This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2008)
|Pro patria vigilant 
|23 April 1941   (unification of existing units)
|€12.64 billion (2021)
|General Directorate of the National Police
|Ministry of the Interior
List of Directorates
|31 263 (2021)
|0 (see Sécurité Civile)
The National Police ( French: Police nationale), formerly known as the Sûreté nationale, is one of two national police forces of France, the other being the National Gendarmerie. The National Police is the country's main civil law enforcement agency, with primary jurisdiction in cities and large towns. By contrast, the National Gendarmerie has primary jurisdiction in smaller towns, as well as in rural and border areas. The National Police comes under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior and has about 145,200 employees (as of 2015). Young French citizens can fulfill their mandatory service ( Service national universel) in the police force.  
The national police force was created on 14 August 1941, under the Vichy regime, by a decree signed by the head of government, Philippe Pétain. This decree implements the law of 23 April 1941, creating the Police nationale: the forces of the Sûreté nationale (with the former services of the Sûreté générale, which became the Sûreté nationale in 1934, and the municipal police units, which became "étatisées" for the police forces of towns with more than 10,000 inhabitants) and the police services of the Préfecture de police in Paris are thus united. It was dissolved after the Liberation, by order of the Provisional Government of the French Republic on 16 November 1944. It was revived by Law no. 66-492 of 9 July 1966, on the organization of the police in France. This law unified the Sûreté Nationale and the Préfecture de Police.
The National Police operates mostly in cities and large towns. In that context, it conducts security operations such as patrols, traffic control and identity checks. Under the orders and supervision of investigating magistrates of the judiciary, it conducts criminal inquiries and serves search warrants. It also maintains specific services ('judicial police') for these inquiries.
The National Police is commanded by the Director-General (directeur général de la police nationale), who is currently Frédéric Veaux. The Director-General is personally in command of the General Directorate of the National Police ( French: Direction Générale de la Police nationale) (DGPN) and responsible to the Minister of the Interior. 
The Préfet de Police, currently Laurent Nuñez, manages the Préfecture de Police de Paris that includes all police and security services in Paris, the three neighbouring departments of the 'la petite couronne' region ( Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis and Val-de-Marne), and the airports of Roissy, Orly and Le Bourget. The Paris Police Prefecture is a separate law enforcement jurisdiction. While its officers belong to the National Police, their chief (the Police Prefect) acts completely independently from the Director-General of the National Police, reporting directly to the French Minister of the Interior. The elevated status of the Paris Police Prefect is also underlined by the fact that he/she is also head of the Île-de-France Defence and Security Zone (Zone de défense et de sécurité Île-de-France). The police forces in the other departments of the Île-de-France region are under the direct command of a Préfet (Department Prefect), being himself under the supervision of the Préfet de Police as far as the active on-the-field police work is concerned, and under the control of the Director-General for the rest.
The National Police is sub-divided into (central) directorates, which are further composed of sub-directorates:
As of 1 July 2008, the following two National Police directorates:
The National Police is divided into three corps, in the terminology of the French Civil Service, in ascending order of seniority:
All the ranks insignia may be worn either on the shoulders or on the chest. In the latter they are square-shaped.
Prior to 1995 two civilian corps ("Inspecteurs" and "Enquêteurs") existed in which plainclothes officers were given the training and authority to conduct investigations. The closest American equivalent is the detective branch.
Prior to the Second World War and the formation of the Police Nationale, the French police used a variety of side arms, both revolvers and semi-automatic pistols, notably comprising the MAS 1873, the MAS 1892, the FN M1900, Ruby pistols, and a variety of privately purchased weapons.
Immediately after the Second World War, a variety of military side arms were issued, often captured weapons provided by the Army or French-produced German-designed weapons, such as the Mauser HSc or the Walther P38 for sidearms, and the Karabiner 98k rifle, to the now unified national force.
In 1951, a standardisation was performed on the RR 51 pistol  in 7.65×17mm and on the MAS-38 and MAT-49 for submachine guns. From 1953, in the context of heightening violence of the Algeria War, CRS units were upgraded to the 9×19mm MAC Mle 1950.
In the early 1960s, large-caliber revolvers were introduced, culminating with the introduction of the Manurhin MR 73 and the Ruger SP101. In the 80s, a process to standardize revolvers was initiated. The 1970s also saw the introduction of automatic rifles and carbines (such as the SIG SG 543) to fend off heavily armed organised crime and terrorism.
In the 2000s, the police started switching to semi-automatic pistols and to the 9×19mm Parabellum cartridge. For some years, the standard sidearm in the National Police and the Gendarmerie Nationale was the PAMAS G1, which was French licensed and made. In 2003 both agencies made the biggest small arms contract since the Second World War  for about 250,000 SIG Sauer Pro SP 2022s, a custom-tailored variant of the SIG Pro, replacing the PAMAS-G1 and several other pistols in service. The weapons are planned to stay in service until the year 2022, hence the weapon name. The police purchased more pistols in late 2018 possibly indicating they intend them to be used beyond 2022. 
Some sources have claimed the use of the Spectre M4 by the French National Police.
While the vast majority of vehicles are screen printed French brands (mainly Renault, Citroën and Peugeot), some service vehicles are provided by Ford and Opel. Plainclothes officers or specialised branches use vehicles from a variety of manufacturers.