Bavarian State Police

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The uniform patch of the Bavarian Police Force
A Eurocopter EC-135 police helicopter of the Bavarian Police

The Bavarian State Police (German: Bayerische Polizei) has approximately 33,500 armed officers and roughly 8,500 other civilian employees and is therefore the biggest police force in Germany. The Bavarian police is well-known for the coordinated and consistent actions against even minor crimes.


The 10 regional police authorities in Bavaria are:

Bavaria reorganised its police structure between 2005 and 2008 to reduce bureaucracy, changing from a four-tier hierarchy (Interior Ministry– Regional administration – Police Department – Police Station) to three levels (Interior Ministry, Regional Police Authority, Police Station). The seven Polizeipräsidien in Würzburg, Bayreuth, Regensburg, Nuremberg, Augsburg, Munich and Oberbayern (HQ in Munich) gave way to the 10 new areas and the Polizeidirektionen disappeared.[1]

The reorganisation required the rewiring of all police radio and emergency notification networks which are not located only at each regional police authority.

State Investigation Bureau[edit]

Bavaria is also very interested in cooperation with Eastern European countries. As a significant percentage of Bavaria’s crimes are committed by organized gangs from Eastern Europe, it makes sense to cooperate with the police forces there to stop these gangs. The Bavarian Landeskriminalamt (State Investigation Bureau) is situated in Munich and employs 1,800 officers and civilian staff. Its missions are: witness protection, state security, undercover investigations, statistics, monitoring the development of crime, crime prevention, criminal investigations analysis, exchange of information with foreign countries and forensic science.

Special Units[edit]

Bavaria has different special units, which are the

  • two Spezialeinsatzkommandos (SEK) (SWAT teams), one is stationed in Nuremberg for use in the north of the state and one is attached to the Munich Police Department to cover the south of Bavaria. The SEK of South Bavaria has a mountain detachment for operations in the Alps.
  • three Mobile Einsatzkommandos (MEK) (mobile response units), one of which is attached to the SEK based in Nuremberg and the other two to the Munich SEK,
  • two Technische Einsatzkommandos (TEK) (technical response units), one at Nuremberg and the other at Munich,
  • four Unterstützungskommandos (USK) (Special Support Groups) attached to the Police Support Group and based in Dachau, Munich, Nuremberg and Würzburg
  • an Alpine Einsatzzug (Alpine Operations Platoon), based in Rosenheim.

Police Support[edit]

The Police Support Group HQ (Bereitschaftspolizeipräsidium) in Bamberg employs 6,000 officers and civilian staff at seven Bereitschaftspolizeiabteilungen (BPA), the police schools, the police orchestra and the police helicopter squadron. The BPAs are situated in Munich, Eichstätt, Würzburg, Nuremberg, Königsbrunn, Dachau and Sulzbach-Rosenberg and have 10 companies as the state’s mobile police reserve. The helicopter squadron has nine modern choppers stationed at Munich Airport and Roth Airfield near Nuremberg. Bavaria has two basic training schools, one professional development school and a police dog school.

River Police[edit]

The Bavarian River Police is directly subordinate to the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior. The headquarters is in Nuremberg and has 10 river police stations along the Main and Danube rivers and the Main-Danube Canal. It also supports 14 police stations that cover the major lakes in Bavaria.

Neighbourhood Watch[edit]

Citizens in Bavaria have been participating in public safety since 1994. This commitment to civic action is seen in the Sicherheitswacht Neighborhood Watch program, where approx. 800 citizens in 125 Bavarian towns (July 2016) voluntarily assist their local police.[2]


A 2012 BMW 535d station wagon (BMW F11) with the old livery of the Bavarian Police. From September 2016, all new police cars will have the blue livery.

The most used car brand is BMW. The most used handgun is Heckler & Koch P7 (9mm).

Notable cases[edit]

  • 9 November 1923: Attempted putsch by the NSDAP suppressed by the Bavarian State Police with the Reichswehr.
  • 12 May 1972: Bomb attack on the main building of the Bavarian State Investigation Bureau in Munich by the Red Army Faction, 3 people were injured and 60 police cars were damaged.
  • 5 September 1972: Palestinian terrorists attacked the Israeli team during the Olympic Games in Munich, known as the Munich massacre.
  • 10 August 1994: Discovery of 363g of plutonium on a smuggler at Munich's Franz Josef Strauss airport; the so-called plutonium affair.
  • July 1998: Giorgio Basile who killed 30 people was arrested in Kempten and turned state witness providing testimony for the arrest of 50 Mafia members in Germany.
  • 14 January 2005: The fashion designer Rudolph Moshammer was found murdered in his house. One day later the murderer was arrested through a DNA analysis match and sentenced to life imprisonment.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bavarian Interior Ministry news release on reorganisation (in German)
  2. ^ Bavarian Police Neighborhood Watch homepage

External links[edit]