The police was the first governmental body established after the proclamation of the Latvian State. The implementation of this was entrusted to Jēkabs Ieva, who had previously performed the functions of the Head of Police of the Peterhof District of St. Petersburg. On 23 November 1918, J. Ieva became the Chief of the Internal Security Department.

On 5 December 1918, the Latvia's People's Council (Tautas padome) approved the elaborated “Temporary Regulations on the Internal Security Organization”, which served as a legal basis for further operation of Latvian Police institutions. The Regulations regulated the procedure for establishing police institutions in districts, cities, villages and parishes.

During December 1917, almost all prefects and heads of districts were managed to be appointed and were given very broad authorities and rights.

On 4 December 1918, a letter was received from Moscow requesting to form a Soviet government with P. Stučka in charge; the request was fulfilled on 5 December.

The so-called Red Guards had the task of maintaining order until 6 March 1919, when Soviet Militia was formed.

On 3 February 1919, Markus Gailītis, the authorized representative of the Temporary Government of Latvia, started his work in the areas of Northern Latvia, which had been vacated by the Estonians, i.e., the Valka, Valmiera, Cēsis and Madona districts. Gailītis’ main tasks included ensuring internal order in the vacated territories, including the organization of police.

As the Latvian troops moved forward, the operation of police and other institutions subjected to the Ministry of the Interior was restored in the areas they had crossed.

In fact, the organization of the police was officially commenced when the Temporary Government returned on 10 July 1919.

The changes of 15 May 1934 did not greatly affect the work of the police, but the new government kept adopting new laws and regulations, and every police officer was obliged to know and use them.

On 16 June 1940, the USSR ultimatum was presented to the Latvian envoy in Moscow for the Latvian government. The next morning, 17 June, the government of the Republic of Latvia resigned.

Immediately after adopting the decision to let troops into the territory of Latvia, K. Veidnieks, the Minister of the Interior, summoned a meeting of the highest ranking police officials to announce the expected arrival of troops. The Minister of the Interior instructed the police officers to remain at their posts and prevent possible insurgency.

Jānis Fridrihsons, the Director of the Security Department, was dismissed on 22 June; A. Višinskis, the authorized representative of the USSR Government in Latvia, requested Latvian defences to be disarmed and for the organization to be liquidated, which was done on 23 June. Augusts Austrums, the Director of the Public Order Police Department, was dismissed at his own free will and the police were disarmed the same day.


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