Berlin Police

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

Berlin Police
Polizei Berlin
Berliner Polizei.svg
Agency overview
Formed25 March 1809
Employees25,153 (2017)[1]
Annual budget€1.545 billion (2019)[2]
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionBerlin
Deutschland Lage Berlins.svg
Location of Berlin shown in Germany
Size891.85 km²
Population3,754,418 (2019)
Governing bodySenate of Berlin
Constituting instruments
  • (ASOG Berlin) (Law of the protection of public safety and order)
  • (StPO) (Code of criminal procedure)
General nature
Operational structure
HeadquartersPlatz der Luftbrücke 6
12101 Berlin
Agency executive
  • Barbara Slowik, Polizeipräsidentin
Official website
Berlin police during May 1929 riots, aka Blutmai.
Polizeipräsidium, main entry (2011).
Police helicopter over Berlin (2012).

The Berlin Police is headed by the Police President, Dr. Barbara Slowik. Her deputy is Police Vice-President Marco Langner. They are supported in the management of the force by the Staff Office of the Police President, the commanders of the five Local Divisions, the Division for Central Tasks, the Criminal Investigation Department, and the Central Services Division and the Academy of police.


The Royal Prussian Police of Berlin was founded on 25 March 1809, with Justus Gruner as the first chief of police.

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, and the 1. Garde-Dragoner Regiment Königin Victoria von Großbritannien und Irland dragoons), and three guard infantry regiments (the 1. und 2. Garderegiment zu Fuss, and the 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, the Berlin police force was dissolved, like all other German police forces, and absorbed into the Ordnungspolizei (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 absorbed 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.[3]

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 West Berlin chief Georg Schertz.[4] Approximately 2,300 officers changed assignments from the West to the East, and approximately 2,700 from the East to the West. About 9,600 East Berlin officers were checked for being possible collaborators of the MfS (Stasi). 8,544 of them were cleared, while 1,056 were not. Approximately 2,000 were retired or resigned on their own.

The law on the Freiwillige Polizei-Reserve Berlin[5] (volunteer police reserve) of 25 May 1961 in West Berlin created a paramilitary organization to protect important infrastructure like power plants and drinking water supplies. Since the 1980s, it became more of a branch in which citizens were able to voluntarily support the Schupo in daily service. It was disbanded in 2002.

Police chiefsEdit

List of police chiefs since 1809:


  • 1809–1811: Justus Gruner
  • 1811–1812: Diederich Friedrich Carl von Schlechtendal
  • 1812–1821: Paul Ludwig Le Coq
  • 1822–1831: Ludwig Wilhelm von Esebeck
  • 1831–1832: Friedrich Wilhelm Karl von Arnim
  • 1832: August Wilhelm Francke
  • 1832–1839: Karl von Gerlach
  • 1839–1847: Eugen von Puttkamer
  • 1847–1848: Julius von Minutoli
  • 1848: Moritz von Bardeleben
  • 1848–1856: Karl Ludwig Friedrich von Hinckeldey
  • 1856–1861: Constantin von Zedlitz-Neukirch
  • 1861–1862: Leopold von Winter
  • 1862–1867: Otto von Bernuth
  • 1867–1872: Lothar von Wurmb
  • 1872–1885: Guido von Madai
  • 1885–1895: Bernhard von Richthofen
  • 1895–1902: Ludwig von Windheim
  • 1903–1908: Georg von Borries
  • 1908–1909: Ernst von Stubenrauch
  • 1909–1916: Traugott von Jagow
  • 1916–1918: Heinrich von Oppen
  • 1918–1919: Emil Eichhorn
  • 1919–1920: Eugen Ernst
  • 1920: Wilhelm Richter

Greater Berlin: 1920–1948Edit

  • 1920–1925: Wilhelm Richter
  • 1925–1926: Albert Grzesinski
  • 1926–1930: Karl Zörgiebel
  • 1930–1932: Albert Grzesinski
  • 1932–1933: Kurt Melcher

Divided Berlin: 1948–1990Edit

West Berlin:

  • 1948–1962: Johannes Stumm
  • 1962–1967: Erich Duensing
  • 1968: Georg Moch
  • 1969–1987: Klaus Hübner
  • 1987–1990: Georg Schertz

East Berlin:

  • 1948–1949: Paul Markgraf
  • 1950–1953: Waldemar Schmidt
  • 1953–1964: Fritz Eikemeier
  • 1964–1975: Horst Ende
  • 1975–1985: Werner Gröning
  • 1986–1990: Friedhelm Rausch
  • 1990: Dirk Bachmann

Since 1990Edit

  • 1990–1992: Georg Schertz
  • 1992–2001: Hagen Saberschinsky
  • 2002–2011: Dieter Glietsch
  • 2011–2012: Margarete Koppers
  • 2012–2018: Klaus Kandt
  • from 2018: Dr. Barbara Slowik


The six Berlin police directorates.


Berlin Police is divided into 5 local directorates (Direktion). Each local directorate is responsible for one to three Berliner districts:

Berlin police Sonderwagen BE1 armored vehicle (2017).

Each Direktion had several 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 (2014).
  • 17,041 police officers in uniform and plain clothes (2017)[1]
  • 2,526 security guards, prison-officers and staff in other law-enforcement related areas (2017)[1]
  • 2,778 administrative staff, including management and clerical staff, technical staff and scientists of various disciplines (2017)[1]
  • 2,808 apprentices and trainees (2017)[1]
  • 2,500 vehicles (2017)[1]
  • 1.545 Billion Euro annual budget (2019)[2]


  • 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 (2014).
A Berlin police boat (2014).

Dedicated to the LKA:

  • Spezialeinsatzkommando (SEK) - The SWAT teams of the German state police.
  • Mobiles Einsatzkommando (MEK) - The MEKs are plainclothes teams of the LKA with special tasks like mentioned above and special manhunt units f.e.
  • Personenschutzkommando - Personal security plainclothes 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 alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Barbara Slowik ist Berlins neue Polizeipräsidentin".
  2. ^ a b "2018/2019 Band 4 - Einzelplan 05".
  3. ^ Williams, Max (2001). Reinhard Heydrich: The Biography: Volume 1, Ulric, p. 77.
  4. ^ (in German) Infos and brief history of Berlin Police Archived January 22, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ (in German) Freiwilliger Polizeidienst Berlin website
  6. ^ (in German) Polizeidirektion 1 Archived January 16, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ (in German) Polizeidirektion 2 Archived January 21, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ (in German) Polizeidirektion 6 Archived January 1, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ (in German) Polizeidirektion 4 Archived January 1, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ (in German) Polizeidirektion 5 Archived January 16, 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 linksEdit

  • (in German) Berlin Police official website
  • Berlin Police logo (from
  • Berlin: Metropolis of crime 1918 - 1933 Part 1, Part 2 (warning: graphic depiction of murder and other violence), a Deutsche Welle English television documentary discussing advances in police methods and forensic technology, corruption in the police force, and selected investigations in Berlin during the early interbellum period