Service de la protection

The Service de la protection (SDLP) or in English, Protection Service, is a unit within the French National Police which is responsible for the protection of French and foreign dignitaries and the provision of technical security support. The SDLP also implements the necessary measures for the organization and security of official visits in France and abroad.


The service includes nearly 1,260 police officers and is headquartered on rue de Miromesnil in Paris near the Ministry of the Interior and the Palais de l'Élysée.[1] The SDLP also has a permanent office in Strasbourg; home to several European institutions, including the European Parliament. Its members are recruited from within the French National Police, after two years minimum service in the National Police.[2]

The Service de Protection des Hautes Personnalités includes:

  • the Security Group of the Presidency of the Republic (GSPR);
  • Along with operators from the Recherche Assistance Intervention Dissuasion (RAID), a number of SDLP members serve with the joint security group Groupe de sécurité de la présidence de la République, which is tasked with protecting the President of France.
  • Sub-Directorate of French dignitaries, which includes:
    • the Security Group of the Prime Minister (GSPM);
    • the Security Group of the Ministry of Interior (GSMI);
  • Sub-directorate for foreign dignitaries;
  • Sub-directorate for persons at risk;
  • Sub-direction of resources and operational support (which has an operational support group).

The SPHP was established in 1934 under the name of "Official Travel Service" ("Voyages officiels" (VO) in French) after the assassination of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia and Louis Barthou in Marseilles. It adopted its current name in 1994.[3]

The SPHP was headed by Inspector General Jean-Louis Fiamenghi, who assumed the post in November 2007. Inspector General Fiamenghi had been head of Recherche Assistance Intervention Dissuasion (RAID), another unit within the French National Police.

In June 2010, a report by the Cour des comptes mentioned, among the persons enjoying SPHP protection, former prime ministers Dominique de Villepin and Jean-Pierre Raffarin, the former ministers of the interior Pierre Joxe, Jean-Pierre Chevènement and Charles Pasqua, wives of former presidents Danielle Mitterrand and Bernadette Chirac, the former candidates for the 2007 presidential election François Bayrou and Ségolène Royal, the former hostage and parliamentarian Ingrid Betancourt, the former minister Michel Charasse and the president of MEDEF Laurence Parisot.[4]

In 2013, as part of the reform of the central administration of the ministries of the Interior and Overseas, the service was renamed the "Service de la protection" (SDLP) and includes in its organization chart the "Security Service of the Ministry of the Interior" (SSMI) and the "Central Automobile Service"(SCA).[5]


  1. ^ "Service de la protection". 30 August 2017.
  2. ^ "Policier chargé de protection rapprochée" [Close Protection Police Officer]. 16 February 2017.
  3. ^ Arrêté du 19 octobre 1994 relatif à l'organisation du service de protection des hautes personnalités.
  4. ^ "Le service de protection des hautes personnalités mène grand train" [The protection service for VIPs has become lavish]. Le Monde. 7 June 2010.
  5. ^ "Decree No. 2013-728 of August 12, 2013 on the organization of the central administration of the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Overseas".


In addition to an extensive fleet, SDLP members are armed with the following weapons:[citation needed]