The highest ranking police officer holds the title of National Police Commissioner. The central agency is the Estonian Police Board which manages, directs and co-ordinates the activities of all police units under its administration.
The Estonian Police has three national units: the Central Criminal Police, the Central Law Enforcement and the Forensic Service Centre.
There are 4 territorial police units called Police Prefectures. The local police chiefs are called prefects.
Relevant government department
The Police are under the supervision of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The ministry supervises five central agencies – the Police Board, the Security Police Board, the Police and Border Guard Board and the Rescue Board. It also administers the Inspection of Data Protection and Public Service Academy which is an educational institution providing applied higher education in the field of policing as well as in other fields of administration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
The Estonian Police was founded on 12 November 1918, and it existed until the summer of 1940 when the Estonian State formally lost its independence to the Soviet Union. The foundation of the Estonian Police took place in extremely difficult conditions – at the time of the War of Independence.
The Estonian Police was re-established within the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in March 1991 by the Police Act. That was almost half a year before the Estonian State regained its independence.
The act, passed on 20 September 1990, set out the transition period during which the dissolution of the Soviet Militia and the formation of the Estonian Police was to be completed.
The period ended on 1 March 1991 which was the restoration date of the Estonian Police. By 2010 the Border Guard was disbanded and its personnel absorbed into the Police.