardia di Finanza) as well as certain waterways, and assisting the local police forces.

It was a military force until 1981 when, with the Italian State Law 121, became a civil force[1], in contrast to the other main police forces of Italy, the Carabinieri, which is a military police (gendarmerie) force[2][3] and the Guardia di Finanza, the Italian customs and border protection police that also falls in the military corps category[4].

The Polizia di Stato is the principal Italian police force for the maintenance of public security (since it is run directly from the Ministero della Pubblica Sicurezza (Department of Public Security), and the keeping of public order.

Contents

History

See article: History of the Italian State Police

Strength

The State Police has an authorised strength by law of 115,000 persons. However, there are approximately 110,000 persons of which 16,000 are women. Just under 6,000 employees are civilian support personnel with technical skills who provide logistic and technical support.

Approximately 1,500 officers are assigned to the "neighbourhood police" service, the Polizia di Quartiere, which has a police presence on the streets and deters crime. Pairs of poliziotti (policemen) patrol areas of major cities on foot.

Organization

The headquarters of the Polizia di Stato are in Rome and its chief is referred to as the Capo della Polizia (Chief of Police) with the Rank of Director General. The Chief of the State Police is also the honorary president of the National Association of State Police. Three vice chiefs/director generals report to the chief and their main functions are:

  • accomplishment of the functions
  • planning and coordination activity
  • Director of the criminal investigation police

The force is organized on a regional and provincial basis. Every major Italian town or city has a main PdS station called a Questura run by a Questore (the provincial commander). In smaller settlements, a Vice Questore Aggiunto (deputy commander) or Commissario Capo runs the PdS offices. There are also sub-stations for some districts.

Headquarters organization

Historic Italian State Police "Panther" Alfa Romeo Giulia Super of the Flying Squad

Units and specialty of the State Police:

  • musical band (former Musical Band of the Body of the Guards of P.S.)
  • data processing and computer center
  • interregional regional collection centers
  • direction centers for anti-crime
  • direction centers for the instruction institutes
  • Inspector general's office of public safety for civil aviation and Ministry of Transportation
  • Inspector general's office of public safety for Ministry of the Communications
  • Inspector general's office of public safety for Ministry of Labor and the social political
  • Inspector general's office of public safety Palace of the Viminale
  • Inspector general's office of public safety for the Senate of the Republic
  • Inspector general's office of public safety for the Chamber of deputies
  • Inspector general's office of public safety for Vatican City
  • Inspector general's office of public safety for the Prime Minister's Office
  • Inspector general's office of public safety for the Presidency of the Republic
  • emergency operating unit(NOCS)
  • gaming and betting police
  • mountain police
  • postal and communications police (formerly the postal police)
  • immigration and frontier police
  • air police
  • marine police
  • railroad police
  • scientific police
  • highway patrol
  • mobile units (former Rapid Units of the Body of Guards of P.S.)
  • mounted unit
  • unit artificers
  • canine unit
  • Advanced school of Police (former advanced Institute of Police, former Academy Guards of P.S.)
  • aerial service
  • health service
  • Gold Flames - the sport group

Regional organization

The Interregional Directorates are:

These last ones only since 2007.

Questura

There is a Questura in each of the 103 Italian provincial capitals. It is responsible for all the activities carried out by the Polizia di Stato within the province.

Commissariato

In major cities and highly populated towns there are police stations named "Commissariato". Each Commissariato is under the authority of the provincial Questura. Their task is to control, prevent and fight crime in their jurisdiction, and to deal with paperwork as to, among other things, requests for gun licences, passports, permits, and regularization of foreigners.

Polizia di Quartiere are community police. Pairs of poliziotti (policemen) patrol areas of major cities on foot. They are equipped with palm computers and mobile phones to respond to citizens' requests in real time.

Special operations

About 24,000 officers, that is almost a quarter of police personnel, work within the Traffic Police (Polizia Stradale), Railroad Police (Polizia Ferroviaria), Post and Telecommunications Police (Polizia Postale) and Border and Immigration Police.

Traffic police

Polizia di Stato Squadra volanti in Rome

The Polizia Stradale are a highway patrol organization. They police the 7,000 kilometers of motorways (autostrada) in Italy and the main highways and arterial roads outside towns. Their duties are the prevention and detection of driving offences, car accident reports, planning and carrying out of services to regulate traffic, providing escorts for road safety, protection and control of the road network, rescue operations and cooperation in the collection of traffic flow data.

Railroad Police

The Polizia Ferroviaria, or PolFer for short, ensure the security of travelers and their belongings on trains and at stations plus the safety and control of dangerous goods. Railroad Police officers patrol, in particular, long-distance and night trains, and at stations in big cities where vagrants often accumulate. Rete Ferroviaria Italiana and other Ferrovie dello Stato companies co-operate fully with the railroad police in dealing with railway security for passengers.

Post and telecommunications

The Polizia Postale investigates all crimes that use communications as part of its modus operandi such as computer hacking, online child pornography, credit card fraud, spreading computer viruses or software copyright violations.

Immigration and Border Police

To control the flow of migrants into Italy, the Department of Public Security set up the Immigration and Border Police Service (Polizia di Frontiera), to enforce regulations concerning the entry and stay of aliens in Italy. The service operates at both central and local level with many land, air and maritime border police offices.

The service is also responsible for passport control, the issuing of residence permits, as well as the prevention and control of illegal immigration. Although due to the Schengen Agreement many borders have or are about to disappear, the division is still present on all borders to do systematic or random checks. In airports the border police are in charge of security (hand baggage searches are done by airport companies or private security companies but are supervised by the Polizia di Frontiera and by the Guardia di Finanza) and immigration checks.

Mobile Units

There are 13 mobile units located in the main Italian cities. These can be deployed throughout the country to maintain public order with crowd-control equipment and vehicles or perform rescue services in areas affected by natural disasters. These units employ personnel that are trained and equipped for their task.

The PdS’s bomb disposal units, mounted detachments, canine units, air support squadrons and maritime and river police units all fall under the mobile unit HQ.

Anti Terrorism Police

Photo of Army Parade in Rome, 2 June 2006, Republic Day. NOCS special groups

The Anti Terrorism Police is a specialist body made up of the Central Directorate for the Anti Terrorism Police and of the Branches for General Investigations and Special Operations (DIGOS - Investigazioni Generali operazioni speciali Antiterrorismo), located in the questure at the local level. The Directorate for the Anti Terrorism Police has two departments: one is mainly responsible for information collection and analysis while the other develops and coordinates investigations aimed at preventing and fighting terrorism. The Nucleo Operativo Centrale di Sicurezza (Central Security Operations Group) is the State Police’s elite SWAT unit.

Training

Recruit training is carried out at the police academy and at an advanced school for senior police officers. There are schools for basic training of cadet officers and technical operators, for teaching police specialties, for instructors, pilots, dog handlers and mounted police officers and the community police school.

Vehicles

Alfa Romeo 156 Polizia di Stato in Rome
Motorcyclists of the Polizia di Stato in Rome

The State Police use Italian vehicles ranging from 1994 Fiat Puntos to the Alfa Romeo 159 2,4 JTD, and foreign makes such as the Subaru Legacy SW and Subaru Forester, BMW E46 and E91, Volvo XC70.

In May 2004 the PdS received two Lamborghini Gallardos equipped with V10 engines and 520 bhp (390 kW) in the classic blue white livery with accessories such as a container for transporting organs and a defibrillator. The cars are used on the A3 Salerno-Reggio Calabria motorway and the A14 Bologna-Taranto.[5]


See also

References

External links








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