Berlin Police

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Der Polizeipräsident in Berlin
Polizei auf der Warschauer Brücke 20140622 3.jpg
Berlin Police car in Friedrichshain
Agency overview
Formed 23 June 1848
Employees 23,000 [1]
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction Berlin
Deutschland Lage Berlins.svg
Location of Berlin shown in Germany
Size 891.85 km²
Population 3,479,740
Governing body Senate of Berlin
Constituting instruments
  • (ASOG Berlin) (Law of the protection of public safety and order)
  • (StPO) (Code of criminal procedure)
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Platz der Luftbrücke 6
12101 Berlin

Agency executive
  • Barbara Slowik, Polizeipräsidentin
Official website
A police helicopter over Berlin

The Berlin Police (German: Der Polizeipräsident in Berlin -The Police Chief of Berlin-, or commonly Berliner Polizei) is the German Landespolizei force for the city-state of Berlin. Law enforcement in Germany is divided between federal and state (Land) agencies.

The Berlin Police is headed by the Police President, Barbara Slowik. Her deputy is Police Vice-President Michael Krömer. They are supported in the management of the force by the Staff Office of the Police President, the Commanders of the six Local Divisions, the Division for Central Tasks, the Criminal Investigation Department and the Central Services Division.


The “Royal Prussian Police” was founded in 1809.

In March 1848 Berlin was one of the places where the Revolution of 1848 took place (also called the March Revolution). At this time just a small number of police officers (approx. 200 officers for 400,000 citizens) with limited authority, the so-called Revierpolizei (literally police station police) existed. To fight the revolution, the chief of police, police commissioner Dr. Julius Freiherr von Minutoli asked the Prussian Army for help. They sent two guard cavalry regiments (the Regiment Gardes du Corps (cuirassiers), the 1. Garde-Dragoner Regiment "Königin Victoria von Großbritannien und Irland" (dragoons)), and three guard infantry regiments (1. and 2. Garderegiment zu Fuss, Kaiser Alexander Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Nr.1). Approximately 230 citizens were shot or killed by sabers because the guard troops had orders to, "Immer feste druff!" (~ Strike them hard!). After a couple of days the troops withdrew and a militia ("Bürgerwehr") with a strength of 20,000 men was founded. In short, the militia was worthless.

Shortly after the revolution, King Frederick William IV of Prussia founded the "Königliche Schutzmannschaft zu Berlin" in June 1848. It was the first modern police force in Germany from the viewpoint of then and today. It consisted of 1 Oberst (colonel), 5 Hauptleuten (captains), 200 Wachtmeister (sergeants) and 1,800 Schutzleute (officers), 40 of them mounted.

In 1936, during the Nazi regime it was dissolved like all other German police forces, and absorbed into the Ordnungspolizei or Orpo. The Orpo was established as a centralized organisation uniting the municipal, city, and rural uniformed forces that had been organised on a state-by-state basis. Eventually the Orpo embraced virtually all of the Third Reich's law-enforcement and emergency response organizations, including fire brigades, coast guard, civil defense, and even night watchmen. It was under the overall command of Heinrich Himmler.[2]

After the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989) and the Reunification of Germany (1990), the West Berlin police, with 20,000 employees, and the East Berlin police, with 12,000 employees; were merged under the direction of the western police chief Georg Schertz.[1] Approximately 2,300 officers changed from the West to the East and approximately 2,700 from the East to the West. 9,600 East Berlin officers were checked to be possible collaborators of the MfS (Stasi). 8,544 of them got a recommendation, 1,056 not. Approximately 2,000 were retired or resigned themselves.

The law on the Freiwillige Polizei-Reserve Berlin (FPR):[3] (volunteer police reserve) of 25 May 1961, in West Berlin, created a paramilitary organization to protect important infrastructure like power plants and drinking water supply f.e., Since the eighties it became more and more a branch in which citizens were able to voluntarily committed to the safety of their city as they were able to support the Schupo in daily service. It was Disbanded in 2002.

Police chiefs

Police unit in 1929
Polizeipräsidium, main entry

This is a list of police chiefs from 1945:[4]

  • 1945–1948: Paul Markgraf
  • 1948–1962: Johannes Stumm
  • 1962–1967: Erich Duensing
  • 1968: Georg Moch
  • 1969–1987: Klaus Hübner
  • 1987–1992: Georg Schertz
  • 1992–2001: Hagen Saberschinsky
  • 2002–2011: Dieter Glietsch
  • 2011–2012: Margarete Koppers
  • 2012–2018: Klaus Kandt
  • from 2018: Barbara Slowik


The 6 Berlin police 6 directorates


Berlin Police is divided into 6 local directorates (Direktion). Each local directorate is responsible for one to three Berliner districts:

Each Direktion had a couple of Abschnitte (precincts, all in all 38) where the patrol car staff (Schutzpolizei/Schupo) is located. Other sub departments of a Direktion are (not all listed):

  • Referat Verbrechensbekämpfung - detective branch (Kriminalpolizei/Kripo) and plainclothes units of the Schupo.
  • Referat Zentrale Aufgaben - central services:
    • Verkehrsdienst - traffic police
    • Direktionshundertschaft - a company special police
    • Diensthundführer - K9


Policemen and women
  • 17,041 police officers in uniform and plain-clothes (2018)
  • 2,526 security guards, prison-officers and staff in other law-enforcement related areas (2018)
  • 2,778 administrative staff, including management and clerical staff, technical staff and scientists of various disciplines (2018)
  • 2,808 apprentices and trainees (2018)
  • 2,500 vehicles
  • 1.46 Billion Euro annual budget (2018)


  • Landeskriminalamt (LKA):[11] The criminal investigations division is responsible for investigating the most serious crimes (exclusive tasks of the LKA like crimes against the constitution, organized crime, youth gangs or political motivated crime f.e.) and works closely with the six local directorates. The LKA supervises police operations aimed at preventing and investigating criminal offences, and coordinates investigations involving more than one Direktion.
A police bus in blue-silver livery
A Berlin police boat

Dedicated to the LKA:

  • Spezialeinsatzkommando (SEK) - The SWAT teams of the German state police.
  • Mobiles Einsatzkommando (MEK) - The MEKs are plain clothes teams of the LKA with special tasks like mentioned above and special manhunt units f.e.
  • Personenschutzkommando - Personal security plain clothes unit, protecting politicians and VIPs f.e.
  • Direktion Zentrale Aufgaben (Dir ZA):[12]

The directorate central operations has the following sub branches:

  • Bereitschaftspolizei (BePo) - Uniformed units (two battalions, each with 4 companies and an engineer unit) that provide additional manpower for the Schupo, natural disasters, sporting events, traffic control or demonstrations (riot/crowd control).
  • Wasserschutzpolizei (WSP) - The river police for patrolling rivers, lakes and harbours.
  • Zentraler Verkehrsdienst - The traffic police with many sub departments for (just examples): Honor escorts during state visits, Autobahnpolizei (highway police), tracing for vehicles without insurance or known drivers without a license, specialized units for the controlling of vehicles with hazardous materials,
  • Diensthundführer - K9
  • Polizeihubschrauberstaffel Berlin (PHuSt BE) - The Berlin Police run a Eurocopter EC135 helicopter together with the Bundespolizeipräsidium Berlin.
  • Objektschutz/Gefangenenwesen - The Berlin Police has a special branch for the guarding of buildings, especially embassies or watch over and transport convicts. These non-sworn officers are employees with limited police authority. They are armed and wear the same uniform as the Schupo but different rank insignias.
  • Zentrale Serviceeinheit (ZSE):[13] The central service unit is responsible for all administrative and logistical support. The general education and training are in charge through the police academy in Berlin.

See also


  1. ^ a b (in German) Infos and brief history of Berlin Police Archived January 22, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Williams, Max (2001). Reinhard Heydrich: The Biography: Volume 1, Ulric, p. 77.
  3. ^ (in German) Freiwilliger Polizeidienst Berlin website
  4. ^ (in German) List of police chiefs of Berlin
  5. ^ (in German) Polizeidirektion 1 Archived January 16, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ (in German) Polizeidirektion 2 Archived January 21, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ (in German) Polizeidirektion 3 Archived January 22, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ (in German) Polizeidirektion 4 Archived January 1, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ (in German) Polizeidirektion 5 Archived January 16, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ (in German) Polizeidirektion 6 Archived January 1, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ (in German) Landeskriminalamt Berlin Archived January 16, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ (in German) is an "overregional directorate" Direktion Zentrale Aufgaben Berlin Archived July 19, 2012, at
  13. ^ (in German) Zentrale Serviceeinheit Berlin Archived April 20, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.

External links

  • (in German) Berlin Police official website
  • Berlin Police logo (from
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