Royal Lao Police

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Royal Lao Police
Police royale laotiènne
Royal Seal of the Kingdom of Laos.svg
Seal of the Royal Lao Police.
Agency overview
Formed 1949
Dissolved 1975
Jurisdiction National
Headquarters Vientiane
Employees (unknown)
Annual budget (unknown)
Agency executive

The Royal Lao Police (French: Police royale laotiènne – PRL), was the official national police force of the Kingdom of Laos from 1949 to 1975, operating closely with the Royal Lao Armed Forces (FAR) during the Laotian Civil War between 1960 and 1975.


The Laotian security forces were divided into several 'branches of service', which comprised a plainclothes criminal investigation department, an urban constabulary, a regional gendarmerie and an counter-insurgency armed support unit. All these formations were answerable to the Laotian Ministry of the Interior of the Royal Lao Government in Vientiane.


The regular Laotian Police branch, this was the uniformed urban constabulary tasked of providing security and maintaining law and order in the main population centers, including the nation's capital city and the provincial capitals.


Direct heir of the French colonial 'Indigenous Guard', the paramilitary Laotian Gendarmerie was tasked of patrolling the countryside.

Directorate of National Coordination/Frontier Police[edit]

One particular ‘branch’ of the Laotian security forces that is worth mention is the Directorate of National Coordination or DNC (French: Direction de Coordination Nationale – DCN). The DNC was an airborne-qualified paramilitary élite police field force closely modelled after the Royal Thai Police Police Aerial Resupply Unit (PARU) 'Commandos' and similar in function to the Republic of Vietnam National Police Field Force. The unit had its origins in September 1960, when the PRL command ordered the creation of a ‘Special Mobile Group’ (French: Groupement Mobile Speciale – GMS) composed of two paramilitary special battalions (French: Bataillons Speciales – BS), 11th and 33rd BS.

List of PRL commanders[edit]

Notable PRL field commanders[edit]

Uniforms and insignia[edit]

Royal Lao Police ranks[edit]

  • SipPatrolman/Patrolwoman (no insignia)
  • SipPatrolman 1st class/Patrolwoman 1st class (one red chevron pointed up)
  • Sip TriiCorporal (one white chevron pointed up)
  • Sip ThóSergeant (two white chevrons pointed up)
  • Sip ÊekStaff Sergeant (three white chevrons pointed up)
  • Cãã TriiSergeant 1st class (one gold chevron edged red pointed down)
  • Cãã ThóMaster Sergeant (two gold chevrons edged red pointed down)
  • Cãã ÊekSergeant Major (three gold chevrons edged red pointed down)
  • Loei Trïï2nd Lieutenant (one five-pointed gold star)
  • Loei Thö1st Lieutenant (two five-pointed gold stars)
  • Loei ÊekCaptain (three five-pointed gold stars)
  • Phan TrïïMajor (one five-pointed star on a gold disc)
  • Phan ThöLieutenant-Colonel (two five-pointed stars, one on a gold disc)
  • Phan ÊekColonel (three five-pointed stars, one on a gold disc)
  • Phoun ChatääväBrigadier-General (two five-pointed silver stars)
  • Phoun TrïïMajor-General/Director of the Royal Lao Police (three five-pointed silver stars)

See also[edit]


  • Kenneth Conboy and Simon McCouaig, The War in Laos 1960-75, Men-at-arms series 217, Osprey Publishing Ltd, London 1989. ISBN 9780850459388
  • Kenneth Conboy and Simon McCouaig, South-East Asian Special Forces, Elite series 33, Osprey Publishing Ltd, London 1991. ISBN 1-85532-106-8

Further reading[edit]

  • Kenneth Conboy and Don Greer, War in Laos, 1954-1975, Carrolton, TX: Squadron/Signal Publications, 1994. ISBN 0897473159

External links[edit]