Federal Police (Germany) - History

History

In 1951 the German government established a Federal Border Protection Force (Bundesgrenzschutz or BGS) composed of 10,000 men under the Federal Interior Ministry’s jurisdiction. The force replaced allied military organisations such as the U.S. Constabulary then patrolling Germany’s international borders. The BGS was described as a mobile, lightly armed police force for border and internal security despite fears that it would be the nucleus of a new West German army. When West Germany did raise an army, BGS personnel were given the choice of staying in the BGS or joining the army. Most decided to join the army.

In 1953, the BGS took control of the German Passport Control Service. In 1976, the state police grades replaced the military rank structure and BGS training was modified to closely match that of the state police forces (Landespolizei). The West German Railway Police (Bahnpolizei), formerly an independent force, and the East German Transportpolizei were restructured under the BGS in 1990. In July 2005, the BGS was renamed the Bundespolizei or BPOL (Federal Police) to reflect its transition to a multi-faceted federal police agency. The change also involved the shift to blue uniforms and livery for vehicles and helicopters. The German Interior Ministry reviewed the structure of the BPOL in 2007 and in March 2008 made the structure leaner to get more officers out of offices and onto patrol.

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