Public security, the duty of the State and the right and responsibility of all, is exercised to preserve public order and the safety of persons and property, by means of the following agencies: (CA No. 19, 1998)
- federal police;
- federal highway police;
- federal railway police;
- civil polices;
- military polices and military fire brigades.
Paragraph 1. The federal police, instituted by law as a permanent body, organized and maintained by the Union and structured into a career, are intended to:
- investigate criminal offenses against the political and the social order or to the detriment of property, services and interests of the Union and of its autonomous government entities and public companies, as well as other offenses with interstate or international effects and requiring uniform repression as the law shall establish;
- to prevent and repress the illegal traffic of narcotics and like drugs, as well as smuggling, without prejudice to action by the treasury authorities and other government agencies in their respective areas of competence;
- exercise the functions of maritime, airport and border police;
- to exercise, exclusively, the functions of criminal police of the Union. Paragraph 2. The federal highway police are a permanent body organized and maintained by the Union, structured into a career, and intended, according to the law, to patrol ostensibly the federal highways.
Paragraph 3. The federal railway police are a permanent body organized and maintained by the Union, structured into a career, and intended, according to the law, to patrol ostensibly the federal railways.
Paragraph 4. It is incumbent upon the civil police, directed by career police comissioners and except for the competence of the Union, to exercise the functions of criminal police and to investigate criminal offenses, with the exception of the military ones.
Paragraph 5. It is within the competence of the military polices the ostensive policing and the maintenance of the public order; it is incumbent upon the military fire brigades, in addition to the duties defined by law, to carry out activities of civil defense.
Paragraph 6. The military polices and military fire brigades, ancillary forces and reserve of the Army, are subject, together with the civil police, to the Governors of the states, of the Federal District and of the territories.
Paragraph 7. The law shall regulate the organization and operation of the agencies responsible for public security in such a manner as to guarantee the efficiency of their activities.
Paragraph 8. The municipalities may organize municipal guards to protect their property, services and facilities, as the law shall establish.
Paragraph 9. The remuneration of the policemen who are members of the agencies mentioned in this article shall be stipulated according to paragraph 4 of article 39. The Defense of the State and of the Democratic Institutions