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definition - Mossos_d'Esquadra

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Mossos d'Esquadra

Police of the Generalitat of Catalonia - Mossos d'Esquadra
Policia de la Generalitat de Catalunya - Mossos d'Esquadra
Common name Mossos d'Esquadra
Logo de los Mossos d'Esquadra.svg
Logo of the Police of the Generalitat of Catalonia - Mossos d'Esquadra.
Agency overview
Formed April, 1719
Preceding agency Esquadres de Catalunya
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* Autonomous Community of Catalonia, Spain
Catalonia location map.svg
Map of Police of the Generalitat of Catalonia - Mossos d'Esquadra's jurisdiction.
Size 32,114 km2
Population 7,354,411
Governing body Generalitat de Catalunya
Constituting instrument Act 19/1983
General nature
Operational structure
Overviewed by Directorate-General of Police
Headquarters Egara Central Complex, 08206 Sabadell
Mossos 16,654
Regional Minister (Conseller) responsible Felip Puig i Godes, Regional Minister for the Interior
Agency executives
  • Manel Prat, Director General
  • Commissioner Josep Milán, Deputy Director
Stations 90
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.
  Mosso d'Esquadra in dress uniform
  A patrol car in Barcelona

The Mossos d'Esquadra (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈmosuz ðəsˈkwaðɾə]; "Troopers", literally "Squad Lads") are the police force of Catalonia, one of the autonomous communities of Spain. It is the oldest[1] civil police force in Europe, founded in the 18th century as the Esquadres de Catalunya to protect the people of Catalonia.

They were originally men-at-arms who had fought as irregulars in the War of the Spanish Succession, and were brought together by the mayor of the town of Valls near Tarragona between 1719–1721. The corps became institutionalised and constituted a militia, which intended to provide security to trade routes and fairs, exposed to constant dangers. They were constituted as a complement to the regular troops of the bourbonic army, which had to confront the Miquelets, who persisted as an insurgent redoubt of supporters of Archduke Charles. It was manned by locals, who had to speak Catalan and be familiar with the paths, caves and hiding places in the area. They were eventually placed under military jurisdiction but were less centralised than the Spanish police force (then known as the 'Intendencia General de Policía') formed in 1817, or the yet to be established ‘Guardia Civil’, both of which were systematically deployed away from their regions of origin, and were thus strangers. Throughout the centuries it has passed back and forth from Catalan authority to Spanish military command several times. They were dissolved in 1868 by General Prim after the fall of Queen Isabella II of Spain, since the Mossos had always been royalists.

They were reinstated in 1876 under the reign of Isabella's son king Alfonso XII of Spain, but only in the province of Barcelona. Under his son Alfonso XIII of Spain, the Mossos were not well regarded in Catalonia, specially by the Commonwealth of Catalonia, who paid them but had no control over them. They flourished, though, under Primo de Rivera's dictatorship. When the Second Spanish Republic was proclaimed, however, the Mossos sided with the Generalitat de Catalunya. After the Spanish Civil War, the last Mossos left Catalonia with the President of the Generalitat and the corps was dissolved by the Francoist authorities.

On July 21, 1950 the Deputation of Barcelona was authorised to create a section of Mossos d'Esquadra. These new Mossos were a militarized corps with little similarity to the earlier incarnations, with limited attributes and few in number.

With the return of democracy to Spain, the Mossos d'Esquadra grew in number and attributions. Since October 25, 1980 the force has been under the authority of the Generalitat de Catalunya (regional Government of Catalonia).

The current incarnation of the Mossos d'Esquadra was created by a law of the Generalitat of July 14, 1983, basically re-founding the previous corps into a modern police force. They are no longer a military force, but a civilian one. Since then, the Mossos have gradually grown in both number, skills and responsibilities.

The Mossos d'Esquadra have now replaced Spain's Policia Nacional and Guardia Civil within the territory of Catalonia. This process of substitution began in 1994 and was completed in 2008.[2] In November 2005, the Mossos took full duties in the city of Barcelona.

The Mossos d'Esquadra are a police force of the Spanish state placed under the authority of the Generalitat de Catalunya, within the territory of the autonomous community of Catalonia, and in accordance with the principles of the Spanish constitution and all legal provisions therefrom derived, such as the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia and the laws therefrom derived. The Policia Nacional and the Guardia Civil, on the other hand, are commanded directly by the Spanish ministry of the interior. They keep some officers in Catalonia to handle terrorism, identity documents, immigration and other limited responsibilities of the central government.[3]

The Mossos are trained in the Institut de Seguretat Pública de Catalunya (Public Safety Institute of Catalonia), which also trains local police officers.

Ranks of the Mossos d'Esquadra
Rank Mosso Caporal Sergent Sotsinspector Inspector Intendent Comissari Major
Insignia Sense galons.gif Galons de caporal.gif Sergent.gif Sotsinspector.gif Inspector.gif Intendent.gif Comissari.gif Major (Mossos d'Esquadra).gif


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