Public Security (Czechoslovakia)

Public Security (Czech: Veřejná bezpečnost [VB],[1] Slovak: Verejná bezpečnosť [VB][2]) was the regular police force of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (ČSSR), created in 1945 as a branch of the National Security Corps (Sbor národní bezpečnosti), which also included State Security (Státní bezpečnost), Armed Airport Security (Sbor ozbrojené ochrany letišť, SOOL)) and Armed Railway Security, (Sbor ozbrojené ochrany železnic, SOOŽ).

Public Security
Veřejná bezpečnost VB
Verejná bezpečnosť
AbbreviationVB
Agency overview
Formed1945
Dissolved15 June 1991
Superseding agency
Jurisdictional structure
National agencyCzechoslovak Socialist Republic
Operations jurisdictionCzechoslovak Socialist Republic
General nature
Operational structure
HeadquartersPrague
Parent agencySbor národní bezpečnosti
Ministry of the Interior
Child agency
  • Pomocná stráž VB
VB officers assists in the opening of Line B of the Prague Metro, Náměstí Republiky, 2 November 1985.
Restored Škoda 1202 VB car from 1960s in Pardubice, 2007.
Restored VAZ-2103 VB car from 1980s in Dobřichovice, 2009.
A helmet and brigadier used by Public Safety.

HistoryEdit

When the Czech Police was established on July 15, 1991, the VB was used as the basis of reforming the force under Act 283/1991 Coll.[3][4]

OrganizationEdit

The VB was divided into the Public Order and Traffic VB (Highway Patrol), Criminal Investigations VB (major crimes, forensics) and an Infrastructure Security section (security of important buildings, installations, etc.). There were regional, district, city and local detachments of the force. Its given wartime mission scenarios incklude rear security operations and security of POW facilities.[5]

The VB were permitted to demand from any citizen an identification booklet (občanský průkaz). This booklet contained a photograph and information such as name, current address and place of employment (being unemployed in the ČSSR was practically illegal, as one could be charged with "living on avails of the society"). As carrying an občanský průkaz was mandatory; a person could be detained for simply not having one in their possession.

The auxiliary wing was the 'Public Security Auxiliary Guard' (Pomocná stráž VB), recruited from "politically reliable" citizens over the age of 21, who wore a red arm-band with "PS VB". They were generally used for traffic control and public order duties.

VehiclesEdit

VB vehicles were originally blue with a white line along the side. Later vehicles had panels painted orange and white in a similar pattern to American 'black and whites', which the pattern's designer admitted after the fall of the regime was his inspiration. The full name 'Veřejná bezpečnost' was used with the blue design while later vehicles had only the letters 'VB' written on the white doors.

UniformsEdit

VB uniforms were also originally dark blue until the end of 1960s, when they changed to a khaki colour described officially as 'nettle green', with rank insignia on red epaulettes, which did not follow Soviet patterns, except for junior officers.

Rank structureEdit

Rank in Czech English Translation Insignia
Praporčické Warrant Officers/NCO's
Rotný Junior Sergeant one silver star
Strážmistr Sergeant two silver stars
Nadstrážmistr Staff Sergeant three silver stars
Podpraporčík Junior Warrant Officer one silver star with silver edging to epaulette
Praporčík Warrant Officer two silver stars with silver edging
Nadpraporčík Senior Warrant Officer three silver stars with silver edging
Důstojnické hodnosti Officers
Podporučík Junior Lieutenant one gold star
Poručík Lieutenant two gold stars
cs|Nadporučík Senior Lieutenant three gold stars, arranged in triangle
Kapitán Captain three gold stars arranged in a triangle, with a fourth above them
Major Major one gold star with gold edging to epaulette
Podplukovník Lieutenant Colonel two gold stars with gold edging
Plukovník Colonel three gold stars, arranged in triangle, with gold edging
Generálové General Officers
Generálmajor Major General one large gold star with crossed staffs and gold braid edging
Generálporučík Lieutenant General two large gold stars with crossed staffs and gold braid edging
Generálplukovník Colonel General three large gold stars with crossed staffs and gold braid edging

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Rottman (1987), p. 16.
  2. ^ https://cep.slu.cz/pdfs/cep/2015/02/07.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  3. ^ "30 let Policie České republiky - Policie České republiky".
  4. ^ "Unikátní snímky: od četníků po těžkooděnce, historie policie v českých zemích - Aktuálně.cz". 16 July 2021.
  5. ^ Rottman (1987), p. 17.

BibliographyEdit

  • Rottman, Gordon (January 22, 1987). Warsaw Pact Ground Forces. UK: Osprey Publishing.

See alsoEdit