The city authorities – police department


The Administration of the City of Belgrade, later around 1870 the Administration of the Town of Belgrade, and as of 1890, the Administration of the City of Belgrade was established by the Organization of Municipalities Act of 1839. When Belgrade became the capital, administration was separated from the municipality and court and it started to operate and develop as a local police force.

In the organizational sense administration did not change until 1860. That was the first time Belgrade was divided into six precincts: downtown, Dorcol, Palilula, Terazije, Savamala and Vracar. The precinct chief officers sent in daily reports to the city administrator, who was directly subordinated to the Minister of Internal Affairs. He was obliged to submit a report on the state of events in the city every 15 days.

Due to the significance of Belgrade as a capital city, as well as the seat of political parties and editorial offices, the Administration was as a rule headed by individuals whom the ruler and state administration trusted.

The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes inherited three different police systems of the Kingdom of Serbs and Montenegro and the countries from the Austro-Hungarian monarchy.

By the Decree on the Division of the Country Into Regions (1922) Belgrade acquired a separate administration, under the direct supervision of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The administration of the city of Belgrade was divided into six, and subsequently (1927) eight precincts and gendarmerie.

The dictatorship of King Aleksandar I Karadjordjevic introduced organizational changes in the state structure. The police and Ministry of Internal Affairs took up central positions in the state administration.

By the Internal Administration Act the administrator was the state local police administrator for the territory of the capital and its immediate vicinity. It was subjugated to the minister of internal affairs, in charge of delicate police tasks for the territory of the entire country.

By the Act on the Names and Divisions of the Country Into Regional Units Belgrade remained a separate administration unit, which encompassed Zemun and Pancevo as special entities (the Decree on the Organization and Sphere of Activities of the Administration Of The City of Belgrade). Police forces were divided into five precincts and Police Agent Divisions.

Police jurisdiction was arranged into 14 precincts, later 17. The Belgrade police force was organized in a contemporary manner, with solid expert forces and contemporary technical means. Dr Rudolph Archibald Rice laid the foundations of this organization. A Central Police Training School for Police Forces was established in Zemun. Armed forces were enlarged before the war. There was a special seventh guard, which was mostly used for rallies or strikes.

The General Police Department had the greatest significance, whose duty was to protect state security, public order, to stamp out espionage, and to fight against actions aimed against state order. The most important being the battle against the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, which was handled by the 4th, anti-communist department. This department maintained direct contacts with the Protection of State Court and state prosecutors.


 << previous Justice administration  >> next chapter Modernization processes
Copyright © 2015, Historical archives of Belgrade LOGO IAB providan