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The Reparto volanti (literally "Flying Unit" but "volanti" means also "driving wheels" in Italian) controls the various Squadra Volante (mobile squads, often called "flying squads"), is a section of the Ufficio Prevenzione Generale e Soccorso Pubblico (General Office of Prevention and Public Aid) of the Italian State Police. Headed by an official of the State Police, they are present in every police station. The same service performed by personnel of a Police Commissariat is instead called "Autoradio" (radio car).
The mobile units are the public face of the State Police because their crews are in direct contact with citizens. They follow up on all calls coming to the police emergency number, dialed in Italy as 113. They therefore are called on to address all types of incidents, from simple noise complaints, domestic incidents, as well as serious crimes such as fights, muggings, robberies or murders.
Mobile units often patrol beats, with the number of simultaneous patrols depending on the size of the police station and the city. In medium and large cities, each patrol is assigned a beat, or a specific and precise area route to be covered. Beats usually coincide with areas of jurisdiction of police stations in the area, and there may be more than one per area commissioner. Each police station is headed by an inspector coordinator who is responsible for all units. This inspector provides the specific direction for the squads under his or her command.
The patrols, in addition to their role of responding to crimes in progress also work in the area of crime prevention. The policemen of the Flying Squads know their beat and the people who usually frequent it, carefully observe their surroundings, and work to prevent crime.
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