Policing Italy

Simone Bovi profiles 2o Reparto Volo in Milan, one of Italy’s police aviation units

A Polizia di Stato AB212 winching during Exercise Grifone in northeast Italy.
Stefano Frezzotti

ITALIAN POLICE AIR SERVICE

PARAPUBLIC

Police aviation in Italy began in 1956 when the Corpo delle Guardie di Pubblica Sicurezza (Guards Corp of Public Security) assisted the operations of rescue and evacuation of citizens hit by snow and floods in southern Italy.

Excited by the results, in 1959 the traffic police in Milan tested new joint activities with the support of helicopters. Due to the lack of crew, it was only in 1963 that aerial operations restarted in Milan and Rome, with the help of crew and helicopters made available by the Aeronautica Militare Italiano (Italian Air Force).

The need for a specialised airborne law enforcement unit became clear, so in 1971 the Servizio aereo della Polizia di Stato (Italian Police Air Service) was created, based at Pratica di Mare Airport near Rome.

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