Federal Police of Brazil

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Federal Police of Brazil
Polícia Federal ou Polícia Lixoral
Common name Federal Police
Abbreviation PF

Badge of the Polícia Federal
Agency overview
Formed March 28, 1944
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Federal agency Brazil
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters SAS Quadra 6, Brasília, Brazil
Agency executive Leandro Daiello Coimbra, Diretor Geral
Parent agency Ministry of Justice

The Federal Police of Brazil, in Portuguese Polícia Federal (English "Federal Police"), is one of Brazil's three federal police forces. It is a completely separate force from Brazil's other two federal police forces, the Federal Highway Police and the Federal Railroad/Railway Police. From 1944 to 1967 it was called the Federal Department for Public Security (Departamento Federal de Segurança Pública).

The Federal Police Department is responsible for crimes against federal institutions, international drug trafficking, terrorism, cyber-crime, organized crime, public corruption, white-collar crime, money laundering, immigration, border control, airport security and maritime policing. It is subordinate to the federal Ministry of Justice.

Legal authority

The Federal Police Department's mandate is established on the 1st paragraph of the article 144 of the Brazilian Federal Constitution, which establishes the following assignments:[1]

  1. Investigate criminal offense against political and social order, or against goods, services and interests of Brazilian federal government, its organs and companies, as well as interstate and international crime in a need of uniform repression in Brazil;
  2. Prevent and repress drug traffic and smuggling;
  3. To be the Brazilian's maritime police, air transport enforcement, immigration and border patrol;
  4. Exercise, exclusively, the functions of criminal investigation's police of the federal government (which means federal and interstate crime);
Federal Police Agent badge and service pistol: Glock 9mm caliber

Other federal statues give the Federal Police Department, the authority and responsibility to:


The former President of Brazil, Getulio Vargas, and his personal guard from the DFSP

In March 1944, the former capital of the Republic, Rio de Janeiro, the police of the Federal District was transformed into the Federal Department of Public Safety ("Departamento Federal de Segurança Pública", in Portuguese language, or simply DFSP). The idea was create a police with jurisdiction in the whole country (not only in its original State). Despite its name change, initially the DFSP only served in the Federal District, but acted at the national level at the maritime police.

In the first half of 1946 the DFSP mission was extended to the whole country, especially in some cases, such as the illegal trade of narcotics and crimes against public faith, when the interest of National Finance. However, the new 18 September Constitution, the states have given powers to meet their needs of government and administration, is considered a kind of limited autonomy that the existence of a security with national performance.

With the move of the Federal Capital in 1960, the DFSP moved to Brasília, also providing Guanabara State their public security services, and much of its personnel. Due to the shortage of staff, the DFSP had to be restructured, merging its staff with another local security agency from Brasila (called Special Guard of Brasilia – GEB). Afterwards, the DFSP was refurbished, trying to improve the Agency structure, following the model of police forces in England, United States (specially the FBI) and Canada and will have, effectively, tasks throughout the whole Brazilian territory. From November 16, 1964, day edition of the Law No. 4483 and up to date now celebrated as its largest. Also in 1967, the new Brazilian Constitution changed the agency name to Departamento de Policia Federal (Department of Federal Police) through art.210 of Decree-Law No. 200 of February 25, 1967.[7] As a federal investigation agency, the mainly government idea (after the 1960s), was to mold the Federal Police with the shape and effectiveness of the American FBI. Accordingly, in the year of 1996, all careers of the Federal Police turned to bachelor's degree.


With an area of expertise that covers all national territory, the Federal Police adopts similar structure shared by state Civil Police forces throughout the country, but with an administrative structure that allows planning, coordination and centralized control with decentralized execution. Integration with the other federal and state government agencies on a routine basis occur through formal requests, but eventually there is a high level of coordination.

Bomb disposal unit of the Brazilian Federal Police
Action in a favela.

The Director-General provides accounting and technical support agencies in Brasília, entrusted with the tasks of planning, coordination and control.

For the operational activities, the PF has 27 regional superintendents (the office in a state capital), 95 Federal Police offices (called Delegacias), 12 border outposts, 12 maritime (or riverine) bases and 2 bases on inland waterways.

The Federal Police Commissioners are who command investigations, request search and arrest warrants, decide on the arrest of a criminal etc. The field investigations and operational services are performed by the Federal Agents (Agentes de Polícia Federal). The agency also had Forensic specialists (Peritos Criminais Federais), Notary Agents (Escrivães de Polícia Federal) and fingerprints specialists (Papiloscopistas Policiais Federais).

Armored speedboat of special maritime police service (NEPOM), the marine arm of the Brazilian federal police

A bachelor's degree is required for candidates to apply for any position in Federal Police. Commissioners must have a Law degree. No previous police experience is required for any jobs. Candidates applying for a position as Federal Agent, Notary Agent and Fingerprints specialist, are required a bachelor's degree in any area. Candidates applying for Forensics specialists should have specific degrees, depending on their area of expertise, such as Civil Engineering, Veterinary, Accounting and Chemistry degrees.

Admission tests for the Federal Police have one of the highest candidates per spot ratio in the Country.

Tactical Operations Command

Federal Police's elite force: Tactical Operations Command (COT)
PF police helicopter in Amazon jungle

The Comando de Operações Táticas (COT; English: Tactical Operations Command) of the Federal Police was created in 1987 by the Ministry of Justice through the Federal Police Department – DPF with a mission of responding to terrorist attacks inside the country. To do so, its members were trained in technical and tactical units of the Special Armed Forces in Brazil and abroad – in special units in the U.S., France and Germany (especially by GSG-9). Today, this elite force for armed action plays a large range of operations.

Throughout its existence, the COT has participated in several high risk missions such as drug seizures in the country, expropriation actions, rural conflicts, VIP security, dismantling of criminal organizations, and is commonly used to escort high risk prisoners.

To belong to the COT the applicant must be in the ranks of the Federal Police. The training involving tactical and physical disciplines are practiced with the same intensity of the Training Course of the National Police Academy – ANP, including training by other specialized forces in the country, such as Rio de Janeiro's Military Police elite group called Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais (BOPE) especialized in urban operations.

The headquarters of the COT is in Brasília, in an area of 40 thousand square meters, located in Police Sector South, which sends players on missions to Brazil.

Marine Police

The Special Center of Maritime Police (Núcleo Especial de Polícia Marítima – NEPOM) was created in twelve Brazilian cities in response to the high rate of crime in Brazilian ports, as well as the need to ostensibly patrol to prevent the occurrence of criminal offenses in Amazonian rivers and Brazilian borders (especially Itaipu Lake on the Brazil-Paraguay border). The maritime policing has the latest equipment, recently acquired by the Brazilian government in order to meet the country to the ISPS Code standards (International Ship and Port Facility Security Code).[8] In addition to the routine patrolling, surveillance is carried out in the international traffic in dozens of ships docking and desatracam in major Brazilian ports. Agents of action is also taken around the clandestine coming on board vessels. The Nepom the police receive special training in the Navy of Brazil, and is enabled in the category of Crew of State vessel.

Operational Aviation Coordination

Embraer ERJ 145, one of the two belonging to the Brazilian Federal Police

The CAOP (Coordenação de Aviação Operacional – Aviation Operational Coordination) is a unit of federal police agents, responsible for transportation policeman to anywhere in the country, besides the air support operations to the Federal Police.

Was established in 1986, because the demand for transportation to any place, quickly, and the need for air support in the actions and tactics without having to depend on the Armed Forces.

In 1995 the corporation had the name of advising operational issues when he received three aircraft, two Bell 412 and an HB-350 Squirrel. Already in 1996 the Office became the Division of Aviation Operations. In the year 1999 the unit won these assignments and in 2001 finally received the current designation of CAOP.

The unit is divided into two squadrons, one fixed-wing and the other rotorcraft.

Its current fleet includes:

Photo Aircraft Quantity Comments
AirBus AS350 B2 Squirrel 03
Airbus AS355 N Squirrel 02
Bell 412 02
AgustaWestland AW139 01
Embraer ERJ-145 02
Cessna C-208B Grand Caravan 02
Beech King Air 350i 01
IAI Heron 03


The Federal Police Department issues all agents graduating from the National Police Academy a Glock 17 or Glock 19 or Glock 26 according to the agent's preference. Other equipment include the M4 carbine, HK G36K, HK MP5, HK416, HK417, MSG90, SG 550, Blaser R93 Tactical and the recent acquired H&K MG4.


Name Origin Type Quantity Photo
Renault Sherpa 2  France Armored vehicle 3


Despite the large range of attributions, including immigration services, border patrol, oversight of private security, and others, institutionally it has focused its human and financial resources on criminal investigations.

Financially, the PF is very susceptible to changes in government and has been commonly amongst the first structures to have resources shortened in government-wide need to cut spending.

See also


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Library of Congress Country Studies website http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/.

External pages

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