National Police (France)

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National Police
Police nationale
Police nationale France police patch blanc.jpg
Badge of the National Police.
MottoPro patria vigilant[1]
Agency overview
FormedJuly 9, 1966
Preceding agencySûreté nationale (1944–1966)
Employees144,000 (in 2011)
Legal personalityGovernmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
National agencyFrance
Size551,695 km²
Population65 million (approx.)
Governing bodyCabinet of France
General nature
Operational structure
Overviewed byDirection générale de la police nationale
HeadquartersParis, France
Minister responsibleManuel Valls, Ministry of the Interior
Agency executiveClaude Baland, Director-General
Directorates
Facilities
Helicopters45
Website
Official website (French)
 
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National Police
Police nationale
Police nationale France police patch blanc.jpg
Badge of the National Police.
MottoPro patria vigilant[1]
Agency overview
FormedJuly 9, 1966
Preceding agencySûreté nationale (1944–1966)
Employees144,000 (in 2011)
Legal personalityGovernmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
National agencyFrance
Size551,695 km²
Population65 million (approx.)
Governing bodyCabinet of France
General nature
Operational structure
Overviewed byDirection générale de la police nationale
HeadquartersParis, France
Minister responsibleManuel Valls, Ministry of the Interior
Agency executiveClaude Baland, Director-General
Directorates
Facilities
Helicopters45
Website
Official website (French)

The National Police (French: Police nationale), formerly the Sûreté nationale, is one of two national police forces and the main civil law enforcement agency of France, with primary jurisdiction in cities and large towns. The other main agency is the military Gendarmerie, with primary jurisdiction in smaller towns and rural and border areas. The National Police comes under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior and has about 145,699 employees (in April 2008).

The National Police operate mostly in large cities and towns. In that context:

Organization[edit]

The police is commanded by the director-general (directeur général de la police nationale) who is currently Claude Baland. The director-general is directly in charge of the General Directorate of the National Police (French: Direction Générale de la Police nationale) (DGPN).[2]

The police is then sub-divided into directorates:

The Préfet de Police, currently Bernard Boucault (fr), under direct orders of the Minister manages the Préfecture de Police de Paris which includes all police and security services in Paris and neighboring departments, those services are not under control of the director-general. The police forces in the other departments of the Île-de-France are under direct command of the Préfet who are under supervision of the Préfet de Police. Nevertheless, those units are under control of the director-general

Former directorates[edit]

As of 1 July 2008, the following two National Police directorates:

were merged into one single domestic intelligence agency titled the Direction centrale du renseignement intérieur (DCRI). The DCRI was placed directly under the Ministry of the Interior.[4] The current director is Claude Baland, who had also formerly served as Intelligence director of the DGSE and before a member of the DST.

Ranks[edit]

The National Police is divided into three corps, in the terminology of the French Civil Service, in ascending order of seniority:

All the ranks insignia may be worn either on the shoulders or on the chest. In the latter they are square-shaped.

Prior to 1995 two civilian corps ("Inspecteurs" and "Enquêteurs") existed in which plain-clothes officers were given the training and authority to conduct investigations. The closest Anglo-American equivalent is the detective.

Equipment[edit]

Weapons[edit]

SP 2022, the present standard issued sidearm of French police officers.

In 1935, the French police used a variety of side arms, both revolvers and semi-automatic pistols, notably comprising the MAS 1873, the MAS 1892, the FN M1900, Ruby pistols, and a variety of privately purchased weapons.

Immediately after the Second World War, a variety of military side arms was used, often captured weapons provided by the Army or French-produced German-designed weapons, such as the Mauser HSc or the Walther P38 for sidearms, and the Karabiner 98k rifle.

In 1951, a standardisation was performed on the RR 51 pistol[5] in 7.65mm, and on the MAS-38 and MAT-49 for sub-machine guns. From 1953, in the context of heightening violence of the Algeria War, CRS units were upgraded to the 9mm MAC Mle 1950

In the early 1960x, large-caliber revolvers were introduced, culminating with the introduction of the Manurhin MR 73 and the Ruger SP-101. In the 80s, a process to standardize revolvers was initiated. The 1970s also saw the introduction of assault rifles[clarification needed] (such as the SIG SG 543) to fend off heavily armed organised crime and terrorism.

In the 2000s, the police started switching to semi-automatic pistols and to the 9mm parabellum cartridge. For some years, the standard sidearm in the National Police and the Gendarmerie Nationale was the PAMAS G1, which was French licensed and made. In 2003 both agencies made the biggest small arms contract since the Second World War[6] for about 250,000 SIG SIG Sauer Pro SP 2022s, a custom-tailored variant of the SIG Pro, replacing the PAMAS-G1 and several other pistols in service. The weapons are planned to stay in service until the year 2022, hence the weapon name.

For greater threats the police use slightly modified Ruger Mini-14s purchased in the 1970s.

Cars[edit]

While the vast majority of vehicles are screen printed French brand (mainly Renault, Citroen and Peugeot), some service vehicles are provided by Ford and Opel. Plain clothes officers or specialised branches use vehicles from a variety of builders.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]