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Royal Thai Police

Official name of the Thai Police Force, which has roughly 200,000 officers in many division nationwide, such as the Tourist Police, Railroad Police, Highway Police, Traffic Police, Marine Police (fig.), Aviation Police, Immigration Police, Forestry Police, Border Patrol Police, Provincial Police, Consumer Protection Police, Metropolitan Police, and some special police branches such as 191, crime and narcotics suppression units, and a royal protective unit. They all operate under the direct command of the police commissioner-general, who reports directly to the prime minister and a twenty-member police commission. The Tourist Police (fig.), whose officers all speak English but lack real police powers, is also connected to the Tourism Authority of Thailand. The police commissioner-general is appointed by the prime minister, subject to cabinet and royal approval. Thai police are civil servants and work a schedule of six hours a day, four days a week. To increase their rather low salaries many officers have extra jobs, often as security guards. Besides this they usually get support from their local communities as well, such as fees from the gold shops they protect, commissions on fines for traffic violations, bribes from entertainment venues, etc. Fresh police officers (fig.) are trained at the Police Cadet Academy (fig.), which was founded in 1901 (fig.) during the reign of King Chulalongkorn, and which is currently located in Nakhon Pathom. The former unofficial coat of arms of the Kingdom of Siam (fig.), used until the Garuda or Krut (fig.) was introduced as the national state symbol and arms of Thailand in 1911, is today still used as the coat of arms of the Royal Thai Police and appears on the hats (fig.) and helmets (fig.) of all police officers in its full form. Besides the Royal Thai Police each branch of the armed forces also has its own military police force (fig.) called Sarawat Thahaan, abbreviated SH (fig.). In Thai, officially called samnak ngan tamruat haeng chaht or concisely kong tamruat. See also the ranks of the Thai police. See also Phleng Kiat Tamruat Khong Thai.