U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Municipal Police in Austria: History, Status Quo, and Future

NCJ Number
.SIAK-Journal International Edition Volume: 4 Dated: 2014 Pages: 74-86
Gregor Wenda
Date Published
13 pages
This article reviews the history, current status, and the future of municipal policing in Austria.
Most of Austria's major cities are secured by the Federal Police, and the Federal Constitution prohibits the establishment of municipal police in a city with a Federal Police authority. Municipal police agencies are mostly found in medium-sized or smaller towns and villages. Each municipal police service has between 1 and 45 employees and varies in organization, equipment, competencies, and availability. The enforcement of local ordinances and other policies of local self-government are under the enforcement jurisdiction of the municipal police. Thirty-seven municipalities in 6 Provinces currently have municipal police services. Large municipal police forces perform duties 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Under the Federal Constitution, only larger municipal police agencies with the status of a corps are authorized to exercise the full range of possible police competencies. A modern municipal police agency works closely with the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior and the Federal Police on a variety of matters. New municipal officers and supervisors receive the same basic training as officers of the Federal Police. Although the number of municipal police forces has gradually declined over the last decades, they still constitute an important pillar of law enforcement in Austria. With shrinking budgets, rising costs, and an increasing workload, however, even some of the larger municipal departments are having difficulty in maintaining a full-time service. The continuation of municipal police departments, especially the smaller ones, will be a significant challenge in the coming years. 18 references