The Gendarmerie Corps
The Gendarmerie Corps of Vatican City State is the gendarmerie, or police and security force, of Vatican City and the extraterritorial properties of the Holy See. It was founded in 1816 as Corps of Gendarmes by Pope Pius VII, renamed the Central Security Office in 1970, the Security Corps in 1991, and was restored to its original name in 2002.
The corps numbered 130 as of 2017. It is led by Inspector General Gianluca Gauzzi Broccoletti, who has served on the Vatican gendarmerie since 1995 and who was made deputy leader in 2018. He was appointed by Pope Francis on 15 October 2019.
The headdress for the Gendarmerie is a Kepi cap (similar to this French example). The current Gendarmerie one has the Vatican City State badge.
In 1816, after the dissolution of the Napoeonic empire, Pope Pius VII founded the Papal Carabinieri Corps for the service of the Papal States.
In 1849, under Pope Pius IX, it was renamed, first as the Papal Velites Regiment, and then as the Papal Gendarmerie Corps. It was charged with ensuring public security and passed from dependence on the Ministry of the Army to dependence on the Cardinal Secretary of State. It took an active part in the battles that finally led to the complete conquest of the Papal States by the victorious Kingdom of Italy.
After the capture of Rome in 1870, a small group of members of the Corps continued to serve in the papal residence and the gardens.
In 1929, the force was expanded to deal with its duties in the newly founded Vatican City State and in the buildings and other areas over which the Holy See had extraterritorial rights.
When in 1970 Pope Paul VI abolished all the military bodies in Papal service except the Swiss Guards, the Gendarmerie was transformed into a Central Security Office, with the duties of protecting the Pope, defending Vatican City, and providing police and security services within its territory.
Its name was changed in 1991 to Security Corps of Vatican City State and in 2002 to Gendarmerie Corps of Vatican City State.