The Albanian State Police (Albanian: Policia e Shtetit) is the national police and law enforcement agency which operates throughout the Republic of Albania. The collapse of the Communist system and the establishment of political pluralism post-1991 brought important changes to the structure of the Albanian Police. The Ministry of Public Order and the General Directorate of Police were established in April 1991, and the new law of July 1991 established the Public Order Police. Nearly 80% of police manpower, i.e. personnel who had served under the previous system, were replaced by new recruits. On November 4, 1991, the Albanian Police was accepted as a member of Interpol. The emergency number is 129.


The original Albanian Police was founded on 13 January 1913 by the government of Ismail Qemali, Albania's first prime minister.[3]

The crisis of 1997

Following the collapse of the Albanian economy in January–February 1997 in the wake of the implosion of the Ponzi pyramid banking schemes promoted by the government,[4] increasing insurgency in early March led to the Police and Republican Guard deserting en masse because it became clear they were unlikely to be paid, leaving their armouries unlocked,[5] which were promptly looted by parties unknown, believed to mostly have been the local crime bodies and self-appointed militias: many of the weapons eventually surfaced in the ethnic fighting in Kosovo.

Riot police in 1997 in Albania

The resulting anarchy led a number of nations to use military forces to evacuate citizens,[6][7] culminating in the UN authorising Operation Alba ("Daybreak"), a short-term military stabilisation force led by the Italian Army, tasked with facilitating the repatriation of foreigners and laying the foundations for another International Organisation to undertake the longer-term restabilisation. The political debate eventually settled in Europe within the body responsible for the defence diplomatic coordination of the Continent, the Council of the Western European Union. In a 2-hour meeting which convened at 1400 hrs on 2 May 1997,[8] the WEU Council decided on the immediate establishment of the Multinational Advisory Police Element, sending a pathfinder officer, a Norwegian Police Colonel, the same evening. The Italian force in Operation Alba predicated the Command structure of MAPE passing into the Italian Carabinieri, General Pietro Pistolese, previously commanding the Genoa region, bringing his team with him. Four phases followed, assessment, reconstruction, support of the Albanian Police control during the Kosovo Crisis, and finally build-down and handback in early 2001, which was somewhat accelerated ahead of the transfer of the WEU's operational responsibilities to the Council of the EU on 30 June 2001. The reconstruction principally involved the reconstruction of the Judicial system and the training of Police, but the Finance section also accommodated economic specialists acting as the principal feedback into the correction of the Judicial system. The Command Team later formed the core of the European Union Border Assistance Mission Rafah from 2005 onwards.

Public Perception

According to a survey produced in 2009 for the United States Agency for International Development Albanian's perception of the police was as follows:[9]

  • On a scale of 0-100 with 0 being Very Honest and 100 being Very Corrupt, Policemen were given a score of 63.1 points
  • When asked to what extent the police help to fight corruption, 0 being Not at All and 100 being Helps a Lot, the Police were given a score of 45.5
  • When asked about trust in institutions, 0 being No Trust at All and 100 being Trust a Lot, the Police were given a score of 47.8
  • When asked if during the previous year they had been asked for a bribe 7.8% said Yes
  • "When asked how they were treated by the police, the proportion of respondents that replied "Poorly" or "Very poorly" was 26.6%, a decrease of 10.9 percentage points from 37.5% in 2005"

Given that this was within eight years of the departure of the MAPE rebuilding mission, great concern must be expressed about the capacity of the police force to maintain the legal norms required of an aspirant EU State.

Modernization and the Future

Police flag

In 2014, the Ministry of Internal Affairs started a modernization process of the Albanian police, to modernize it's equipment and methods. The first step was the acquisition of new police vans and cruisers, the next one was the installment of body cameras on police officers to improve their service and to be analysed after an operation. Uniforms of the every uniformed department of the Albanian police were overhauled and the logo was changed also.

Several operations were held from the years 2014 to 2016, in various criminally active regions of Albania (i.e. Lazarat) to restore confidence and belief of the Albanian public to support the actions of police. Body cameras are becoming an integral part of the Albanian police, used on various drug busts and high-profile operations, released afterwards to the public


Starting 2015, the Albanian State Police will begin to reorganize, a project which is expected to continue for several years.[10] The Albanian police will implement a new hierarchical structure composed of nine hierarchic ranks.[11][12]

Rank insignia of the Albanian State Police
Service Uniform Grada Drejtues Madhor (Policia e Shtetit).svg Grada Drejtues i Lartë (Policia e Shtetit).svg Grada Drejtues i Parë (Policia e Shtetit).svg Grada Drejtues (Policia e Shtetit).svg Grada Kryekomisar (Policia e Shtetit).svg Grada Komisar (Policia e Shtetit).svg Grada Nënkomisar (Policia e Shtetit).svg Grada Inspektor (Policia e Shtetit).svg Grada Kursantë (Policia e Shtetit).svg
Ceremonial Uniform Gradë ceremoniali, Drejtues Madhor (Policia e Shtetit).svg Gradë ceremoniali, Drejtues i Lartë (Policia e Shtetit).svg Gradë ceremoniali, Drejtues i Parë (Policia e Shtetit).svg Gradë ceremoniali, Drejtues (Policia e Shtetit).svg Gradë ceremoniali, Kryekomisar (Policia e Shtetit).svg Gradë ceremoniali, Komisar (Policia e Shtetit).svg Gradë ceremoniali, Nënkomisar (Policia e Shtetit).svg Gradë ceremoniali, Inspektor (Policia e Shtetit).svg Gradë ceremoniali, Kursantë (Policia e Shtetit).svg
Rank: Chief Director
Drejtues Madhor
Senior Director
Drejtues i Lartë
First Director
Drejtues i Parë


Patch Branch units
Policia e Rendit.svg
Policia e Rendit
The Order Police is tasked to deal with issues of public order.
Policia Kufitare.svg
Policia Kufitare
The Border Police is in charge of patrolling the border.
Policia Rrugore.svg
Policia Rrugore
The Road Police administers road safety.
Forcat e Ndërhyrjes së Shpejtë.svg
Forcat e Ndërhyrjes së Shpejtë
The Rapid Intervention Force is the quick intervention unit dealing mostly with cases of violent riots,special operations.
The Eagles are a rapid intervention unit that handles domestic criminal activities.
The Department of Neutralization of Armed Elements is the main counter-terrorism and critical incident response unit.


Directors (1913–1944)

No. Name Term in office
1 Halim Gostivari 13 January 1913 24 May 1913
2 Feim Mezhgorani 24 May 1913 30 January 1914
3 Hilë Mosi 1 February 1914 30 March 1914
4 Veli Vasjari 1 April 1914 30 June 1914
5 Sulejman Kërçiku 2 October 1914 27 January 1916
6 Halim Gostivari 28 August 1919 17 December 1920
7 Ahmet Sinani 17 December 1920 10 January 1922
8 Veli Vasjari 11 January 1922 22 April 1922
9 Halim Gostivari 22 April 1922 21 August 1922
10 Musa Çelepia 21 August 1922 26 December 1922
11 Hamza Isaraj 10 December 1924 25 December 1924
12 Qazim Bodinaku 24 February 1926 7 July 1926
13 Rrustem Ymeri 20 December 1926 1927
14 Hilë Mosi 3 September 1928 1929
15 Zef Kadarja 31 August 1940 23 March 1942
16 Theodor Stamati 24 March 1942 26 November 1942
17 Shyqyri Borshi 26 November 1942 4 June 1943
18 Gjush Deda 4 June 1943 30 August 1943
19 Kolë Radovani 1 September 1943 13 October 1943
20 Skënder Selmanaj 15 October 1943 10 January 1944
21 Tahir Kolgjini 10 January 1944 24 November 1944

Directors (1944–1992)

No. Name Term in office
22 Namik Xhafa 24 November 1944 20 March 1947
23 Lako Polena 24 March 1947 2 February 1948
24 Sali Ormëni 16 February 1948 2 March 1951
25 Maqo Çomo 2 March 1951 March 1952
26 Delo Balili March 1952 1 May 1956
27 Xhule Çiraku 1 May 1956 February 1968
28 Kasëm Kaso February 1968 January 1980
29 Agron Tafa January 1980 August 1982
30 Kasëm Kaso August 1982 31 December 1984
31 Dilaver Bengasi 1 January 1987 17 July 1990
32 Fadil Cani 17 July 1990 1 May 1992

Directors (1992–present)

No. Name Term in office
33 Astrit Mehaj 1 May 1992 22 June 1993
34 Sabri Jacaj 22 June 1993 15 June 1995
35 Agim Shehu 15 June 1995 30 June 1997
36 Sokol Baraj 3 July 1997 16 May 1998
37 Besnik Bregu 16 May 1998 4 September 1998
38 Hasan Ahmetaj 4 September 1998 9 November 1998
39 Veton Gjoliku 9 November 1998 20 January 1999
40 Veli Myftari 20 January 1999 22 November 2000
41 Bilbil Mema 23 November 2000 19 August 2002
42 Bajram Ibraj 12 September 2002 30 March 2007
43 Ahmet Prençi 30 March 2007 28 October 2009
44 Hysni Burgaj 28 October 2009 9 September 2013
45 Artan Didi 10 October 2013 31 March 2015
46 Haki Çako 15 April 2015 8 January 2018
47 Ardi Veliu 5 February 2018 Incumbent


  1. ^ "Rriten pagat për 93 % të punonjësve të Policisë së Shtetit". www.punetebrendshme.gov.al. 
  2. ^ Gilaj, Bledi (5 September 2015). "Policia rrit me 21% numrin e punonjësve - Gazeta SHQIP Online". 
  3. ^ "Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA), 98-01-11". www.hri.org. 
  4. ^ "Collapse of the Ponzi schemes 1997". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 2015-03-09. 
  5. ^ Albanian Rebellion of 1997#Opening of the depots
  6. ^ Operation Silver Wake
  7. ^ Operation Libelle
  8. ^ "NL MOD History of MAPE". Dutch Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 2015-03-09. 
  9. ^ "Corruption in Albania 2009 - Summary of Findings". Institute for Development Research and Alternatives. Archived from the original on 21 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-09. 
  10. ^ Republic of, Albania. "Modernizimi i Policisë së Shtetit". www.punetebrendshme.gov.al. Ministry of Internal Affairs. 
  11. ^ Law on State Police, Albania (2014). Ranks of Albanian police (PDF). Albania: Ministry of Internal Affairs. p. 22. 
  12. ^ Albanian State Police insignia, Albania (2016). Ranks insignia of the Albanian police officers (PDF). Albania: General Directorate of State Police. pp. 5–14; 53. Retrieved 24 July 2017. 


See also

External links