Police Hierarchy in Germany

The federal police of Germany are known as Bundespolizei which acts as Federal Ministry of Interior’s subordinate in the country. Apart from the federal police, Germany also has police force working under the state governments and handling the state operations. These police forces are known as Landespolizei. The ranks and designations in both these police forces are organized in hierarchical manner and are referred as Police hierarchy in Germany.

Though the Bundespolizei deals majorly with security arrangements at border, but they are also involved in providing security to the constitutional organs of the country, judicial branches like courts, federal government etc.

The major law enforcing body of the country is Landespolizei which handles major police activities. This law enforcing agency is operated by the states of the country. For efficient working, this police force is subdivided into various departments which handle the security operations categorically. One branch is responsible for street patrolling and emergency call responses; one is involved in handling the traffic issues, one in handling highway security and patrolling etc.

The police hierarchy in Germany is arranged in three categories where each category possesses certain police ranks & designations. Following are the major levels of the hierarchy which are further subdivided into designations.

Police Hierarchy in Germany
Police Hierarchy in Germany
  • Higher echelon
  • Elevated echelon
  • Medium echelon
  • Pre- Commissioned ranks


Higher echelon

This echelon is constituted by highest ranked officers of the police. The candidates who possess certain required police service experience and master’s degrees preferably in law related subjects are eligible for these ranks. The officers under the category of Elevated echelon can also compete for the ranks in this category after completing their masters from Deutsche Hochschule der Polizei. The following are the officer ranks that fall under this category (from higher to lower):

  • Leitender Polizeidirektor ( Police Chief Director )
  • Polizeidirektor ( Police Director)
  • Polizeioberrat ( Police Senior Councillor)
  • Polizeirat ( Police Councillor)

Elevated echelon

The ranks under this category are the middle level ranks in the police hierarchy in Germany. The candidates after completing their bachelors from state college of public administration can apply for the jobs in this category. The following designations fall under this level:

  • Erster Polizeihauptkommissar (First Police Chief Inspector)
  • Polizeihauptkommissar (Police Chief Inspector)
  • Polizeioberkommissar (Police Senior Inspector)
  • Polizeikommissar (Police Inspector)

Medium echelon

This level is regarded as the lowermost level of police service. The ranks under this category are offered to the candidates who possess certain level of experience in serving training companies known as Ausbildungshundertschaften, of Bereitschaftspolizei and who satisfy the eligibility criteria for the job. The ranks or designations under this category are:

  • Polizeihauptmeister mit Amtszulage (Police Chief Master with upgraded pay)
  • Polizeihauptmeister (Police Chief Master)
  • Polizeiobermeister (Police Senior Master)
  • Polizeimeister (Police Master)
  • Hauptwachtmeister (Chief Constable)
  • Oberwachtmeister (Senior Constable)

Pre- Commissioned ranks

After all these levels, their lie the lowest level of Pre- Commissioned officers, who in Germany’s police hierarchy are referred as Anwarter or candidate. This designation is appended to the name of the person who is attempting for commissioned ranks.

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