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Addressing German Police Officers

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  • Addressing German Police Officers

    How are German (and Austrian) police officers addressed in conversation? If the police officer's rank is Oberkommissar, is he/she addressed by their entire rank such as, "Guten Abend Herr/Frau Oberkommissar?" Or is it acceptable to just use "Kommissar," such as "Darf ich mit Herr Kommissar Schmidt sprechen?" when Schmidt's rank is Oberkommissar?

  • #2
    Originally posted by histfan71 View Post
    How are German (and Austrian) police officers addressed in conversation? If the police officer's rank is Oberkommissar, is he/she addressed by their entire rank such as, "Guten Abend Herr/Frau Oberkommissar?" Or is it acceptable to just use "Kommissar," such as "Darf ich mit Herr Kommissar Schmidt sprechen?" when Schmidt's rank is Oberkommissar?
    I can talk about Germany only. There are rumors (cough) that our Austrian neighbours are still *very* keen on titles and ranks, throughout the whole society

    Back to Germany: Nowadays it´s just "Herr Schmidt". Ranks are not of importance any more. We have about 16 ranks with different insignia, and i expect no civilian to distinguish them all correctly.

    Elder people adress any police officer with the (earlier) lowest possible rank "Herr Wachtmeister", which was the standard rank in former times...and we just smile on that. It´s not seen as an insult. On the other hand, said by a snotty little brat would make me tweak his ears

    If you would like to politely adress an officer e.g. in a speech, a formal letter or something, the rank might be more important. If you don´t know it, leave it out. Using the wrong rank is absolutely no problem...exept you adress one of those idiots, who were born as a police officer...you know what i´m talking of :-)

    Did this answer your question?


    - Andy

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    • #3
      There are rumors (cough) that our Austrian neighbours are still *very* keen on titles and ranks, throughout the whole society
      Yes, of course, you have to address me at least as "Seargent Major"!

      Usually people will call every police officer "Herr Inspektor".
      That´s the lowest rank for officers after police academy, followed by "Revierinspektor", "Gruppeninspektor" and so on.
      The commissioned officers´ ranks are according to the army, starting from Lieutenant and so on.

      I guess no officer is offended if you call him "Inspektor".

      And just the same, if you ask for somebody and you don´t no the rank, just ask for "Mr. xxx".

      By the way, people will often address the officer as "Postenkommandant", because they don´t no his actual status within the police station.

      Commonly used is also "Oberinspektor", which is no longer a rank in Bundespolizei.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by fritz71 View Post
        Yes, of course, you have to address me at least as "Seargent Major"!
        Nothing less than "Herr Hofrat"

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        • #5
          Thanks for the information. Now I just need someone from NRW to tell me what is the best brand of Koelsch to drink
          Last edited by histfan71; 09-15-2008, 11:38 PM. Reason: typo

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          • #6
            Originally posted by histfan71 View Post
            Thanks for the information. Now I just need someone from NRW to tell me what is the best brand of Koelsch to drink
            Try Reissdorf Kölsch. As far as I know it's the Kölsch brand with the most sales.
            But after the 4th or 5th beer the brand doesn't matter.
            If u need anybody to help u drink it, contact me, I live about 25 miles north of Köln (Cologne).
            International Police Exchange Programs

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            • #7
              Thomas, I will be in Koeln in the beginning of November.

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