Support Command (Bavaria)

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USK emblem (badge of activity on the uniform)

The support command ( USK ) is one of the special forces of the Bavarian police with special tasks and maintains several locations here. Established in 1987 primarily to combat serious riots , the USK is now used as a closed unit in many different areas.


The official reason for the establishment were the fatal incidents at the West Runway on November 2, 1987. A demonstrator shot two police officers during a violent demonstration. The support commandos were set up just four days later. This decision was shaped primarily by the dispute between opponents of nuclear power and the Bavarian police in Wackersdorf and was made on the initiative of the then Interior Secretary Peter Gauweiler . The Bavarian state government brought members of the Berlin special unit EbLT (operational readiness for special situations and mission-related training) to help. The USK was founded according to their model with a different concept and soon afterwards also used in Wackersdorf. On February 3, 1988, Gauweiler presented the USK to the press for the first time. To do this, he had journalists drive in police VW buses to the airfield of the border patrol squadron in Oberschleißheim, who were attacked on the way there by "demonstrators" represented by members of the USK. The fake protesters were then overwhelmed by real USK police officers.

The Evidence Preservation and Arrest Units (BFE) are similar to the USK .


USK at Munich's Marienplatz
Coat of arms ( griffin ) and tactical symbols on an emergency vehicle

The tasks of the USK are wide-ranging, mainly special situations that go beyond normal police service .

The areas of application are u. a .:

The USK is also used outside of Bavaria in police situations with an increased risk potential.

Outside of special operations or training and further education, the USK also supports the local departments in their daily police service. Some of the officers are out and about in “normal” uniforms, but can usually be recognized as USK officers by a patch with the USK badge or sticker on the vehicles. The USK should be characterized by a determined and uncompromising demeanor.


The USK is partly affiliated with the Bavarian riot police :

  • Support command within the III. Würzburg riot police department
  • Support command within the 15th operational hundred of the IV. Riot Police Department Nuremberg
  • Support command within the 22nd mission of the VI. Riot Police Department Dachau

The other part of the USK is subordinate to the police headquarters of Munich and Middle Franconia as part of the state police :

  • Support command within the 3rd service hundred at the police inspection supplementary services of the police headquarters in Munich
  • Support command within the operational hundred of the Police Headquarters Middle Franconia

The USK is built up in hundreds. A hundred is subordinate to the leader of the hundred and his deputy. A deployment hundred consists of several deployment trains, which in turn are subdivided into evidence preservation and access groups. Every emergency train has a train driver. There is also a somewhat smaller group of hundreds that is responsible for supplies and equipment. The USK emergency vehicles all have Bamberg license plates because the riot police headquarters are in Bamberg.

Recruitment and training

In order to be able to apply to the USK, as with all other units, you first have to complete the normal police training. However, in addition to the normal requirements for the police service , the USK has its own very high admission criteria. The civil servants who apply for the USK must be extremely efficient physically and mentally. The selection process, in which many times more civil servants apply than there are permanent positions , is divided into two sub-areas, the sports test and a psychological interview. The sports test must be successfully completed by all USK officers once a year in order to be allowed to stay in the unit. As a minimum, you have to run 3000 meters in less than 13:30 minutes, do eight pull-ups and bench press eight times to lift 70 percent of your body weight.

After the selection process, the applicants are ranked and the best are included in the USK. Women are the exception at the USK . After admission to the USK, the newcomers first go through a six-month basic course. The training content, which is also trained in daily service, includes arrest tactics and techniques, shooting and weapons training, legal studies , psychology , perpetrator behavior, tactical exercises, tactics and, in particular, combat and endurance sports . Especially ju-jutsu , but also various other martial arts are trained as with other special units .

USK officials have a much larger firing quota than regular police officers. Instead of the usually prescribed 50 rounds per year, the USK has 2,500. The USK instructors try to make shooting training as realistic as possible. The officers are to be prepared for the use of the last resort through physical and psychological stress . In addition to the usual targets , slide series and films (so-called shooting cinema) are used that show a certain situation and in which the shooter has to decide in a split second whether to shoot.


Every member of the USK has personal equipment that is not available to patrol officers. This includes a protective vest into which polyethylene plates can be inserted to protect against larger calibers . It also has a stab protection insert. Every officer has a combined shin and knee protection, as well as shoulder, arm and thigh protectors made of plastic, similar to ice hockey players, as well as a groin guard . The head is protected by a helmet with a transparent plastic visor and a Goretex suit. According to the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior, the new non-flammable protective suits made of flame-retardant aramid fabric are both more comfortable and more protective than the old cotton suits. Since 2005 the officials of the USK have been equipped with new overalls in the color " Parisian blue " (deep dark blue), which is, however, often mistakenly perceived and referred to as black.

The officers have MP5 submachine guns in various designs and the SFP9 service pistol , in addition all USKs were equipped with a large number of FN Scar-L . Tasers are currently being tested. In addition, every USK member has a multi-purpose baton (colloquially: baton), a knife and a pepper spray . To shackle the arrested, the police carry plastic handcuffs , similar to cable ties, and handcuffs . In order to be in constant radio communication with one another, each officer has his own radio with a hands-free kit.

Mission concept

Police chief inspector Georg Rieger put it in an article in 1988 about the operational technology: “The support commands largely turn away from static use and generally proceed aggressively; they cannot be pushed into defensive positions. Attack is the best defense! ”According to their own statements, they train to recognize violent criminals during demonstrations and then to arrest them when they pose a threat.


In several cases, the USK was accused of disproportionately tough intervention. In this context, the lack of labeling and the difficulties it caused in the legal prosecution of unlawful violence by police forces was an issue. Corresponding criticism was u. a. Voiced by Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen , the ver.di trade union , the Left Members of the Pirate Party and the FDP, and Amnesty International .

Incidents discussed in the media

  • During the G7 summit in Munich in 1992 on July 6, 1992, up to a thousand G7 opponents tried to disrupt the summit's only outdoor appearance with whistles and boos on Max-Joseph-Platz . Thereupon they were pushed away from the scene, surrounded by USK officials in front of the Dallmayr coffee house at Marienhof and held for several hours. The Munich police later forcibly pulled around 480 demonstrators out of the cauldron. The USK had already been used at the preparatory meetings of the summit critics.
  • In December 2006, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on the abuse and humiliation of colleagues among one another, as a result of which affected members were removed from the unit for reasons of care . It was about spraying pepper spray on each other's faces, and a colleague is said to have been tied to a banister with cable ties.
  • During the traditional church service on the Hoher Brendten near Mittenwald in May 2007, demonstrators unrolled a banner with the inscription " Fascism is not an opinion, it is a crime". Since disrupting church services is a criminal offense, they were then taken into custody by USK officials . Then the temporarily arrested had to undergo a body search and, according to VVN activist Jürgen Schuh, to undress in front of the officers. The Garmisch-Partenkirchen district court came to the conclusion "that the police detention (...) and the subsequent order to completely undress during the police search were unlawful." The court also emphasized, however, that “the police cannot be accused of having wrongly chosen the means”, but that the law enforcement officers “chose a disproportionate one of various measures”. The police said that undressing was a common act as there had been several cases in which people had hidden razor blades in their buttocks.
  • At a soccer game between FC Bayern Munich and TSV 1860 Munich on December 9, 2007, USK officials assumed "massive acts of aggression (...) using batons", according to the Munich public prosecutor. Before the game ended, the police imposed a so-called block ban to keep the fan groups apart. After the block was opened, there was a great rush at the exit. It was the attacks by the officials. In its report, the public prosecutor's office speaks of beatings “in a disproportionate manner and without justification with batons at uninvolved visitors, some of them children and women.” In response to press reports, the initially suspended proceedings were resumed, but in August 2009 it was suspended again. In the meantime, the investigation has been resumed. The suspects could not be identified because the officials were not identified. The video recordings of the USK operation were only made available to the investigating authorities one year after the incidents, but there were gaps in them at crucial points. The investigation was discontinued in 2011 by the Public Prosecutor's Office because “no assignable beats could have been found”. The European Court of Human Rights said in 2017 two men who had been beaten, 2,000 euros to and evaluated the assault as a violation of the prohibition of torture.
  • During a soccer game on February 10, 2010 in the Munich Allianz Arena between FC Bayern Munich and the game association Greuther Fürth , there were arguments between fans of the game association and the USK. 25 people were arrested. According to the police, three buses "with heavily drunk and aggressive Fürth ultra fans" arrived too late in Munich due to snowfall. These would then have already attacked police officers at the entrance "for no apparent reason with massive physical violence" and later from inside the block police officers and stewards. According to Holger Schwiewagner from the management of the club, however, the incident occurred because the police wanted to check the fans who had already been checked again when the fans wanted to quickly get into their block. The Fürth fans were then violent against the officials, whereupon the police reacted "sometimes with unreasonable severity". There was excessive, sometimes reckless use of physical violence, the use of baton and pepper spray, even against bystanders. In an official statement, SpVgg Greuther Fürth condemned the operation: “The police used disproportionate means against the audience,” said Holger Schwiewagner, and continued: “That does not correspond to our understanding of fair treatment. Auto Club representatives who attempted the situation to calm down, had been addressed verbally and palpable after the game by officials of the Munich Support Command. "The Fürth SPD District Chairman and Member of Parliament Horst Arnold has filed a criminal complaint against unknown persons for assault in this context in office. The police were apparently irritated by the unusually aggressive demeanor of the football fans. A police spokesman said that “riots like this have not been seen in the Allianz Arena for a long time”. A number of preliminary investigations were under way, one of the persons involved stated that she had been hit in the face by a USK officer with a baton in front of the toilet, another woman said that her daughters had been beaten; when she protested, she was arrested. Two USK police officers were transferred. However, all criminal proceedings for bodily harm while in office were suspended, except for one where the public prosecutor applied for a penalty order .
  • During the Bundesliga soccer match between FC Augsburg and Greuther Fürth on December 15, 2012, the USK attacked Augsburg fans before, during and after the game. The incidents were documented by the fan representative of FC Augsburg. In a letter to the Bavarian Minister of the Interior, the President of FC Augsburg expressed the assumption that the USK's missions at football games would be used for training purposes and that escalations would also be brought about by the USK against peaceful fans to increase the training benefit. Interior Minister Herrmann then requested a statement from the Central Franconian Police Headquarters, which could not confirm the allegations after examination. After the FCA President renewed his allegations and saw them supported by information from an insider, the Interior Minister offered to meet with FCA fans, but continued to reject the FCA's allegations.
  • In May 2014, fans in a USK vehicle photographed a storage box for two-way radios with stickers during a soccer game, which are particularly common in the right-wing scene. The police then launched an internal investigation to find the person responsible. Even if the stickers are not forbidden by law, the officers responsible can expect a disciplinary penalty because the police's neutrality requirement has been violated. In a statement from the police, it was said that it was a 25-year-old police officer who said he "acted thoughtlessly". The public prosecutor closed the investigation in June 2014.
  • In March 2015, 15 participants in an anti- Pegida demonstration in Nuremberg are said to have been encircled in the Weißer Turm underground station and then photographed individually. The police, however, objected to the encirclement and justified the control with the fact that 10 people from the group were suspected of having blocked tram tracks during a demonstration a few days earlier. The state parliament member Helga Schmitt-Bussinger criticized the deployment and would like to address it in the interior committee of the Bavarian state parliament .
  • In October 2015, a USK officer hit a punk in Nuremberg so badly that he suffered a fractured jaw on both sides. The officer was sentenced to one and a half years probation for dangerous physical harm, according to a colleague against him.
  • During a counter-demonstration against Pegida on July 18, 2016, a USK official hit an 18-year-old schoolgirl in the face at least twice. The State Criminal Police Office started an investigation. The policeman accepted a penalty order. He was sentenced to 60 daily rates and had to pay several thousand euros.
  • From March 2019, 47 officials, most of whom belonged to the USK, were investigated for incitement to hatred and the use of symbols of unconstitutional organizations. The officers were partially suspended and removed from their posts. Videos were also found showing the officers willfully injuring each other with tasers . The officers had only been equipped and trained with the new weapons in isolated cases since the summer of 2018. According to a report by the Ministry of the Interior to the responsible state parliament committee, one of the officials was sentenced to 3,500 euros in 50 daily rates. One officer himself asked to be released.

Identity of the USK officers

The USK officials (also) sometimes wear balaclavas during demonstrations . In the case of a deployment in closed units, instead of the individual officer (identification requirement according to the Bavarian Police Task Act ), according to the relevant service regulations, only the head of operations gives information about the identity of the officers. Mainly for tactical reasons, the officers are marked (individually) by symbols on their uniforms or helmets .

Following the incidents on December 9, 2007, in which, according to witness statements, several hooded USK officials indiscriminately beat football fans and were acquitted because they could not be identified, Siegfried Benker , the then Munich Green City Councilor, applied for a label for USK officials . The district administration department pointed out that, for example, demonstrators and football fans are also not labeled and that labeling puts officials at increased risk. On February 19, 2009, a majority of the Munich City Council voted to commission the Lord Mayor Christian Ude to work towards a requirement for police officers to be identified by numbers in the responsible Free State of Bavaria .

In the meantime, the parliamentary groups Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen Bayern and the SPD Bayern in the Bavarian State Parliament advocate mandatory identification of civil servants. In 2017, the European Court of Human Rights advised the Free State of Bavaria to clearly personalize and label closed units in action.


As a heraldic animal , the support command leads the (Babylonian) griffin , a hybrid creature from mythology .

(see also: List of coats of arms with the griffin )

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ New police , accessed January 11, 2013
  2. cf. Winter, Martin: Political Issue Police: Power and Function in the Federal Republic p.113
  3. ^ SPIEGEL ONLINE, Hamburg, Germany: Police: Like the Freikorps - DER SPIEGEL 29/1992. Retrieved March 23, 2017 .
  4. ^ Karl Stankiewitz: The emergence of the Bavarian USK: Gauweiler's wonder weapons. In: evening newspaper. March 19, 2019, accessed February 15, 2020 .
  5. a b c d Nürnberger Nachrichten , accessed on July 4, 2012
  6. a b c d Neumarkter Nachrichten , accessed on July 4, 2012
  7. a b c d e f g h i j Special unit with telescopic sight and protective shield , accessed on January 26, 2013
  8. a b c Süddeutsche Zeitung , accessed on July 4, 2012
  9. a b c Merkur Online , accessed on July 4, 2012
  10. Winter, Martin: Political Police - Power and Function of the Police in the Federal Republic of Germany, p. 113 , accessed on January 19, 2013
  11. Organizational chart for the structure of the Bavarian riot police (PDF; 29 kB) as of July 2011
  12. Policeman: "This is a godsend" . In: Mittelbayerische Zeitung . ( [accessed on April 23, 2017]).
  13. ^ Offspring for the support command , accessed on March 16, 2013
  14. a b Courageous leap across gender boundaries , accessed on April 27, 2013
  15. Nürnberger Nachrichten: Alone Among Men: The only woman at the USK , accessed on January 20, 2013
  16. Münchner Merkur: Right in the middle of demonstrations and riots , accessed on January 20, 2013
  17. ^ Fireproof Police Uniforms , accessed June 19, 2011
  18. [1]
  19. ^ Preliminary proceedings against USK officials: Under whipping boys
  20. Review of the week from July 19 to July 23, 2010 ( Memento of the original from April 8, 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. on the side of the Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen parliamentary group in the Bavarian state parliament ; Retrieved January 26, 2013 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  21. Sharp criticism of the behavior of the police . from August 2, 2012; Retrieved January 26, 2013
  22. Walls of prejudice raised and strengthened - Worse than messenger of tolerance ( memento of the original from August 19, 2014 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. from March 16, 2013 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  23. beatings on Nazi demonstration from September 5, 2013
  24. Amnesty International: Disproportionate USK deployment in Munich
  25. ^ Süddeutsche Zeitung: Amnesty criticizes police violence
  26. ^ Münchner Kessel at the G7 summit
  27. beating the Bavarian way ; in: Süddeutsche Zeitung Online from June 6, 2007
  28. 20 years Münchner Kessel: Hinlangen is Bavarian style ( Memento from February 17, 2013 in the web archive )
  29. ^ SPIEGEL ONLINE, Hamburg, Germany: Police: Like the Freikorps - DER SPIEGEL 29/1992. Retrieved March 23, 2017 .
  30. Saumagen and Münchner Kessel ( Memento from June 7, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  31. ^ SPIEGEL ONLINE, Hamburg, Germany: Police: Like the Freikorps - DER SPIEGEL 29/1992. Retrieved March 23, 2017 .
  32. The bad jokes of a special unit , Süddeutsche Zeitung
  33. Demonstrators had to take off their clothes - the court criticized the police action , Münchner Merkur
  34. a b c USK officials should remain anonymous , Süddeutsche Zeitung, accessed on June 19, 2011
  35. Where are the original recordings? , Southgerman newspaper
  36. Video evidence - suddenly deleted and gone , Amnesty International
  37. Thugs remain undetected , Süddeutsche Zeitung
  38. Susi Wimmer: A real "Watschn" for the Munich police. Retrieved November 17, 2017 .
  39. ↑ Hunting scenes in the Munich Allianz Arena ,, accessed on February 18, 2010
  40. An insert with aftermath , Süddeutsche Zeitung, accessed on February 19, 2013
  41. Police violence against football fans - "Never again Allianz-Arena!" . In: Süddeutsche Zeitung of March 8, 2012, accessed on January 26, 2013
  42. ^ Letter from the President of FC Augsburg, statement by the fan representative , accessed on November 27, 2014
  43. a b "Interior Minister wants to meet FCA fans" , Augsburger Allgemeine May 8, 2013, accessed on November 27, 2014
  44. "Police violence: Walther Seinsch renews criticism of the USK" , Augsburger Allgemeine April 16, 2013, accessed on November 27, 2014
  45. Young police officer is said to be responsible for Nazi ticker on from May 22, 2014
  46. Nazi sticker in the police car not punishable on from June 25, 2014
  47. ^ After an Anti-Pegida demo police boiler in the subway station on on March 10, 2015
  48. Bayerischer Rundfunk: Beatings process in Nuremberg: Policeman burdens colleagues heavily | June 2, 2016, archived from the original on August 28, 2016 .;
  49. One and a half years imprisonment on probation ( memento from September 15, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) on from September 15, 2016
  50. Susi Wimmer: Policeman is said to have beaten schoolgirl on demonstration. Süddeutsche Zeitung , July 20, 2016, accessed on December 23, 2016 .
  51. Beating police officer after punching 18-year-olds on on February 18, 2017
  52. Martin Bernstein: Munich police scandal: seducers in uniform. Retrieved July 13, 2020 .
  53. ^ Susi Wimmer: Police scandal in Munich - suspensions in the special unit. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung. March 15, 2019, accessed March 15, 2019 .
  54. Julian Hans: New allegations against the police . In: . 2019, ISSN  0174-4917 ( [accessed on March 22, 2019]).
  55. Bavaria's police get more tasers - controversial use. October 28, 2018, accessed on March 22, 2019 (German).
  56. Munich USK policeman: Penal order for sedition. March 5, 2020, accessed July 13, 2020 .
  57. Martin Bernstein: Munich police scandal: seducers in uniform. Retrieved August 4, 2020 .
  58. The nameless policeman. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung. May 17, 2010, accessed June 19, 2011.
  59. Policeman, identify yourself! In: Süddeutsche Zeitung. January 20, 2013, accessed January 20, 2013.
  60. Susi Wimmer: A real "Watschn" for the Munich police . In: . November 9, 2017, ISSN  0174-4917 ( [accessed November 17, 2017]).