East Germany Table of Contents
The members of the armed agencies of the Ministry of the Interior observe military discipline and bear rank designations. In 1987 the minister of the interior, Friedrich Dickel, for example, was a colonel general. Dickel also was chief of the People's Police, whose Alert Units, numbering some 12,000 troops, were composed of 21 battalions equipped with BTR-40 and BTR-152 armored personnel carriers and 82-mm mortars. Also of military significance are the Transport Police, with approximately 8,500 men in dark-blue uniforms who do work related to the railroad system. They were organized into sixteen companies and equipped with small arms and RPG-7 shoulder-fired antitank grenade launchers.
In addition to the armed groups, the Ministry of the Interior has other branches which control the Fire Fighters, Prison Administration, Municipal Police, Traffic Police, Criminal Police, Training Administrations, Passport Department, and registration system, as well as some 135,000 volunteer police assistants (see fig. 18).
Data as of July 1987