The Freiwilliger Polizeidienst is the voluntary police service in Germany (known as the Sicherheitswacht in Bavaria and Saxony), operated by non-professional forces. In most states, the forces are composed of trained volunteers, acting as an assisting and reserve force to the regular police force. In Germany, the voluntary police service is a state-run institution. Through patrols, it is supposed to ensure public order and safety.
Varying according to the legislation of individual states, auxiliary police forces have been established in modern Germany. The denominations and range of authority differ between Voluntary Police Force (Freiwilliger Polizeidienst / FPD), Security Watch (Sicherheitswacht) or Security Partner (Sicherheitspartner). These police forces are intended to maintain or establish public security and order throughout their assigned territories.
At present auxiliary police services exist in the states of Baden-Württemberg, Brandenburg, Bavaria, Hesse and Saxony; each under the supervision of the responsible state police force. The establishment of a voluntary police service is the sole responsibility of each state. While the voluntary police service in Baden-Württemberg was already established in May 1963, Hesse decided to create its own auxiliary force in 2000.