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“Switzerland was not a police state because, being so well run by the people acting as democratic communities, it had no need to be one”. Nowadays the situation did not change. Switzerland is one of the most peaceful countries in the world. Due to the federal structure of the country and the sovereignty of the cantons in police matters, there is no unified national police organization in Switzerland. The federal system and a three-level administrative division of the country are also reflected in the structure of the Swiss police. Swiss police are a part of the Federal Department of Justice and Police, along with the Federal Department of Justice, Federal Metrological Department and Federal Migration Service. The police in Switzerland are divided into three parts: the federal police, cantonal police and the public police. The first link is the Federal Police. The Federal Police performs the following functions:

  1. Protection of the constitutional state and democratic principles.
  2. The internal security of Switzerland.
  3. Combat crime, especially crimes that threaten the state.
  4. Protection of employees and the Confederation Buildings, as well as people and buildings that are protected by the international law.
  5. Maintain of contacts with national and international law enforcement agencies.

The second link is cantonal police. There are 26 cantons in Switzerland. The police structure varies in them. In the German-speaking cantons the police have three main areas of activity: the investigation of criminal offenses, security, and road safety. In French-speaking cantons the police consist of two divisions: the Gendarmerie and security (sûreté). The Gendarmerie is the analogue of the Security Police in the German-speaking cantons. The syurete is an analogue of the criminal police. The Italian-speaking canton of Ticino has created its own police system, based on the territorial principle.

The third link is the public police. Public police was established in the cantons, which are either geographically fragmented or where local communities traditionally had a high level of autonomy. The country has about 300 units of the public police. The main direction of the police of cities and communities is the investigation of administrative and minor offenses. However, in a number of cantons (for example, Bern) there is no police force of this link. In this case, their functions are transferred to the police of the canton.

Currently, there are 23 000 employees at all levels. Switzerland has the lowest ratio of police officers per resident in Europe. All candidates must meet the following requirements: the Swiss citizenship, from 20 to 35 years, the finishing of high public school (grade 9) or secondary school, the diploma of the Commercial College, the impeccable reputation (no criminal record, the absence of debt), the driving license category “B”, the height is from 170 centimeters for men and from 160 centimeters for women. In addition, people who have tattoos that are visible when wearing a shirt with short sleeves are not allowed to the police. To apply for the police force, a person has to pass a multi-level selection. He/she should pass a series of tests, including the knowledge of the German language, motivation, social competence, and intellectual ability. A person has to pass the athletic test and an interview. Finally, he/she must be examined by a doctor.

Code: Sample20

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