Municipal police (Germany)

Patch of the Munich City Police

Stadtpolizei were municipal police forces of some cities in Germany. The term Stadtpolizei is used nowadays in some German states to denote local public order forces of municipal authorities.


After 1945, there were many local and city police forces, such as the Munich Police Force, throughout Germany. Small towns and rural areas that could not or did not want to afford their own police force were covered by the Landpolizei which was a rural police force organised by the state government. This decentralised system was forced by the US/British-Military Governments after World War II. However, it was not effective in fighting the rise of organised crime and terrorism (Baader-Meinhof/RAF). So the local and city police forces were merged with the Landpolizei to form the Landespolizei during the major reorganisation of the German police in the mid-seventies.

Local public order force

Currently, many cities in Germany also have a local public order force. Depending on each state's laws, the name of the force that performs these limited police-type functions could be: Ordnungsamt, Kommunaler Ordnungsdienst, Städtischer Ordnungsdienst, Stadtpolizei.

These city employees mainly wear uniform but some could be in plain clothes and are the municipal administration's eyes and ears on the street. Depending on each state's laws, these local employees could be armed or unarmed. Mostly they are charged with monitoring municipal by-laws and laws that fall under the responsibility of municipalities, which include monitoring the conduct of shop owners, sanitation inspections, veterinary inspections and minor infractions and misdemeanors such as illegal parking, littering, state and local dog regulations etc. They usually only hand out warnings and fines and can only perform a citizen's arrest as any other citizen can. If they see any major crimes they are required to call the State police. In few states however, municipal police officers do have the same rights, powers and obligations like their counterparts in the state police. This is particularly the case in the state of Baden-Württemberg. Municipal Police Officers in Baden-Württemberg can use force, make an arrest, regulate traffic, ask for identification, search a person, investigate misdemeanors and contravention for the state prosecutor among others. The tasks of a municipal police force depends on the size of the municipality's territory and the number of inhabitants in which it is operating. The police authority (Polizeibehörde) of a town or city can transfer more tasks and responsibilities to its police force, only if approved from the regional government (Regierungspräsidium).

See also


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