Berlin Police

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Berlin Police
Der Polizeipräsident in Berlin
Common name Berliner Polizei / Polizei Berlin
Berlin Police Patch.svg
Patch of the Berlin Police
Agency overview
Formed 23 June, 1848
Employees 22,000 [1]
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Deutschland Lage Berlins.svg
Location of Berlin shown in Germany
Size 891.85 km²
Population 3,479,740
Governing body Senate of Berlin
Constituting instruments
  • Allgemeines Gesetz zum Schutz der öffentlichen Sicherheit und Ordnung (ASOG Berlin) (Law of the protection of public safety and order)
  • Strafprozeßordnung (StPO) (Code of criminal procedure)
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Platz der Luftbrücke 6
12101 Berlin
Agency executive Margarete Koppers, Polizeipräsident
Official website
Berliner map divided into the 6 directorates
A patrol car in green-silver livery

The Berlin Police (German: Der Polizeipräsident in Berlin -The Police Chief of Berlin-, or commonly Berliner Polizei) is the German Landespolizei force for the city-state of Berlin. Law enforcement in Germany is divided between federal and state (Land) agencies.



In March 1848 Berlin was one of the places were the Revolution of 1848 took place (also called the March Revolution). At this time just a small number of police officers (approx. 200 officers for 400,000 citizens) with limited authority, the so-called Revierpolizei (literally police station police) existed. To fight the revolution, the chief of police, police commissioner Dr. Julius Freiher von Minutoli asked the Prussian army for help. They send two guard cavallery regiments (the Regiment Gardes du Corps (cuirassiers), the 1. Garde-Dragoner Regiment "Königin Victoria von Großbritannien und Irland" (dragoons)), and three guard infantry regiments (1. and 2. Garderegiment zu Fuss, Kaiser Alexander Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Nr.1). Approximately 230 citizens were shot or killed by saber because the guard troops had the order "Immer feste druff!" (~ strike them hard). After a couple of days the troops withdrew and a militia ("Bürgerwehr") with a strength of 20,000 men was founded. In short, the militia was worthless.

Shortly after the revolution, King Frederick William IV of Prussia founded the "Königliche Schutzmannschaft zu Berlin" in June 1848. It was the first modern police force in Germany from the viewpoint of then and today. It consisted of:

  • 1 Oberst (colonel)
  • 5 Hauptleuten (captains)
  • 200 Wachtmeister (sergeants)
  • 1,800 Schutzleute (officers), 40 of them mounted.

In 1936, during the Nazi regime it was dissolved like all other German police forces, and replaced by the Ordnungspolizei or Orpo. The Orpo was established as a centralized organisation uniting the municipal, city, and rural uniformed forces that had been organised on a state-by-state basis. Eventually the Orpo embraced virtually all of the Third Reich's law-enforcement and emergency response organizations, including fire brigades, coast guard, civil defense, and even night watchmen. It was under the command of Heinrich Himmler.[2]

After the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989) and the Reunification of Germany (1990), the West Berlin police, with 20,000 employees, and the East Berlin police, with 12,000 employees; were merged under the direction of the western police chief Georg Schertz.[1] Approximately 2,300 officers changed from the West to the East and approximately 2,700 from the East to the West. 9,600 East Berlin officers were checked to be possible collaborators of the MfS (Stasi). 8,544 of them got a recommendation, 1,056 not. Approximately 2,000 were retired or resigned themself.

Police chiefs[edit]

This is a list of police chiefs from 1945:[3]



Berlin Police is divided into 6 local directorates (Direktion). Each local directorate is responsible for one to three Berliner districts:

Each Direktion had a couple of Abschnitte (precincts, all in all 38) where the patrol car staff (Schutzpolizei/Schupo) is located. Other sub departments of a Direktion are (not all listed):

  • Referat Verbrechensbekämpfung - detective branch (Kriminalpolizei/Kripo) and plain chlothes units of the Schupo.
  • Referat Zentrale Aufgaben - central services:
    • Verkehrsdienst - traffic police
    • Direktionshundertschaft - a company special police
    • Diensthundführer - K9


  • Landeskriminalamt (LKA):[10] The criminal investigations division is responsible for investigating the most serious crimes (exclusive tasks of the LKA like crimes against the constitution, organized crime, youth gangs or political motivated crime f.e.) and works closely with the six local directorates. The LKA supervises police operations aimed at preventing and investigating criminal offences, and coordinates investigations involving more than one Direktion.

Dedicated to the LKA:

  • Spezialeinsatzkommando (SEK) - The SWAT teams of the German state police. (In Hamburg MEK.)
  • Mobiles Einsatzkommando (MEK) - The MEKs are plain clothes teams of the LKA with special tasks like mentioned above and special manhunt units f.e.
  • Personenschutzkommando - Personal security plain clothes unit, protecting politicians and VIPs f.e.
  • Direktion Zentrale Aufgaben (Dir ZA):[11]

The directorate central operations has the following sub branches:

  • Bereitschaftspolizei (BePo) - Uniformed units (two battalions, each with 4 companies and an engineer unit) that provide additional manpower for the Schupo, natural disasters, sporting events, traffic control or demonstrations (riot/crowd control).
  • Wasserschutzpolizei (WSP) - The river police for patrolling rivers, lakes and harbours.
  • Zentraler Verkehrsdienst - The traffic police with many sub departments for (just examples): Honor escorts during state visits, Autobahnpolizei (highway police), tracing for vehicles without insurance or known drivers without a license, specialized units for the controlling of vehicles with hazardous materials,
  • Diensthundführer - K9
  • Polizeihubschrauberstaffel Berlin (PHuSt BE) - The Berlin Police run a Eurocopter EC135 helicopter together with the Bundespolizeipräsidium Berlin.
  • Objektschutz/Gefangenenwesen - The Berlin Police has a special branch for the guarding of buildings, espacially embassies or watch over and transport convicts. These non-sworn officers are employees with limited police authority. They are armed and wear the same uniform as the Schupo but different rank insignias.
  • Zentrale Serviceeinheit (ZSE):[12] The central service unit is responsible for all administrative and logistical support. The general education and training are in charge through the police academy in Berlin.
  • Freiwillige Polizei-Reserve Berlin (FPR):[13] The law on the volunteer police reserve of 25 May 1961, in West Berlin, created a paramilitary organization to protect important infrastructure like power plants and drinking water supply f.e., Since the eighties it became more and more a branch in which citizens were able to voluntarily committed to the safety of their city as they were able to support the Schupo in daily service. Disbanded in 2002.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b (German) Infos and brief history of Berlin Police
  2. ^ Lumsden, Robin. A Collector's Guide To: The Allgemeine - SS, p 80.
  3. ^ (German) List of police chiefs of Berlin
  4. ^ (German) Polizeidirektion 1
  5. ^ (German) Polizeidirektion 2
  6. ^ (German) Polizeidirektion 3
  7. ^ (German) Polizeidirektion 4
  8. ^ (German) Polizeidirektion 5
  9. ^ (German) Polizeidirektion 6
  10. ^ (German) Landeskriminalamt Berlin
  11. ^ (German) is an "overregional directorate" Direktion Zentrale Aufgaben Berlin
  12. ^ (German) Zentrale Serviceeinheit Berlin
  13. ^ (German) Freiwilliger Polizeidienst Berlin website

External links[edit]