Polizia di Stato

Polizia di Stato

Infobox Law enforcement agency
agencyname = State Police
nativename = Polizia di Stato
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commonname = Polizia
abbreviation = PdS
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employees = 110,000
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country = Italy
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national = Yes

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headquarters = Rome

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sworn = 104,000+
unsworntype = Civilian
unsworn = 6,000-
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child1agency = Polizia Stradale
child2agency = Polizia Ferroviaria
child3agency = Polizia Postale
child4agency = Polizia di Frontiera
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The "Polizia di Stato" (State Police or PdS) is one of the national police forces of Italy. It is responsible for providing general police duties in Italy; patrolling motorways ("autostrada"), railways, airports, customs (together with the "Guardia di Finanza") as well as certain waterways, and assisting the local police forces. The "Polizia di Stato" is a civil police force, but it is militarily organized. This does not mean that it is a military institution, but its structure is based on the military. The "Polizia di Stato" is the principal Italian police force for the maintenance of public security (since it is run directly from the "Dipartimento della Pubblica Sicurezza" (Department of Public Security), and the keeping of public order. It is a civil police force in contrast to the other main police forces of Italy, the "Carabinieri", which is a military police (gendarmerie) force and the "Guardia di Finanza", the Italian customs and border protection police that also falls in the military corps category.



Currently the State Police has an authorised strength by law of 115,000 persons. However, there are actually approximately 110,000 persons of which 16,000 are women. Just under 6,000 employees are civilian support personnel with technical skills who provide logistic and technical support.

Approximately 1,500 officers are assigned to the "neighbourhood police" service. "Polizia di Quartiere" aims to increase the police presence on the streets and deter crime. Pairs of "poliziotti" (policemen) patrol areas of major cities on foot.


The headquarters of the "Polizia di Stato" are located in Rome and its chief is referred to as the "Capo della Polizia" (Chief of Police) with the Rank of Director General. The Chief of the State Police is also the honourary president of the National Association of State Police. Three vice chiefs/director generals report to the chief and their main functions are:
* Accomplishment of the various functions
* planning and coordination activity
* director of the criminal investigation police

The force is organized on a regional and provincial basis. Thus every major Italian town or city has a main PdS station called a "Questura" run by a "Questore" (the provincial commander). In smaller settlements, a "Vice Questore Aggiunto" (deputy commander) or "Commissario Capo" runs the PdS offices. There are also several sub-stations for various districts.

Headquarters organization

The reorganization of the Police of State has concurred the potenziamento and the ulterior specialization of various operating branches, distinguished in affixed divisions or units of “specialty”.

Units and specialty of the Police of State:

* Musical band of the Police of State (former Musical Band of the Body of the Guards of P.S.)
* Data processing and computer center of the Police of State
* Interregional regional collection centers of the Police of State
* Direction centers for anti-crime
* Direction centers for the institutes of instruction of the Police of State
* Inspector general's office of public safety for civil aviation and Ministry of Transportation
* Inspector general's office of public safety for Ministry of the Communications
* Inspector general's office of public safety for Ministry of Labor and the social political
* Inspector general's office of public safety Palace of the Viminale
* Inspector general's office of public safety for the Senate of the Republic
* Inspector general's office of public safety for the Chamber of deputies
* Inspector general's office of public safety for Vatican City
* Inspector general's office of public safety for the Prime Minister's Office
* Inspector general's office of public safety for the Presidency of the Republic
* Emergency Operating Unit(NOCS)
* Police of the Gaming and Betting
* Police of the Mountain
* Postal And Communications Police (formerly the Postal Police)
* Police for immigration and the frontiers
* Police for the aerial frontier
* Police for the marine frontier
* Railroad Police
* Scientific police
* Highway patrol
* Mobile Units of the Police of State (former Rapid Units of the Body of Guards of P.S.)
* Mounted Unit of the Police of State
* Unit artificers of the Police of State
* Canine Unit of the Police of State
* Advanced school of Police (former advanced Institute of Police, former Academy Guards of P.S.)
* Aerial Service of the Police of State
* Health Service of the Police of State
* Gold Flames - the sport group of the Police of State

Regional Organization

The Interregional Directorates are:

* 1. Piemonte, for Aosta and Liguria (with center to Torino);
* 2. Lombardy and Emilia Romagna (center: Milan);
* 3. Veneto, Trentino - Upper Adige and Friuli - Venice Julia (center: Padova);
* 4. Tuscany, Umbria and Marches (center: Florence);
* 5. Lazio, Sardinia and Abruzzi (center: Rome);
* 6. Campania, Molise, Basilicata, Puglia (center: Naples);
* 7. Sicily and Calabria (center: Catania).

These last ones only since 2007.

"Polizia di Quartiere" are community police with aims to increasing the police presence and deter crime. Pairs of "poliziotti" (policemen) patrol areas of major cities on foot. Its critics contend that these efforts are ineffective, as the areas with the greatest concentration of crime are being neglected.

pecial Operations

About 24,000 officers, that is almost a quarter of police personnel, work within the Traffic Police ("Polizia Stradale"), Railroad Police ("Polizia Ferroviaria"), Post and Telecommunications Police ("Polizia Postale") and Border and Immigration Police.

Traffic police

"Polizia Stradale" patrol the 7,000 kilometers of motorways ("autostrada") in Italy and the main highways and arterial roads outside towns. Their duties are the prevention and detection of driving offences, car accident reports, planning and carrying out of services to regulate traffic, providing escorts for road safety, protection and control of the road network, rescue operations and cooperation in the collection of traffic flow data.

Railroad Police

The "Polizia Ferroviaria" ensure the security of travelers and their belongings on trains and at stations plus the safety and control of dangerous goods. Railroad Police officers patrol, in particular, long-distance and night trains, and at stations in big cities where vagrants often accumulate. "Rete Ferroviaria Italiana" and other "Ferrovie dello Stato" companies co-operate fully with the railroad police in dealing with railway security for passengers.

Post and Telecommunications

The "Polizia Postale" investigates all crimes that use communications as part of its modus operandi. For example, computer hacking, online child pornography, credit card fraud, spreading computer viruses or software copyright violations are areas that the "Polizia Postale" would investigate.

Immigration and Border Police

To control the flow of migrants into Italy, the Department of Public Security set up the Immigration and Border Police Service (Polizia di Frontiera), to enforce regulations concerning the entry and stay of aliens in Italy. The service operates at both central and local level with many land, air and maritime border police offices. The service is also responsible for passport control, the issuing of residence permits, as well as the prevention and control of illegal immigration. Although due to the Schengen Agreement many borders have or are about to disappear, the division is still present on all borders to do systematic or random checks. In airports the border police is in charge of security (hand baggage searches are done by airport companies or private security companies but are supervised by the Polizia di Frontiera and by the Guardia di Finanza) and immigration checks.

Mobile Units

A special function of the police are the mobile units of which there are 13 located in the main Italian cities. These can be deployed throughout the country to maintain public order with crowd-control equipment and vehicles or perform rescue services in areas affected by natural disasters. These units employ selected personnel that are specially trained and equipped to endure the physical and psychological stress involved in the performance of their specific tasks.

The PdS’s bomb disposal units, mounted detachments, canine units, air support squadrons and maritime and river police units all fall under the mobile unit HQ.

Anti Terrorism Police

The Anti Terrorism Police is a specialist body made up of the Central Directorate for the Anti Terrorism Police and of the Branches for General Investigations and Special Operations (DIGOS - "Investigazioni Generali operazioni speciali Antiterrorismo"), located in the "questure" at the local level. The Directorate for the Anti Terrorism Police has two departments: one is mainly responsible for information collection and analysis while the other develops and coordinates investigations aimed at preventing and fighting terrorism. The "Nucleo Operativo Centrale di Sicurezza" (Central Security Operations Group) is the State Police’s elite SWAT unit.


Recruit training is carried out at the police academy and at an advanced school for senior police officers. There are schools for basic training of cadet officers and technical operators, for teaching police specialties, for instructors, pilots, dog handlers and mounted police officers and the community police school that strengthens confidence and cooperation between citizens and the police.


The State Police uses various Italian vehicles from the Fiat Punto 60 to the new Alfa Romeo 159 2,4 JTD, and foreign makes such as the Subaru Legacy SW and Subaru Forester.

In May 2004 the PdS received two Lamborghini Gallardos equipped with V10 engines and 520 bhp in the classic blue white livery and various optional accessories (such as a container for transporting organs and a defibrillator). The cars are used on the A3 Salerno-Reggio Calabria motorway and the A14 Bologna-Taranto.


ee also

*Italian Police

External links

*it icon [http://www.poliziadistato.it Official website]
*en icon [http://www.poliziadistato.it/pds/english/index.htm Official website]

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