Community Guard

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Community guards are institutions of the Austrian municipalities that they established to carry out police duties. They are also known as community security guards, local security, community, or city ​​police . Their legal basis can be found in Art. 15 , Art. 118 Para. 3 and Art. 118a of the Federal Constitutional Act .


The federal constitution grants the municipalities the execution in the following areas, which are usually taken care of by the municipal guards: local security police, local event police, local street police, local market police, lost property authorities and the affairs of the moral police. According to Sections 9 and 14 of the Security Police Act , the state police director can, at the request of the respective municipality, place the municipal guard under the authority of the district administrative authority so that it can perform executive service in the municipality. The municipal guard is, like the federal police, formally an auxiliary body of the district administrative authority. Crossing the municipality area is only permitted if the necessary measures could otherwise not be taken in time. Such intervention must be brought to the attention of the district police command immediately. The 1999 amendment to the Security Police Act brought the authority of the municipal guards into line with that of the Federal Police ;

Guard bodies within the meaning of the B-VG can only be those municipal police forces that have a certain "formation strength". Small offices with only one employee in some cases are therefore legally not referred to as community guards, but as "simple community guards".

Political importance

The existence of municipal guards is generally understood as a concession by the federal legislature to the security needs of the federal states . In order to avoid a weakening of the federal security competencies as far as possible, which would have been the case with the establishment of a state police from its point of view, the municipalities were granted security police tasks. Community guards have existed throughout Austria since the beginning of the First Republic . They were increasingly set up where they were found necessary due to the tourist situation, such as in a number of health resorts. Especially in the western federal states of Tyrol and Vorarlberg , where great importance has always been attached to federalism and self-determination, the number of community guards is relatively higher than in eastern Austria. There are community guards in all federal states except Burgenland , Vienna and Carinthia . In May 2009, the Federal Chancellery voiced constitutional concerns about the plan of the Vorarlberg Community Association of Montafon to set up a community guard. According to the Federal Chancellery, only individual municipalities are entitled to this, not associations.

Although the municipal guards work for the district administrative authorities, in reality the municipal guards enjoy the same independence from them as the federal police , which is subordinate to the Federal Minister of the Interior . The municipal guard is usually subordinate to the mayor , who makes the personnel decisions and can issue instructions.

Differentiation between city police / community guards and public order offices

In communities in which the Landespolizeidirektion at the same time security authority is I. instance, may in accordance with Art. 78d para. 2 B-VG will not set up a community wax body (which is in most Statutarstädten the case). The often expressed political wish of 'city guards' in Vienna, Graz and Linz is denied by the unambiguous regulation of the federal constitution . Some cities circumvent this regulation by setting up public order offices or security guards. For this reason, the Klagenfurt Ordnungsamt , the Graz Ordnungswache , the parking area surveillance group in Vienna or the Wels Ordnungswache are not community guards, but special institutions whose precise design and powers differ greatly from city to city. The security service in Linz ( Ordnungsdienst der Stadt Linz GmbH ) was set up as a GmbH and therefore functions like a private security service. In 2016, the so-called security partners were created in Burgenland to raise the public's feeling of security.

City hall guard in Vienna

As a special feature, the Rathauswache has existed in Vienna since 1927 as a special organizational unit of the Vienna professional fire brigade , which was originally founded as an armed task force. In addition to fire protection tasks, the town hall guard is responsible for protecting people and property in the town hall and in all of the municipal offices in Vienna. Another area of ​​responsibility is the issuing of "emergency passports", ie passports that are required at short notice during the night or on weekends and public holidays. The town hall guard is not a community guard either.



Until 2012, the federal police and the community guards differed in their uniforms. The parish security guards' cap was blue instead of red. The members of the community guards did not wear the silver lampasses on the uniform trousers of the federal police either. These bans have now been lifted. On the other hand, the employees of the federal police are still not allowed to wear the municipal coat of arms on their uniform. The officials of the municipal guards in turn wear the municipal coat of arms with the corresponding inscription on their uniform jackets instead of the national coat of arms . The coat of arms of the association of cities , which corresponds to the head of the federal eagle, is usually attached to the distinctions .

In principle, the municipalities are free to purchase equipment and are not bound by any guidelines. However, most community guards wear the regular uniform as used by the federal police. An exception is, for example, the Baden City Police, which have their uniforms from the LZN in Hann. Münden relates. Except for the shoulder and badge of rank as well as the police stars, the uniforms are therefore identical to those of the police officers from Hamburg, Bremen, Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony.


Škoda Octavia of the
Zell am See city ​​police

The vehicles of the community guards do not have their own license plates like the federal police. They have the usual license plates of the respective district. The federal coat of arms is not shown on the emergency vehicles . However, the municipal coat of arms is often attached. Most of the community guards have emergency vehicles, and some have motorcycle and bicycle lanes.

List of municipalities with municipal guards

Sleeve badge of the Feldkirch city ​​police before the uniform change from gray to blue

The federal states of Vorarlberg and Tyrol have the largest number of such in Austria, each with 10 community security guards. One third of the total of 313 (as of 2016) community guards in Austria work in Vorarlberg. This is largely due to the fact that the state is the only one that financially supports the formation of community guards. In addition, Vorarlberg has had the honorary badge for services to the local security police as a state award since 1975 .

Lower Austria
  • Amstetten : Founded: 1873, Description: City Police , 6 officers
  • Baden near Vienna : Founded: 1811, name: City Police , largest community security station in Austria with 36 officers and its own criminal police, the city police wear the uniform of the Hamburg police
  • Gmünd : founded in 1887, designation: city ​​police , 1 officer, first city police car purchased in 2019
  • Neunkirchen : Founded: 1869, Name: City Police , 9 officials
Upper Austria
  • Hallein : Founded: 1862, Name: City Police , 8 officers, one officer in training
  • Zell am See : Founded: 2018, Description: City Police , 5 officers
  • Hall in Tirol : Name: City Police , 4 officers
  • Imst : Name: City Police , 3 officers
  • Kitzbühel : Name: City Police , 3 officers
  • Kufstein : Name: City Police , 12 officers
  • Landeck : Name: City Police , 2 officers
  • Mayrhofen : Name: community police , 3 officers
  • Schwaz : Description: City Police , 4 officers
  • Sölden : Name: Community police , 1 officer
  • St. Anton am Arlberg : 1 civil servant
  • Wattens : Designation: community police , 2 officers
  • Wörgl : Name: City Police , 7 officers
  • Bludenz : Designation: Municipal security guard , 9 officers
  • Bregenz : Founded at the beginning of the 19th century, name: city ​​police , 21 officers
  • Dornbirn : Name: City Police , 27 officers
  • Feldkirch : Name: City Police , 22 officers
  • Götzis : Description: Community security guard , 2 officers
  • Hohenems : Designation: City Police , 5 officers
  • Lustenau : Name: security guard , 7 officers
  • Mittelberg Designation: Security Guard
  • Rankweil : Name: local police , 3 officers

Planned city police



Individual evidence

  1. Wenda, p. 10
  3. Archive link ( Memento of the original from February 21, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  5. New security guard in Wels. In: ORF. Retrieved December 4, 2010 .
  6. ^ City guard: Linz law enforcement officers sworn in. In: Upper Austrian news. Retrieved December 4, 2010 .
  7. 200 applicants for "security partners". In: August 23, 2016. Retrieved November 18, 2018 .
  8. "Security partner " for Burgenland municipalities. In: January 22, 2016, accessed November 18, 2018 .
  9. German uniforms for the Baden City Police ( Memento of the original from February 22, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  15. ↑ https://www.mein
  36. ↑ https://www.mein
  56. ↑ https://www.mein