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The federal structure of the Federal Republic of Germany gives the 16 federal states (Länder) the authority to maintain their own police forces within their territory, along with the right to pass legislation and exercise police authority. At the same time, the Basic Law provides for originary federal authority in central areas of law enforcement.
Due to this division of authority, Germany has 16 state police forces and three federal law enforcement agencies, one of which is the Federal Police.
The Federal Police carry out a wide variety of law enforcement tasks, in particular border protection, railway policing, maritime and aviation security. They are also involved in fighting organized crime and terrorism and may serve abroad, for example at German embassies or in international police peacekeeping missions.
The tasks are assigned by Germany’s Basic Law and federal law, including the Act on the Federal Police, the Residence Act, the Asylum Procedure Act, and the Act on Aviation Security.
With its approximately 40,000 staff, including more than 35,000 highly trained law enforcement officers, the Federal Police is an extremely effective police service which plays an important role in maintaining internal security in the Federal Republic of Germany and Europe.