Gendarmery (Serbia)

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Gendarmery badge
Застава Српске Жандармерије.gif
Gendarmery flag
Agency overview
Formed28 June 1860
(current form since 2001)
Preceding agency
Employees3,734 (2012)[1]
Jurisdictional structure
National agencySerbia
Operations jurisdictionSerbia
Governing bodyGovernment of Serbia
Operational structure
Overviewed byMinistry of Internal Affairs
Elected minister responsible
Agency executive
  • Dejan Luković, Commander
Official website

The Gendarmery (Serbian Cyrillic: Жандармерија) is an armed police force of the Serbian police. It was formed on 28 June 2001, after the disbandment of the Special Police Units (PJP). Gendarmery in Serbia existed in previous form from 1860 to 1920. As a special unit inside Serbian police, its role can be compared to those of Russian OMON and former Ukrainian Berkut units.

As of 2017, Gendarmery consists of about 2,800 members. The Command of the Gendarmery is in Belgrade.[2]

The gendarmery's duties are both civilian and military, including securing the 'Ground Safety Zone'[3] along the administrative line with Kosovo and providing disaster rescue teams (see below).[4]


Serbian gendarmery officers, 1865

The word žandarmerija is a French loanword ("gendarmerie"), and is pronounced "zhandarmeriya". The Žandarmerija corps date back to the Principality of Serbia, established on June 28, 1860, and originally consisted of 120 officers. It was disbanded after World War II and was restored in 2001 by the reorganization of the irregular "Special Police Unit" (Posebna Jedinica Policije, PJP).[2] This was accomplished by an act issued by the Minister of Interior Dušan Mihajlović. One of its first major assignments was capturing the suspects in the assassination of prime minister Zoran Đinđić.

On 7 May 2003, the Counter-Terrorist Unit (CTU) was established within Gendarmery, but was separated in April 2007 to become an independent unit within the Police.[5]

In 2005 the Person and Infrastructure Protection Unit was established, to carry out close protection tasks, as well as activities related to technical protection.[5][2]

In 2011 the Gendarmery was reorganized and the First Quick Response Detachment was established, consisting of the specialist companies of all Gendarmery detachments along with the Diving Center.[5]


Since its establishment, the Serbian Gendarmery has had six Commanders:[2][6]

No. Commander Took office Left office Time in office Minister of Internal Affairs
Goran Radosavljević
Radosavljević, GoranColonel
Goran Radosavljević
(born 1957)
28 June 200117 August 20043 years, 50 daysDušan Mihajlović
Dragan Jočić
Borivoje Tešić
Tešić, BorivojeColonel
Borivoje Tešić
(born 1956)
17 August 200423 June 20083 years, 311 daysDragan Jočić
Srđan Grekulović
Grekulović, SrđanColonel
Srđan Grekulović
(born 1962)
23 June 20083 June 2009345 daysDragan Jočić
Ivica Dačić
Bratislav Dikić
Dikić, BratislavColonel
Bratislav Dikić
(born 1970)
3 June 200917 July 20134 years, 44 daysIvica Dačić
Milenko Božović
Božović, MilenkoColonel
Milenko Božović
(born 1965)
17 July 20132 August 201316 daysIvica Dačić
Milenko Božović
Božović, MilenkoColonel
Milenko Božović
(born 1965)
2 August 201313 March 20151 year, 223 daysIvica Dačić
Nebojša Stefanović
Goran Dragović
Dragović, GoranColonel
Goran Dragović
(born 1967)
13 March 20152 August 20183 years, 142 daysNebojša Stefanović
Dejan Luković
Luković, DejanColonel
Dejan Luković
2 August 2018Incumbent1 year, 346 daysNebojša Stefanović


Gendarmery members

In 2012, the Serbian Gendarmery consisted of about 3,734 members,[7] while in 2017 the strength is estimated at about 2,800 members.[2]

Alongside the operational detachments deployed through Serbia, the Gendarmery has some specialized units: the Diving Unit and the Personnel and Infrastructure Protection Unit, which is specialized in tasks of physical and technical protection.[2]


The principal bases are located in Belgrade, Niš, Novi Sad and Kraljevo.[2]

Detachments are organized as independent units in order to be able to execute every-day duties on their territory of jurisdiction. Should the need arise, each detachment may quickly support others throughout Serbia.[2]

First Quick Detachment[edit]

Within each operational detachment, a company-sized specialized unit is tasked to deal with most complex tasks in both urban and rural environment. In turn, each specialized unit consists of several counter-terrorist teams, which may be reinforced by sniper, K9 and explosive ordnance disposal assets when needed.[2] Since 2011, specialized units are grouped within the First Quick Detachment.[5] The first commander was Police Lieutenant Colonel Vojkan Ivanovic.[5]

Diving Unit[edit]

The Diving Unit of the Serbian Gendarmery is headquartered in Belgrade and is intended for conducting special actions in environments dominated by water, as well as the land area near water.[2] Its operational element consists of three specialist teams: intervention team, searching team and nautical team.[5]

The Diving Unit tracks its origins to 1997, when it was established within the Special Operation Unit.[5]


Žandarmerija, escort of prisoners

Its main duties are:

  • Restoring peace and stability if they have been heavily disturbed
  • Counter terrorism
  • Countering violent groups
  • Repressing prison riots

Its civil duties include: to provide security and public peace, to investigate and prevent organized crime, terrorism and other violent groups; to protect state and private property; to help and assist civilians and other emergency forces in a case of emergency, natural disaster, civil unrest and armed conflicts.

Its military duties include to provide, preserve and protect security and public peace, public order, to protect state and private property, to assist other security forces in case of emergency, civil unrest, war; to repress riots; to reinforce martial law and mobilization; to fight and apprehend suspected criminals, terrorists and other violent groups ;

Its additional duties are to perform any duties decreed in the decrees of law and regulations other than civil, military and other duties and the duties given by the governmental decrees based on them.



Name Country Caliber Notes
CZ 99 Serbia 9×19 Parabellum In use also CZ999
Glock 17 Austria 9×19 Parabellum In use Glock 17 Gen 3
SIG Sauer P 220 Switzerland 9×19 Parabellum
Amadeo Rossi Brasil 357. Magnum For training purposes
Smith&Wesson U.S. 357. Magnum For training purposes
Zastava R83 Serbia 357. Magnum For training purposes
HK MP5 Germany 9×19 Parabellum In use A2,A3,SD3,K versions
Zastava M92 Serbia 7.62×39
Zastava M84 Škorpion Yugoslavia 7.65×17 Personal Defense Weapon
Zastava M70 Yugoslavia/Serbia 7.62×39 In use AB1,AB2 and modernised ABX versions
Zastava M21 Serbia 5.56×45 NATO
MPi-KM East Germany 7.62×39
Colt M4 U.S. 5.56×45 NATO A4 Commando version in use
Zastava M76 Yugoslavia 7.92×57
Zastava M91 Serbia 7.62×54R
Steyr Austria 7.62×51 NATO Tactical Elite
HK G3 Germany 7.62×51 NATO
HK G33 Germany 5.56×45 NATO
SIG Sauer 716 Switzerland 7.62×51 NATO
Zastava M93 Serbia 12.7×108
Barrett M82 U.S. 12.7×99 NATO
Barrett M95 U.S. 12.7×99 NATO Bullpup sniper rifle
Zastava M84 Yugoslavia/Serbia 7.62×54R
Browning M2 U.S. 12.7×99 NATO Mounted only on vehicles
Zastava M93 Serbia 30mm Automatic granade launcher


Model Image Origin Type Variant Number Details
BOV BOV M-15 - Partner 2019 - 1.jpg  Serbia Armored personal carrier BOV M15 20 Armed with 12.7mm RWS
BOV BOV M-11 - Partner 2019 - 1.jpg  Serbia Armored personal carrier BOV M11 20 Armed with 12.7mm RWS
BOV MUP Srbije bov zandarmerija11.jpg  Yugoslavia Armored personal carrier BOV M86 20 Armed with 14.5mm KPVT heavy machine gun
BOV MUP Srbije bov3 zandarmerija2.jpg  Yugoslavia anti-aircraft BOV-3 SPAAG with triple M55A4B1 20mm cannon
BOV M16 BOV M-16 Miloš Žandarmerija MUPa Srbije - Odbrana slobode 2019 Niš 1.jpg  Serbia Armoured multi-purpose combat vehicle BOV M16 Miloš Armed with 12.7mm RWS
Lazar armored vehicle Police Day Niš, 2017. 2571.jpg  Serbia Armored personal carrier Lazar-3 12 Armed with 12.7mm RWS
Saxon Police Day Niš, 2017. 2563.jpg  United Kingdom Armored personal carrier AT105 Saxon 1 Armed with 12.7mm Zastava M02 Coyote
Praga ZANDARMERIJA 03.jpg  Czechoslovakia Anti-aircraft M53/59 Praga 3 Armed with 30 mm twin AA autocannon
SPAT 30/2 Foka 1.jpg  Yugoslavia Anti-aircraft SPAT 30/2 4 Self-propelled anti-aircraft gun 2x30mm Foka based on BVP M-80 hull
AIFV ZANDARMERIJA 11.jpg  United States Infantry fighting vehicle YPR-765 1 YPR-765 seized from Dutch UN peacekeepers in the Bosnian War
TAM TAM 110 Žandarmerije.jpg  Yugoslavia Riot control vehicle TAM 110 Riot trucks
TAM Žandarmerija TAM 110 Ris.jpg  Yugoslavia Armoured personnel carrier TAM 110 Ris armored truck
TAM TAM 150 Žandarmerija.jpg  Yugoslavia Military truck TAM 150 T11 truck
Humvee Hamer 1.jpg  United States All-wheel-drive vehicle HMMWV American-made Hummers procured via Cyprus used by former Special Operations Unit
Land Rover MUP Srbije landrover zandarmerija4.jpg  United Kingdom All-wheel-drive vehicle Land Rover Defender
Sevel Fiat Ducato Žandarmerija MUPa Srbije - Odbrana slobode 2019 Niš 1.jpg  Italy Fiat Ducato
Yamaha Kodiak ATV žandarmerije MUPa Srbije - Odbrana slobode 2019 Niš 1.jpg  Japan ATV Kodiak 700
Toyota Tojota Žandarmerija MUPa Srbije - Odbrana slobode 2019 Niš 1.jpg  Japan Toyota Land Cruiser
Škoda Škoda žandarmerija - dan policije 2019 01.jpg  Czech Republic Škoda Rapid

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Novi odred Žandarmerije sličan JSO". (in Serbian). 24 January 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Jevtic, Milos (13 January 2017). "Serbian Gendarmerie". Spec Ops Magazine. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  3. ^ B92. "Interior minister in Ground Safety Zone". Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  4. ^ "Nadležnosti" [Duties]. Ministry of the Interior, Republic of Serbia (in Serbian). Archived from the original on 9 February 2016. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "Gendarmerie of the Republic of Serbia". Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  6. ^ "Serbian ministries, etc". B. Schemmel. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  7. ^ "Novi odred Žandarmerije sličan JSO" (in Serbian). B92. 24 January 2012. Retrieved 3 August 2013.

External links[edit]