Law enforcement in Panama

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Public Force
National Police of Panama
National Police of Panama.
Service branches
Policía Nacional
(National Police)
Servicio Nacional de Fronteras (SENAFRONT) - escudo (shadows detail) - Panamá 2011.png
Servicio Nacional de Fronteras
(National Borders Service)

Servicio Nacional Aeronaval
(National Aeronaval Service)
Servicio de Protección Institucional (SPI) - Panamá 2011 (escudo).png
Servico de Protección Institucional
(Institutional Protection Service)

Panama abolished its army in 1990, confirmed by a unanimous vote by the National Assembly of Panama for constitutional change in 1994. Some units within the Public Force (Police, Coast Guard, Air Service and Institutional Security) have limited warfare capabilities.


Police checkpoints have become common place on weekends on roads in between cities.


Panamanian authorities have adopted a curfew policy for youths under age 18. Students who are attending night classes must carry a permit or identification card, provided by the school or an official certified person. Youths under 18 who are caught without them are subject to detention at a police station until they are released to their legal guardians. A fine around $50.00 is issued to the legal guardians if the youth is apprehended for the first time.

Curfews consist of special strategic checkpoints around the main streets in Panama. Each person inside a vehicle must carry their identification cards or be accompanied by their legal guardians. Authorities have helped slowly decrease the amount of unattended youths loitering around the streets. Most thefts and kidnappings are carried out by minors.

See also[edit]



  1. World Police Encyclopedia, ed. by Dilip K. Das & Michael Palmiotto. by Taylor & Francis. 2004,
  2. World Encyclopedia of Police Forces and Correctional Systems, 2nd. edition, Gale., 2006
  3. Sullivan, Larry E. et al. Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 2005.