Headquarters Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Annual budget 7,000,000 piastres
|Employees 130,000 agents (at height in 1973)|
Agency executive Nguyễn Ngọc Loan, Director-General of the National Police
Motto Tổ quốc (Fatherland), Công minh (Justice), Liêm chính (Integrity)
The Republic of Vietnam National Police – RVNP (Vietnamese: Cảnh sát Quốc gia Việt Nam Cộng hòa) or French: Police Nationale de la République du Vietnam (Police Nationale, Vietnamese: Cảnh sát Quốc gia – CSQG for short) in French, was the official South Vietnamese national police force from 1962 to 1975, operating closely with the ARVN during the Vietnam War.
The Republic of Vietnam National Police was officially created by President Ngô Đình Diệm's national decree in June 1962 from a conglomerate of smaller internal security and paramilitary agencies formed by the French Union authorities during the First Indochina War between 1946 and 1954. These included the Vietnamese Sûreté, Saigon Municipal Police, elements of the colonial National Guard of South Vietnam (French: Garde Nationale du Viet Nam Sud – GNVS, or VBNV in Vietnamese), a rural Gendarmerie force or ‘Civil Guard’ (French: Garde Civile), the combat police and various provincial militia forces made of irregular auxiliaries (French: Supplétifs). Transferred to South Vietnamese control in 1955, all the aforementioned security units were integrated in the early 1960s into a new national police force with the exception of the Civil Guard, which was placed under the Ministry of Defence. The CSQG had an initial strength of only 16,000 uniformed and plainclothes agents, being essentially an urban constabulary with no rural Gendarmerie component to counter the threat posed by the increasing Viet Cong (VC) insurgency in the countryside.
The National Police under Diệm
Even before the official creation of the National Police, President Diệm was quick to employ the security forces inherited from the French in repressing both internal political dissent and organized crime. Though the late 1950s and into 1960, they helped the newly created Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) in suppressing the Hòa Hảo and Cao Đài militant religious and political sects, with approximately 25,000 armed militiamen, and the smaller but better organized Bình Xuyên Saigon-based gangster group.
The final years 1971-75
The CSQG strength peaked in February 1971 at 103,859 personnel – including 3,144 female agents, mostly engaged in clerical work –, 4,450 vehicles and some 830 motorcycles of various types. However, out of this total only 27,565 officers and enlisted men were of career status, the remainder being on contract, daily paid or floating assimilated. Plans were drawn late that year to further expand the Police to 124,050 and later to 160,000, though the actual authorized strength in 1973 standed at about 130,000 men and women.
Subordinated to the South Vietnamese Interior Ministry, all components of the Police system were administered directly by the CSQG Command at the National Police Headquarters in Saigon, which also provided technical or combat support for law-enforcement and other internal security duties throughout the Country. By the late 1960s, the Vietnamese National Police was organized into eight major specialized departements or ‘branches’, which were:
All instruction and management of training facilities fell upon the Personnel and Training Directorate at National Police headquarters in Saigon. Recruits first underwent the basic 12-week course, which consisted primarily of weapons handling, tactics, Taekwondo and drill, ministered at the main CSQG Training Centre located at Rach Dua, near Vũng Tàu. After finishing the course, the best-qualified students were selected to be sent for officer training to the National Police Academy at Hoc Viên, where they attended advanced instruction programs at all levels, which comprised:
Those recruits with lower qualifications went instead to the Non-commissioned Officer (NCO) School run by the ARVN at its Combat Training Centre in Da Lat, co-located to the namesake South Vietnamese Armed Forces Military Academy, where they received special training that would allow them to graduate as Police NCOs.
Specialists such as field policemen, patrol boat crewmen, vehicle drivers (this category included squad car, armoured car and Jeep drivers, and motorcyclists), radio operators, medics, mechanics, and clerks were trained in various other National Police and Armed Forces’ schools. More specialized training was also provided to selected male and female personnel assigned to the other CSQG branches. Field Police personnel – including officers and NCOs – underwent eight weeks’ of training in paramilitary skills at the Mã Lai Á and Phi Luât Tân CSQG training Centres. Instruction covered subjects such as jungle warfare, intelligence-gathering operations, law-enforcement and riot control techniques. To upgrade their capabilities, squads and platoons were returned periodically to these training centers for six weeks of unit refresher training, but for most CSDC companies and battalions posted in the provinces their refresher course actually took place at the regional training centers.
Additional military "on the job" training was provided to Field Police units in the field by US Mobile Training Teams or by Australian advisors from the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV). Selected officer students were also sent to the Royal Malaysian Police Field Force Special Training Centre (Malay: Sekolah Latihan Pasukan Polis Hutan; SLPPH) at Kentonmen, Ulu Kinta, Perak in Malaysia to attend advanced specialized police and instructor's courses; after graduation, some of these new National Police officers upon returning to South Vietnam would them be posted as Field Police instructors at the Police training centres to pass on their skills to CSDC recruits.
List of National Police Director-Generals
List of National Police Commanders
Uniforms and insignia
Field Police troopers were given a black beret, worn French-style pulled to the left with the National Police cap badge placed above the right eye.
A US M-1 Helmet liner painted in shiny black, marked with white-and-red stripes at the sides and the initials "TC" (Vietnamese: Tuan Chan – patrol) was worn by National Police constables assigned patrol duties or riot control in urban areas.