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A vedette of the French ''Gendarmerie Maritime'' in La Rochelle harbour A gendarmerie () is a
military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or para ...

military
force with
law enforcement File:CBP female officers going aboard a ship.jpg, upU.S. Customs and Border Protection officers boarding a ship 'Law enforcement'' is the activity of some members of government who act in an organized manner to enforce the law by discovering, dete ...
duties among the civilian population. The term ''gendarme'' () is derived from the medieval French expression ', which translates to "
men-at-arms A man-at-arms was a soldier of the High Medieval to Renaissance periods who was typically well-versed in the use of arms and served as a fully armoured heavy cavalryman. A man-at-arms could be a knight or nobleman, a member of a knight or ...
" (literally, "armed people"). In
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consisting of metropolitan France and Overseas France, several overseas regions and territories. The metro ...

France
and some Francophone nations, the gendarmerie is a
branch The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or ...
of the
armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their distinct m ...
responsible for internal security in parts of the territory (primarily in rural areas and small towns in the case of France) with additional duties as military police for the armed forces. It was introduced to several other Western European countries during the Napoleonic conquests. In the mid-twentieth century, a number of former French mandates or colonial possessions such as
Lebanon Lebanon ( , ar, لُبْنَان, translit=lubnān, ), officially the Republic of Lebanon or the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is located between Syria to Lebanon–Syria border, the north and east and Israel to Blue Line ...

Lebanon
,
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-Sūrīyah), is a country in ...

Syria
, the
Ivory Coast Ivory Coast, also known as Côte d'Ivoire, officially the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, is a country located on the south coast of West Africa. Ivory Coast's political capital is Yamoussoukro in the centre of the country, while its economic c ...
, and the
Republic of the Congo The Republic of the Congo ( french: République du Congo, mkw, Repubilika ya Kôngo), also known as Congo-Brazzaville, the Congo Republic or simply either Congo or the Congo, is a country located in the western coast of Central Africa. To the ...
adopted a gendarmerie after independence. A similar concept was introduced in Eastern Europe by establishing
Internal Troops The Internal Troops, full name Internal Troops of the Ministry for Internal Affairs (MVD) (russian: Внутренние войска Министерства внутренних дел, Vnutrenniye Voiska Ministerstva Vnutrennikh Del; abbreviated ...
, that exist in many countries of the former
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a Federalism, federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a Political union, union of multiple national Republics of t ...
and their former allied countries. Some of the more prominent modern gendarmerie organizations include the French National Gendarmerie,
Spanish Civil Guard The Civil Guard ( es, Guardia Civil; ) is the oldest law enforcement agency in Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , n ...
, the Romanian Jandarmeria, Algerian National Gendarmerie,
Argentine National Gendarmerie The Argentine National Gendarmerie ( es, Gendarmería Nacional Argentina, GNA) is the national gendarmerie force and corps of border guards of Argentina. The Argentine National Gendarmerie has a strength of 70,000. The Gendarmerie is primarily a ...
, Burkinese National Gendarmerie, Italian Carabinieri, Chilean Carabineros, Moldovan Carabinieri, Royal Netherlands Marechaussee, the
Royal Moroccan Gendarmerie The Royal Gendarmerie (Arabic: الدرك الملكي المغربي ''ad-darak al-malikiyy al-maḡribiyy)'' is the gendarmerie Wrong info! --> A vedette of the French Maritime Gendarmerie, ''Gendarmerie Maritime'' in La Rochelle ha ...

Royal Moroccan Gendarmerie
, the
Portuguese National Republican Guard The National Republican Guard ( pt, Guarda Nacional Republicana) or GNR is the national gendarmerie force of Portugal. Members of the GNR are military personnel, subject to military law and organisation, unlike the agents of the civilian Políci ...
, Mexican National Guard,
Tunisian National Guard The Tunisian National Guard ( aeb, الحرس الوطني, el-Ḥaras el-Waṭanī) is a separate military force of Tunisia. It is not part of the Tunisian Armed Forces, due to its specific role as a counterbalance to the regular military. It se ...
and the
Turkish Gendarmerie The Gendarmerie General Command ( tr, Jandarma Genel Komutanlığı) is the national Gendarmerie force of the Republic of Turkey. It is a service branch of the Ministry of the Interior (Turkey), Turkish Ministry of Interior responsible for the mai ...

Turkish Gendarmerie
.


Etymology

The word ''
gendarme Wrong info! --> A vedette of the French ''Gendarmerie Maritime'' in La Rochelle harbour A gendarmerie () is a military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily ...
'' is a singular extracted from
Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the Latin spok ...
''gens d'armes'' (), meaning "
men-at-arms A man-at-arms was a soldier of the High Medieval to Renaissance periods who was typically well-versed in the use of arms and served as a fully armoured heavy cavalryman. A man-at-arms could be a knight or nobleman, a member of a knight or ...
". During the
Late Medieval The Late Middle Ages or Late Medieval Period was the period of European history lasting from AD 1250 to 1500. The Late Middle Ages followed the High Middle Ages The High Middle Ages, or High Medieval Period, was the periodization, period of ...
to the Early Modern period, the term referred to a heavily armoured cavalryman of noble birth, primarily serving in the French army. The word gained policing connotations only during the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) refers to the period that began with the Estates General of 1789 and ended in coup of 18 Brumaire, November 1799 with the formation of the French Consulate. Many of its ideas are considered fundamental principles ...

French Revolution
when the Maréchaussée of the
Ancien Régime File:Prise de la Bastille.jpg, The ''Storming of the Bastille'' on 14 July 1789, later taken to mark the end of the ''Ancien Régime''; watercolour by Jean-Pierre Houël The Ancien Régime (; ; literally "old rule"), also known as the Old Regim ...
, attached to the Gendarmerie before, by the Monarchy, was renamed, "Gendarmerie". Historically, the spelling in English was ''gendarmery'', but now the French spelling ''gendarmerie'' is more common. The ''
Oxford English Dictionary The ''Oxford English Dictionary'' (''OED'') is the principal historical dictionary of the English language, published by Oxford University Press (OUP). It traces the historical development of the English language, providing a comprehensive res ...
'' (''OED'') uses ''gendarmery'' as the principal spelling;
Merriam-Webster Merriam-Webster, Inc., is an American company that publishes reference work, reference books and is especially known for its dictionary, dictionaries. In 1831, George Merriam, George and Charles Merriam founded the company as G & C Merriam Co. i ...
uses ''gendarmerie'' as the principal spelling.


Title and status

These forces are normally titled "gendarmerie", but gendarmeries may bear other titles, for instance the ''
Carabinieri The Carabinieri (, also , ; formally ''Arma dei Carabinieri'', "Arm of Carabineers"; previously ''Corpo dei Carabinieri Reali'', "Royal Carabineers Corps") are the national gendarmerie of Italy who primarily carry out domestic policing duties. It ...
'' in
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a Northern Italy, continental part, delimited by the Alps, a Italian Peninsula, peninsula and List of islands of Italy, se ...

Italy
, the ''
Guarda Nacional Republicana The National Republican Guard ( pt, Guarda Nacional Republicana) or GNR is the national gendarmerie force of Portugal Portugal (), officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=no ), is a country located on the Ib ...
'' in
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a sovereign state, country whose mainland is located on the Iberian Peninsula, in Southern Europe, Southwestern Europe, and whose territory also includ ...

Portugal
, the ''
Guardia Civil The Civil Guard ( es, Guardia Civil; ) is the oldest law enforcement agency in Spain and is one of two national police forces. As a gendarmerie force, it is Spanish Armed Forces, military in nature and is responsible for civil police, policing un ...
'' in
Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_ ...

Spain
, the ''
Royal Marechaussee The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee ( nl, Koninklijke Marechaussee, abbreviated to KMar) is one of two national police forces in the Netherlands, alongside the National Police, and is one of the four branches of the Netherlands Armed Forces. It is ...
'' in the
Netherlands The Netherlands ( nl, Nederland ), informally referred to as Holland, is a country primarily located in Western Europe and partly in the Dutch Caribbean, Caribbean. It is the largest of four Kingdom of the Netherlands#Constituent countries, cons ...

Netherlands
or ''Internal Troops''/ in
Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in Eastern Europe. It is the List of European countries by area, second-largest country by area in Europe after Russia, which it borders to the east and north-east. Ukraine also shares bo ...

Ukraine
and
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the world, covering over , and encom ...

Russia
. As a result of their duties within the civilian population, gendarmeries are sometimes described as "
paramilitary Paramilitary forces usually tend to wear similar but different uniforms to the military, for instance gray "urban camouflage". A paramilitary organization (also listed as quasi military) is a semi-militarized force whose organizational struc ...
" rather than "
military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or para ...

military
" forces (especially in the English-speaking world where policing is rarely associated with military forces) although this description rarely corresponds to their official status and capabilities. Gendarmes are very rarely deployed in military situations, except in humanitarian deployments abroad. A gendarmerie may come under the authority of a ministry of defence (e.g.
Algeria ) , image_map = Algeria (centered orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Algiers , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , religion = , official_languages = , languages_type = Othe ...
,
Netherlands The Netherlands ( nl, Nederland ), informally referred to as Holland, is a country primarily located in Western Europe and partly in the Dutch Caribbean, Caribbean. It is the largest of four Kingdom of the Netherlands#Constituent countries, cons ...

Netherlands
and
Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic of Poland ( pl, Rzeczpospolita Polska, links=no ), is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and ha ...

Poland
), a ministry of the interior (e.g.
Argentine Argentines (also known as Argentinians or Argentineans; es, masculine argentinos; feminine Femininity (also called womanliness or girlishness) is a set of attributes, behaviors, and roles generally associated with women and girls. Altho ...
,
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Europe, Central, Eastern Europe, Eastern and Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It borders Bulgaria to the south, Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, Serbia to t ...

Romania
,
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia in Western Asia, with a small portion on the Balkans in Southeast Europe. It shares borders with Greece and Bulgaria to the northwest; the B ...

Turkey
and
Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in Eastern Europe. It is the List of European countries by area, second-largest country by area in Europe after Russia, which it borders to the east and north-east. Ukraine also shares bo ...

Ukraine
) or even both ministries at once (e.g.
Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America South America is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention ra ...
,
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consisting of metropolitan France and Overseas France, several overseas regions and territories. The metro ...

France
,
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a Northern Italy, continental part, delimited by the Alps, a Italian Peninsula, peninsula and List of islands of Italy, se ...

Italy
,
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a sovereign state, country whose mainland is located on the Iberian Peninsula, in Southern Europe, Southwestern Europe, and whose territory also includ ...

Portugal
and
Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_ ...

Spain
). Generally there is some coordination between ministries of defence and the interior over the use of gendarmes. A few forces which are no longer considered military retain the title "gendarmerie" for reasons of tradition. For instance, the French language title of the
Royal Canadian Mounted Police The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP; french: Gendarmerie royale du Canada; french: GRC, label=none), often known as the Mounties, are the federal police, federal and national police service of Canada, providing law enforcement at the feder ...

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
is ''Gendarmerie royale du Canada'' (GRC) (i.e., Royal Gendarmerie of Canada) because this force traditionally had some military-style functions (although separate from the Canadian Army) and has retained its status as a regiment of
dragoons Dragoons were originally a class of mounted infantry Mounted infantry were infantry who rode horses instead of marching. The original dragoons were essentially mounted infantry. According to the 1911 ''Encyclopædia Britannica'', "Mounted rifl ...
. The Argentine Gendarmerie is a military force in terms of training, identity and public perception, and was involved in combat in the
Falklands War The Falklands War ( es , link=no, Guerra de las Malvinas) was a 10-week undeclared war between Argentina and the United Kingdom in 1982 over two British dependent territories in the South Atlantic: the Falkland Islands and Falkland Islands Depe ...
, however it is classified as a "security force" not an "armed force", to exercise jurisdiction over the civilian population under Argentine law. Since different countries may make different use of institutional terms such as "gendarmerie", there are cases in which the term may become confusing. For instance, in the French-speaking
Cantons of Switzerland The 26 cantons of Switzerland (german: Kanton; french: canton; it, cantone; Sursilvan and Surmiran: ; Vallader and Puter: ; Sutsilvan: ; Rumantsch Grischun: ) are the Federated state, member states of the Switzerland, Swiss Confederation. The ...
the "gendarmeries" are the uniformed civil police (see: Gendarmerie (Switzerland)). In Chile, the word "gendarmerie" refers for historic reasons to the prison service (the " Chilean Gendarmerie"), while the actual gendarmerie force is called the "carabineros". In some cases, a police service's military links are ambiguous and it can be unclear whether a force should be defined as a gendarmerie (e.g. Mexico's
Federal Police A law enforcement agency (LEA), in North American English, is any government agency responsible for the enforcement of the laws. Outside North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost al ...
, Brazil's Military Police, or the former
British South Africa Police ''For King, For Law, For Country'' , colors = Blue & Old Gold , march = Kum-A-Kye , mascot = , battles = , notable_commanders = , anni ...

British South Africa Police
until 1980). Some historical military units, such as
South-West Africa South West Africa ( af, Suidwes-Afrika; german: Südwestafrika; nl, Zuidwest-Afrika) was the name for modern-day Namibia when it was under South African administration, from 1915 to 1990. Previously the colony of German South West Africa from 1 ...
's ''
Koevoet Koevoet (, translates to ''Crowbar (tool), crowbar'', abbreviated Operation K or SWAPOL-COIN) was the counter-insurgency branch of the South West African Police (SWAPOL). Its formations included white South African police officers, usually secon ...
'', were only defined as police for political reasons. Services such as the Italian
Guardia di Finanza The ''Guardia di Finanza'' (G. di F. or GdF) () is an Italian law enforcement agency under the authority of the Minister of Economy and Finance. It is a militarized police force, forming a part of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, not the Min ...

Guardia di Finanza
would rarely be defined as gendarmeries since the service is of an ambiguous military status and does not have general policing duties amongst the civilian population. In
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the world, covering over , and encom ...

Russia
, the modern
National Guard National Guard is the name used by a wide variety of current and historical uniformed organizations in different countries. The original National Guard was formed during the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) refers to the period ...

National Guard
(successor of the
Internal Troops The Internal Troops, full name Internal Troops of the Ministry for Internal Affairs (MVD) (russian: Внутренние войска Министерства внутренних дел, Vnutrenniye Voiska Ministerstva Vnutrennikh Del; abbreviated ...
) are military units with quasi-police duties but historically, different bodies within the Tsarist
Special Corps of Gendarmes The Special Corps of Gendarmes (russian: Отдельный корпус жандармов) was the uniformed security police of the Imperial Russian Army The Imperial Russian Army (russian: Ру́сская импера́торская а ...

Special Corps of Gendarmes
performed a variety of functions as an armed rural constabulary, urban riot control units, frontier guards, intelligence agents and political police. Prior to the creation of the
Irish Free State The Irish Free State ( ga, Saorstát Éireann, , ; 6 December 192229 December 1937) was a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of Sta ...
in 1922, British rule was based on the
Royal Irish Constabulary The Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC, ga, Constáblacht Ríoga na hÉireann; simply called the Irish Constabulary 1836–67) was the police force in Ireland from 1822 until 1922, when the country was part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and ...
—a drilled and armed force located in rural "barracks" that was a gendarmerie in all but in name. In 2014 the Mexican
Federal Police A law enforcement agency (LEA), in North American English, is any government agency responsible for the enforcement of the laws. Outside North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost al ...
, a heavily armed force which has many attributes of a gendarmerie, created a new seventh branch of service called the National Gendarmerie Division. The new force would initially number 5,000 personnel and was created with the assistance of the French gendarmerie.


Role and services

In comparison to civilian police forces, gendarmeries may provide a more disciplined force whose military capabilities (e.g., armoured group in France with
armoured personnel carriers An armoured personnel carrier (APC) is a broad type of armoured, military vehicle designed to transport personnel and equipment in combat zones. They are sometimes referred to colloquially as "battle taxis" or "battle buses". Since World War I, ...

armoured personnel carriers
) make them more capable of dealing with armed groups and with all types of violence. On the other hand, the necessity of a more stringent selection process for military service, especially in terms of physical prowess and health, restricts the pool of potential recruits in comparison to those from which a civilian police force could select. The growth and expansion of gendarmerie units worldwide has been linked to an increasing reluctance by some governments to use military units typically entrusted with external defence for combating internal threats. A somewhat related phenomenon has been the formation of
paramilitary Paramilitary forces usually tend to wear similar but different uniforms to the military, for instance gray "urban camouflage". A paramilitary organization (also listed as quasi military) is a semi-militarized force whose organizational struc ...
units which fall under the authority of civilian police agencies. Since these are not strictly military forces, however, they are not considered gendarmerie. In France, the gendarmerie is in charge of rural areas and small towns (typically less than 10,000 inhabitants) which represent 95% of the territory and close to 50% of the population. Besides its territorial organization, it has crowd and riot control units (the '' Gendarmerie Mobile'', along with some corresponding units in the civilian police), counter-terrorism and hostage rescue (
GIGN GIGN ( ; en, National Gendarmerie Intervention Group) is the elite police tactical unit A police tactical unit (PTU) is a specialized police The police are a Law enforcement organization, constituted body of Law enforcement officer, person ...

GIGN
, again along with some corresponding units in the civilian police), maritime surveillance, police at sea and
coast guard A coast guard or coastguard is a maritime security organization of a particular country. The term embraces wide range of responsibilities in different countries, from being a heavily armed military force with customs and security duties to ...
('' Gendarmerie maritime''), control and security at airports and air traffic police ('' Gendarmerie des transports aériens''), official buildings guard, honorary services and protection of the
President President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) A president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between a president and a Chief Executive Officer, chi ...
('' Garde Républicaine''), mountain rescue (''Peloton de Gendarmerie de Haute Montagne'') and security of
nuclear weapons A nuclear weapon (also called an atom bomb, nuke, atomic bomb, nuclear warhead, A-bomb, or nuclear bomb) is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either nuclear fission, fission (fission bomb) or from a ...

nuclear weapons
sites. In Argentina the
Gendarmería Nacional Argentina The Argentine National Gendarmerie ( es, Gendarmería Nacional Argentina, GNA) is the national gendarmerie force and corps of border guards of Argentina. The Argentine National Gendarmerie has a strength of 70,000. The Gendarmerie is primarily a ...
(GNA, Argentina National Gendarmerie) can act as border patrol forces, defending and patrolling the land frontiers, antiterrorism, VIP escort missions, hostage situations and special military operations in war times (when the GNA is attached to the Argentine Army) with their 601st Special Operations Squadron "Alacran", which took part in the Falkland/Malvinas conflict. Also the GNA is responsible for key facilities (such as nuclear facilities) and government building protection and recovery in case of criminal or enemy activities, counter-narcotraffic operations, internal security reinforcement of other provincial and federal
security forcesSecurity Forces are statutory organisations with internal security mandates. In the legal context of several nations, the term has variously denoted police The police are a Law enforcement organization, constituted body of Law enforcement offi ...
, pacification, smuggling control, road controls on federal highways, and counter-sedition activities under martial law. The GNA often take part in UN peacekeeping missions.


French influence

The use of military organisations to police civilian populations is common to many time periods and cultures. Being a French concept, the
French Gendarmerie The National Gendarmerie (french: Gendarmerie nationale ), along with the National Police, is one of two national police The police are a Law enforcement organization, constituted body of Law enforcement officer, persons empowered by a St ...
has been the most influential model for such an organisation. Many countries that were once under French rule and influence have a gendarmerie.
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a Northern Italy, continental part, delimited by the Alps, a Italian Peninsula, peninsula and List of islands of Italy, se ...

Italy
,
Belgium Belgium, ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe Western Europe is the region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. G ...
and
Austria Austria, officially the Republic of Austria, is a landlocked country in the southern part of Central Europe, located on the Eastern Alps. It is composed of nine States of Austria, federated states, one of which is Vienna, Austria's ca ...
have had gendarmeries through
Napoleonic Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader. He rose to prominence during the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) refers to the period that began with the Estates General o ...

Napoleonic
influence for instance but, while
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a Northern Italy, continental part, delimited by the Alps, a Italian Peninsula, peninsula and List of islands of Italy, se ...

Italy
still has the Italian equivalent known as the
Carabinieri The Carabinieri (, also , ; formally ''Arma dei Carabinieri'', "Arm of Carabineers"; previously ''Corpo dei Carabinieri Reali'', "Royal Carabineers Corps") are the national gendarmerie of Italy who primarily carry out domestic policing duties. It ...
,
Belgium Belgium, ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe Western Europe is the region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. G ...
and
Austria Austria, officially the Republic of Austria, is a landlocked country in the southern part of Central Europe, located on the Eastern Alps. It is composed of nine States of Austria, federated states, one of which is Vienna, Austria's ca ...
's gendarmeries have merged with the civil police (in, respectively, 2001 and 2005). Many former French colonies, especially in Africa, also have gendarmeries. The Dutch
Royal Marechaussee The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee ( nl, Koninklijke Marechaussee, abbreviated to KMar) is one of two national police forces in the Netherlands, alongside the National Police, and is one of the four branches of the Netherlands Armed Forces. It is ...
was created by King William I to replace the French Gendarmerie after French rule ended. The national police force of Canada, the
Royal Canadian Mounted Police The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP; french: Gendarmerie royale du Canada; french: GRC, label=none), often known as the Mounties, are the federal police, federal and national police service of Canada, providing law enforcement at the feder ...

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
is referred to in French as the Gendarmerie royale du Canada (GRC). However the RCMP is a mainly civilian organisation within
Public Safety Canada Public Safety Canada (PSC; french: Sécurité publique Canada, SPC; PSP can be used to denote both official languages), legally incorporated as the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (PSEPC), is the department of the federal g ...
. It is not part of the Canadian Department of National Defence, but does have a paramilitary wing and they have been awarded the status of a regiment of dragoons, with a military battle standard displaying their battle honours following service in World War I. Those honours include Northwest Canada, South Africa, The Great War, and the Second World War. A common gendarmerie symbol is a flaming
grenade A grenade is an explosive weaponAn explosive weapon generally uses high explosive to project blast wave, blast and/or fragmentation (weaponry), fragmentation from a point of detonation. Explosive weapons may be subdivided by their method of ma ...

grenade
, first used as insignia by the French force.


Role in modern conflicts

Gendarmes play an important role re-establishing
law and order In modern politics, law and order, also known as tough on crime and the War on Crime, is demands for a strict criminal justice 350px, United States criminal justice system flowchart. Criminal justice is the delivery of justice Justice, on ...
in conflict areas, a task which is suited to their purpose, training and capabilities.composition of the KFOR
/ref> Gendarmeries are widely used for
internal security Internal security is the act of keeping peace within the borders of a sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity that is represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. International law defin ...
and in
peacekeeping Peacekeeping comprises activities intended to create conditions that favour lasting peace. Research generally finds that peacekeeping reduces civilian and battlefield deaths, as well as reduces the risk of renewed warfare. Within the United Na ...
operations, for instance in the former
Yugoslavia Yugoslavia (; sh, Jugoslavija / ; sl, Jugoslavija ; mk, Југославија ;; rup, Iugoslavia; hu, Jugoszlávia; Pannonian Rusyn Image:Novi Sad mayor office.jpg, 250px, Mayor office written in four official languages used in the ...

Yugoslavia
and in Ivory Coast, sometimes via the
European Gendarmerie Force The European Gendarmerie Force (EUROGENDFOR or EGF) is an operational, pre-organised, robust, and rapidly deployable intervention force, exclusively comprising elements of several European police forces with military status of the Parties in order ...
.


See also

* List of gendarmeries *
National Guard National Guard is the name used by a wide variety of current and historical uniformed organizations in different countries. The original National Guard was formed during the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) refers to the period ...
*
Carabinier A carabinier (also sometimes spelled carabineer or carbineer) is in principle a soldier armed with a carbine A carbine ( or ) is a long-barreled firearm whose barrel is shorter than that of a standard rifle or musket. Most carbines are shor ...
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Carabinieri The Carabinieri (, also , ; formally ''Arma dei Carabinieri'', "Arm of Carabineers"; previously ''Corpo dei Carabinieri Reali'', "Royal Carabineers Corps") are the national gendarmerie of Italy who primarily carry out domestic policing duties. It ...
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ConstabularyConstabulary may have several definitions: *A civil, non-paramilitary (police) force consisting of police officers called constables. This is the usual definition in the United Kingdom, in which all county Law enforcement in the United Kingdom, polic ...
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Internal Troops The Internal Troops, full name Internal Troops of the Ministry for Internal Affairs (MVD) (russian: Внутренние войска Министерства внутренних дел, Vnutrenniye Voiska Ministerstva Vnutrennikh Del; abbreviated ...
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Security forcesSecurity Forces are statutory organisations with internal security mandates. In the legal context of several nations, the term has variously denoted police The police are a Law enforcement organization, constituted body of Law enforcement offi ...
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Paramilitary Paramilitary forces usually tend to wear similar but different uniforms to the military, for instance gray "urban camouflage". A paramilitary organization (also listed as quasi military) is a semi-militarized force whose organizational struc ...
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SWAT In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, ...

SWAT
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Militia A militia () is generally an army or some other Military organization, fighting organization of non-professional soldiers, citizens of a country, or subjects of a state, who may perform military service during a time of need, as opposed to a pro ...
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Coast Guard A coast guard or coastguard is a maritime security organization of a particular country. The term embraces wide range of responsibilities in different countries, from being a heavily armed military force with customs and security duties to ...
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Militarization of police The militarization of police is the use of military equipment and Military tactics, tactics by law enforcement officers. This includes the use of armored personnel carriers (APCs), assault rifles, submachine guns, flashbang grenades, grenade laun ...
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European Gendarmerie Force The European Gendarmerie Force (EUROGENDFOR or EGF) is an operational, pre-organised, robust, and rapidly deployable intervention force, exclusively comprising elements of several European police forces with military status of the Parties in order ...
* Martial law


References

{{Authority control Law enforcement units